The dominant rivers in Germany are the Oder, Danube, Rhine, Weser and Elbe. All of these waterways empty into the Baltic, Black or North Seas.
The Oder empties into the Baltic Sea. Originating in the Czech Republic, it goes on to form 116 miles of Germany's border with Poland. Historically, the Oder was a key trade route in the region.
Emptying into the Black Sea is the Danube, Europe's second-longest river. The Danube begins in Germany's Black Forest and flows through the states of Baden-Wurttemberg and Bavaria. While in Bavaria, the Danube passes through the oldest city on its route: Regensburg. Regensburg was formally founded in 179 A.D. by Marcus Aurelius, but a Roman fort at the site dates to 90 A.D.
The Rhine, Weser and Elbe Rivers empty into the North Sea. The Weser River is the only one of the three to lie entirely within the nation of Germany. The Rhine, or Rhein in the German language, is one of Germany's most important wine regions. The Rhein Valley is a major growing region for much of Germany's Riesling wine. One of the most famous cities along the German portion of the Elbe is Dresden, the site of a controversial bombing raid by Allied forces during World War II.