Key Facts about Rhine River

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Parts of the Rhine River in southern Germany were closed to cargo shipping recently after heavy rains raised water levels.

About Rhine River:

  • It is the 12th longest river in Europe and the longest in Western and Central Europe.
  • It is called different names depending on the country it flows through. It is called Rhein in Germany, Rhine in France, and Rijn in Netherlands.
  • It runs for over 1,232 km (766 miles) from its source in the Swiss Alps (in Switzerland).
  • It flows through six countries -Switzerland, Principality of Liechtenstein, Austria, Germany, France and the Netherlands before flowing into the North Sea at Rotterdam, Netherlands.
  • The Rhine forms a natural border between Germany and France.
  • The river drains an area of about 185,000 square kilometres.
  • Tributaries: Some of the notable tributaries of the Rhine River include Aare, Tamina, Moselle, Erft, Rein da Tuma, Plessur, Rotach, and Wiese.
  • It is Europe's most important commercial waterway, channeling the flow of trade among Switzerland, France, Germany, and the Netherlands.
  • The major cities along the Rhine include Basel (Switzerland), Cologne, Bonn, Duisburg, Mainz, Leverkusen, and Neuss (Germany), Strasbourg (France), and Rotterdam and Utrecht (Netherlands).
  • It facilitates industrial transportation and supports industrial production, with about 20% of the world’s chemical industries manufacturing along the river. 

Q1: Which countries border the North Sea?

The countries that surround the North Sea include the United Kingdom, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, and Norway.

Source: River Rhine in Germany closed to shipping after rain raises water level