Meaning of RHINE RIVER in English

The Rhine, Rhne, and Seine river basins and their drainage network. German Rhein, French Rhin, Dutch Rijn, Celtic Renos, Latin Rhenus, river and waterway of western Europe, culturally and historically one of the great rivers of the continent and among the most important arteries of industrial transport in the world. It flows 865 miles (1,390 kilometres) from two small headways in the Alps of east-central Switzerland north and west to the North Sea, into which it drains through The Netherlands. An international waterway since the Treaty of Vienna in 1815, it is navigable overall for some 540 miles, as far as Rheinfelden on the Swiss-German border. Its catchment area, including the delta area, exceeds 85,000 square miles (220,000 square kilometres). The Rhine has been a classic example of the alternating roles of great rivers as arteries of political and cultural unification and as political and cultural boundary lines. The river also has been enshrined in the literature of its lands, especially of Germany, as in the famous epic Nibelungenlied. Since the time when the Rhine valley became incorporated into the Roman Empire, the river has been one of Europe's leading transport routes. Until the 19th century the goods transported were of high value but relatively small in volume, but since the second half of the 19th century the volume of goods conveyed on the river has increased greatly. The fact that cheap water transport on the Rhine helped to keep prices of raw materials down was the main reason the river became a major axis of industrial production: one-fifth of the world's chemical industries are now manufacturing along the Rhine. The river was long a source of political dissension in Europe, but this has given way to international concern for ecological safeguards as pollution levels have risen; some 6,000 toxic substances have been identified in Rhine waters. No other river in the world has so many old and famous cities on its banksBasel, Switz.; Strasbourg, Fr.; and Worms, Mainz, and Cologne, Ger., to name a fewbut there are also such industrial cities as Ludwigshafen and Leverkusen in Germany that pollute the waters and mar the scenic attraction of the riverbanks. Nonetheless, the middle Rhine (the section between the German cities of Bingen and Bonn), with such steep rock precipices as the Lorelei crag and numerous castles, still presents breathtaking vistas and attracts tourists. This is the Rhine of legend and myth, where the medieval Mouse Tower (Mausturm) lies at water level near Bingen and the castle of Kaub stands on an island in the river. The Alpine section of the Rhine lies in Switzerland, and below Basel the river forms the boundary between western Germany and France, as far downstream as the Lauter River. It then flows through German territory as far as Emmerich, below which its many-branched delta section epitomizes the landscapes characteristic of The Netherlands. German Rhein, French Rhin, Dutch Rijn, Celtic Renos, Latin Rhenus major river and waterway of western Europe that rises in two small headstreams in the Alps of east-central Switzerland and flows west and then north and northwest for about 865 miles (1,390 km) to enter the North Sea at the coast of The Netherlands. The upper Rhine forms much of Switzerland's border with Liechtenstein, Austria, and Germany and generally flows north and then west. Bending northward again at Basel, Switz., it forms part of the border between France and Germany, then follows a generally northerly course through Germany, receiving from its right (east) bank the Neckar River at Mannheim and the Main River at Mainz, where it veers west and then flows northwesterly toward the North Sea. At Koblenz it receives the Mosel River from the left (west) bank, passes through the picturesque Rhine gorges on to Bonn and Dsseldorf, and then is joined by the Ruhr River and enters The Netherlands near Arnhem. There the Rhine breaks up into several branches (notably the Lek and the Waal). With The Netherlands' completion of the huge Delta Project in 1986, these main branches were closed off, and the river's waters now reach the North Sea via sluices and channels. The New Waterway Canal at Rotterdam is the main navigational link between the Rhine and the North Sea. The Rhine has been an international waterway since the Treaty of Vienna in 1815. In its lower and middle course the river is an integral artery of the richly interconnected inland-waterway system of Germany, northeastern France, and the Low Countries. Its chief portsincluding Basel, Strasbourg, Mannheim, Cologne, Duisburg, and Rotterdamtransship coal and petroleum products, metallic ores, and cereals in German and Dutch barges. The hydroelectric potential of the river in its upper reaches has been heavily utilized in the Swiss Alps. In the late 20th century the Rhine was navigable overall for 540 miles (870 km) and was navigable to ships larger than 5,000 tons deadweight as far as Rheinfelden on the Swiss-German border. The river's catchment area, including the delta area, exceeds 85,000 square miles (220,000 square km). The Main-Danube Canal (q.v.), which allows barge traffic between the North Sea and the Black Sea via the Rhine, Main, and Danube rivers, was completed in 1992. Additional reading William Graves, The Rhine: Europe's River of Legend, National Geographic, 131(4):449499 (April 1967), is based on a voyage aboard a Rhine tanker from Rotterdam to Karlsruhe. Goronwy Rees, The Rhine (1967), is a longer description that follows the Rhine from its source to its mouth and includes historical, political, cultural, and economic information. Royal Institute of International Affairs, Regional Management of the Rhine (1975), is a collection of scholarly but readable papers on the effects of human activity on the ecology of the river, with analyses of transport, navigation, flood control, pollution, generation of electricity, regional planning, and recreational use. H.J. Mackinder, The Rhine (1908), is a classic study by one of the founders of modern academic geography, still worth reading. E.M. Yates, The Development of the Rhine, Transactions, Institute of British Geographers, publication no. 32, pp. 6581 (1963), examines the physical evolution of the Rhine and its valley from the Oligocene to the end of the Ice Age. Roy E.H. Mellor, The Rhine: A Study in the Geography of Water Transport (1983), surveys the history of navigation on the river. Fuller systematic treatments, which provide discussions of the history of economic activity of the region, population dynamics, and political and cultural developments, include tienne Juillard, L'Europe rhnane (1968); and Jean Dollfus, L'Homme et le Rhin (1960). Karl A. Sinnhuber

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