What Are the Major Rivers in Germany?

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The major rivers flowing in Germany are the Rhine, Danube and Elbe. Most German cities were built on the banks of these rivers. Other notable rivers include the Weser, Spree, Oder, Moselle, Main, Lech, Lahn, Isr, Havel and Ems.

The Rhine is the longest river in Germany and the 12th longest in Europe. It starts in the southeastern Swiss Alps and forms a part of the Franco-German border before flowing through Germany and finally emptying into the North Sea via the Netherlands. It is about 820 miles long and has several branches and tributaries along its path.

The Danube rises from the Black Forest in the town of Donaueschingen. It then flows southeast, passing through four capital cities in Central Europe before flowing into the Black Sea through the Danube Delta in Ukraine and Romania. The Danube river either touches or passes through the borders of 10 countries: Hungary, Serbia, Austria, Germany, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Romania, Croatia, Moldova and Ukraine. Its drainage basin extends into nine more countries.

The Elbe rises in the Krkonose mountain range in Northern Czech Republic before traveling across Bohemia, then Germany and emptying into the North Sea. Its major tributaries include the Ohre, Schwarze Elster, Mulde, Havel, Saale and Vltava rivers. The Elbe River basin is the fourth largest in Europe, and it is inhabited by about 24.5 million people.