Photo: GSFC, Where the Danube meets the sea
The Danube is the largest river in Europe, its watershed draining 801,463 square kilometers (309,447 square miles) of land.
The river rises in the Black Forest mountains of western Germany and flows for some 1,770 miles (2,850 km) to its mouth on the Black Sea. Along its course it passes through 10 countries: Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania, Moldova, and Ukraine.
Where that great river reaches the Black Sea, a remarkable delta has formed—the “Everglades” of Europe. The Danube Delta is home to more than 300 species of bird and 45 species of freshwater fish.
The Danube Delta has been home to human settlements since the end of the Stone Age (the Neolithic Period), and the ancient Greeks, Romans, and Byzantines all built trading ports and military outposts along this coast. Today, the border between Romania and Ukraine cuts through the northern part of the delta. The area is a United Nations World Heritage Site, both for its natural and human history, and for the traditional maritime culture that persists in its marshes. All the while, the landscape has been shaped and re-shaped by nature and man.