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.
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.
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 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.
The town of Donji Milanovic is located in eastern Serbia, located on the right bank of the Lake Djerdap within the River Danube. Donji Milanovic was once a Roman town known as Taliata and has been relocated throughout history on four occasions. This was due to a number of reasons including defence, flooding, and the construction of a hydro power plant. The buildings at the current site and no more than fifty years old, but the region is home to many significant landmarks including: Lepenski vir, an important Mesolithic archaeological site; and an 800-year-old fortress.
Located in the extreme north-western region of Bulgaria is the port town of Vidin, which is renowned for its architecture. The 14th century Fortress of Baba Vida with its thick walls and beautiful towers is a wonderfully-preserved landmark. Take a stroll along the banks of the river and soak in the beautiful setting of this town. It is also worth noting that Vidin is highly renowned for its wines and there is annual fair dedicated to the produce of the local grape.
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.
Lying 33 miles from its outlet into the Danube River and on the left banks of the Argresh River is the city of Oltenitza. Once a military stronghold and site of many WW1 artillery skirmishes, this quiet city is steeped in history. Oltenitza is known for its principal trades in grain, timber and fish, with Lake Greca being famous for its carp.
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.
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