Bucharest is Romania’s capital and largest city and is an important industrial and commercial centre. It is home to a wealth of interesting landmarks including Parliament Palace – which is the largest parliament building in the world. Built in 1984, the structure spans 12 stories and has a total of 3,100 rooms. One of Bucharest’s most beautiful buildings is the Atheneum, which is situated near Revolution Square and is home to the George Enescu Philarmonic. If you wander inside, you will be able to admire a fresco which depicts scenes of Romanian history. Bucharest offers plenty to see and do for visitors, with a wealth of churches, museums, and parks to explore.
After the Volga delta, the Danube delta is the second largest in Europe and is also considered to be the best preserved. It covers an approximate surface area of 4,152 square kilometres, with the majority being located in Romania and a smaller amount in Ukraine. There are three main distributaries of the Danube, these are: Chilia, Sulina and Sfantul Gheorge. The Danube Delta is a beautiful nature reserve and a wonderful area of biodiversity. It is thought to be home to 23 unique and natural ecosystems which host a variety of birdlife throughout the year.
Located at the southern end of the Danube River is the village of St Gheorghe, one of the oldest cities in Transylvania. The long history of the village is evident in some of the remaining building which have an obvious Byzantine influence in their style and construction. The village of St Gheorghe also plays host to the Anonimul International Independent Film Festival.
Located along the River Danube in northern Bulgaria is the city of Russe. The biggest river port on the Danube, Russe was once a garrison port of the Roman Danube fleets. Russe has been ruled by many nations over the centuries and enjoyed many reinventions, from the original 1st century Romans to the Ottoman Empire of the 1800s meaning there is a rich mix of cultures and architecture to be found. The main attraction of the city is also its oldest building, the Russian-style Church of Sveta Troitsa, which features many incredibly well-preserved murals.
Nearly 150 miles north east of Sofia along the River Danube is the Bulgarian town of Svishtov. Most known for being an industrial port town, from here you can visit Arbanasi, Veliko Tarnovo and the Tsarevets Fortress.
The Djerdap gorge system on the Danube River divides the Carpathian and Balkan Mountains and forms a boundary between Romania and former Yugoslavia. The last gorge in this system is the Iron Gate, which is two miles long and 530 feet wide. Its towering rock cliffs have helped establish it as one of Europe’s most dramatic natural wonders. The history of this gorge extends back to the 2nd century, when Trajan, a Roman Emperor, ordered a road and stone bridge be built as Kladovo. In 1972, a dam and hydro-electric station was constructed which led to the creation of a 150-km lake.
Belgrade is the capital of Serbia and is located the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers. Its name means “White City” and since Serbia gained status as an independent nation in 2006, it has become one of south-eastern Europe’s must-visit destinations. It is home to St Sava Church, one of the largest Orthodox churches in the world. After the original idea was put forward in 1895, construction of the church began 40 years later, in 1935, and was completed in 1989. Kalemegdan is the site of a former Belgrade fortress, which now serves as the central park of Belgrade and is the best place in the city to view the confluence of the rivers and the gorgeous sunset.
The river port and industrial town of Mohács sits on the banks of the Danube River, in southern Hungary, close to the Croatian and Serbian borders. It is best known for its battlefield, of which was the site of a major battle in 1526 between Hungarians and Turkish forces. The Hungarians were defeated, which led to Hungary becoming part of the Ottoman Empire.
Located in central Hungary is the town of Kalocsa, which overlooks the Danube River and is surrounded by the Sarkoz swamps. It is home to a wealth of folk art motifs, which were painted by the town’s “writing women” and are distinguished by their inventive use of colour and design. These motifs are often reproduced and distributed outside of Hungary. The Károly Visky Museums display a range of local work, while the bishop’s palace also displays a number of art treasures.
The River Danube plays a vital role in the build-up of the Hungarian capital of Budapest. It flows right through the heart of the city and has led to the construction of seven magnificent bridges - which connect the old city of Buda, on the right bank, with more modern city of Pest, on the left bank. One of the city’s instantly recognisable highlights is the Hungarian parliament building – a spectacular structure which sits beside the Danube. Venture into Budapest, wander its many streets, and you will discover St. Matthias Church, which was originally built in Romanesque style in the 11th century, but later rebuilt in Gothic style, in the 14th century.
Bratislava is the Slovakian capital city and is situated in the south-western part of the country. The city is dominated by the four-towered 13th century Bratislava Castle, which provides views over Slovakia and the neighbouring nations of Austria and Hungary. Bratislava Castle was once home to the Austrian royal family until it was destroyed by fire in 1811, but has since been restored. The city is also home to the Gothic castle of St. Martin, which was the site of the coronation of many kings and queens throughout history.
The charming Austrian capital is situated on the River Danube and is a world-renowned centre for classical music, art, theatre and history. Home of the waltz, the Spanish Riding School, Sachertorte and Vienna Boys’ Choir, its central core is easily manageable by foot but excellent public transport is also available. The Schönbrunn Palace is the summer residence of Maria Theresia and the Hapsburgs and is one of the most iconic buildings in this great city.
Before 1806, Vienna was the seat of the Holy Roman Empire and later it became the capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and, in 1918, the capital of independent Austria which emerged from World War I as a republic. During WWII, Vienna was divided into five zones, but the 1955 State Treaty helped the country regain its independence and Vienna was once again the capital of a sovereign Austria.
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