Location: Originates in the Swiss Alps, runs along the borders of Germany with France, Belgium and the Netherlands, where it flows into the North Sea.
Size: 1324 km
At 1324 km the Rhine (in German Rhein) is the longest river in Germany and the busiest waterway in Europe. Each year 1.8 million tonnes of seaborne traffic sails down the Rhine.
Between Bingen and Bonn the Rhine flows through the Rhine Gorge. This area is known for its vineyards and its castles, which date back to the Middle Ages.
Since the days of the Roman empire the Rhine has been a vital and navigable waterway carrying trade and goods deep inland. In the ancient world newborn babies were dunked in the water of the Rhine to toughen them.