River Rhine: Facts and Information

River Rhine Fact File

Countries: Switzerland, Germany, France and the Netherlands.

Length: 1233 km (765 miles)

Source: Grisons in the Swiss Alps (Switzerland)

Mouth: North Sea, Hoek van Holland,  Rotterdam (Netherlands)

Other Facts About the River Rhine

  • The Rhine is the longest river in Germany.
  • Many large settlements have developed on the banks of the River Rhine, these include: Bonn, Cologne, Dusseldorf (in Germany), Arnhem and Rotterdam (in the Netherlands) and Basel (in Switzerland).
  • The Rhine has been an incredibly important waterway since the time of the Roman Empire. It is still a major European transport route today.
  • The Rhine forms a natural border between Germany and France.
  • It also marks the border between Germany and Switzerland, and the Swiss borders with Austria and Liechtenstein.
  • The Rhine became massively polluted during the late 19th century and 20th century. A fire in a chemical plant in Basel, Switzerland in 1986, caused vast amounts of toxic waste to be released into the river. This caused fish pollutions to go down, but it also lead to the Rhine Action Programme being set up. Today pollution levels are much lower and salmon have returned to some parts of the River Rhine.
  • Many tourists each year go on Rhine River cruises, travelling by river barge.
  • Along the stretch of the Rhine between Bingen and Koblenz (a narrow gorge 35 miles in length), there are more castles than in any other of the world’s river valleys.

Find out some facts about some of the other major rivers.