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The Main in the centre of Frankfurt

The Main (pronounced in German like the English word mine) is a river in Germany, 524 km in length, and one of the bigger tributaries of the Rhine river. Its average discharge at Frankfurt East Harbour is 190 cubic metres/second. It flows through the Bundesländer (states) of Bavaria, Hesse and 25 Kilometers along the border of Bavaria with Baden-Württemberg. The biggest city on the Main is Frankfurt, others are Bayreuth, Bamberg, Würzburg, Hanau and Offenbach. The mid Main valley is characterised by many vineyards. It is part of the region of Franken. Boats on the Main can use the Rhine-Main-Danube Canal to go to Eastern Europe.

Main in Germany

The name of the river has nothing to do with the English word main, which means most important, or the French word main, which means hand. The river was named Mogin by the ancient celts after their god Mogon. Later, the Romans called the river Moenus in their language. In the Middle Ages, this name became Meyn and later Main.