“Danube so blue, so bright and blue/through vale and field you flow so calm…”

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The Danube River in Vienna
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The Danube River in Vienna

Legend has it that the Danube River looks blue if you’re in love. I’ll let you judge for yourself from the pictures. The Danube is to Vienna what the Thames is to London, the Potomac is to DC and the Mississippi is to St. Louis: integral to the city’s past and present. The Danube River was the northernmost border of the Roman Empire and today flows around the city of Vienna. The Danube Canal divides the city as a controlled tributary of the larger river, controlled thus since the end of the 16th century. In summer you can see the Viennese and visitors alike basking in the good weather along its banks. The banks were widened in the 1990s to allow for recreational use.

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The Danube Canal in Vienna
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The Danube Canal in Vienna
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The Danube Canal in Vienna
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Danube Canal in Vienna
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Near the Danube River in Vienna

The Danube flows through 10 countries, from the Black Forest across Austria, carving out the Danube valley with its lovely vistas, vineyards, apricot and cherry orchards before reaching Vienna. It’s said the best apricots in the world come from the Danube Valley. The most scenic part of the Danube Valley is a 40-km region called the Wachau. The river is one part of the scenic beauty, but the hillsides on either side are dotted with castles, churches and picturesque villages and towns. Check back tomorrow for images and information about the most famous of these: Melk Abbey.

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Industrial area near the Danube River in Vienna
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The Danube River near Dürstein
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Plaque marking the various flood levels of the Danube at Dürstein. Note that 2002 is the highest
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Plaque marking the various flood levels of the Danube at Dürstein. Note that 2002 is the highest
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Danube River near Dürstein
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Panoramic of the Danube near Dürstein

Title quote: Lyrics from “The Blue Danube,” music by Johann Strauss II, lyrics by Joseph Weyl

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Danube River near Dürstein
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Castle on a hillside in the Wachau
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Industrial section of the Danube in the Wachau
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One of the fields near the Danube in the Danube Valley

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