Exhibitions
The Danube: connecting Europe

The Danube through time
EXHIBITION
The Danube: connecting Europe
The Danube through time
On Piazza Navona in Rome there is a spectacular fountain designed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini: the Fountain of the Four Rivers. Its four statues represent river gods who personify major rivers which symbolise continents: the Nile represents Africa, the Ganges represents Asia, the Río de la Plata represents the Americas, and the Danube represents Europe.
With its length of 2,888 km, its flow from west to east and its huge drainage basin combine, Danube is the European river.
Today, ten countries - Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria, Moldova and Ukraine - and four capital cities - Vienna, Bratislava, Budapest and Belgrade - lie on the Danube.
It is the second longest river in Europe after the Volga. The opening of the Main-Danube Canal in 1992 created a waterway between the North Sea and the Black Sea.
Rivers have always served as communication routes and settlement areas, but they have also functioned as barriers and borders.
For centuries, waterways were the best and cheapest means of transport for people and goods, as well as providing mental stimulation. Fishing, shipbuilding, trade and transport, the production of process and drinking water, the operation of ship mills and ferries meant that the water of the Danube was, for many people, vital or at least a source of income.
The history of the Danube region throughout the modern age has been determined by disputes over territories and hegemony, and by the changing influence of great powers such as the Ottoman Empire, the Habsburg Monarchy and Russia.
Until well into the 19th century, the Danube and its banks formed a natural area shaped by the dynamics of the river, the changing seasons, floods and low water, to which people had to adapt. With its different geographical and cultural conditions, journeys along the river were a difficult undertaking for travellers and were usually only possible along certain sections of the river.
The taming of the river was one of the most important projects of the 19th century, thereby creating a huge economic and cultural area. The Danube was systematically regulated and at the same time romanticised as a natural paradise.
CHAPTERS
The Danube through time
The International Danube
Mapping the Danube
Travelling the Danube
Engineering the Danube
Tourism (Danube Waves)
The 'Green' Danube
Credits
OUR MISSION
Europeana empowers the cultural heritage sector in its digital transformation. We develop expertise, tools and policies to embrace digital change and encourage partnerships that foster innovation.
FIND US ELSEWHERE
MORE INFO
Become a data partner
Subscribe to our newsletter
HELP
CUSTOMISE WEBSITE LANGUAGE

Europeana is an initiative of the European Union, financed by the European Union’s Connecting Europe Facility and European Union Member States. The Europeana services, including this website, are operated by a consortium led by the Europeana Foundation under a service contract with the European Commission.
The European Commission does not guarantee the accuracy of the information and accepts no responsibility or liability whatsoever with regard to the information on this website. Neither the European Commission, nor any person acting on the European Commission’s behalf, is responsible or liable for the accuracy or use of the information on this website.
Hi! Could we please enable some additional services for analytics and security? You can always change or withdraw your consent later.
Let me choose
Home Collections Stories Log in / Join