The Rhine River (German: Rhein, French: Rhin, Dutch: Rijn) is 1,230 kilometres (760 mi) long. 883 kilometres (549 mi) can be used by ships. It is one of the longest rivers in Europe. Its name comes from the Celtic word "renos". Renos means raging flow.
The Rhine is an important waterway. Many goods are transported over the Rhine, and the Rhine valley is also an important wine producing region. The river Rhine begins at Tomasee, a lake in the canton of Graubünden in Switzerland, and runs through Switzerland, Germany and the Netherlands. It is the border between Switzerland and Liechtenstein and also the border between Germany and France. It runs through Basel, Bonn, Cologne and Duisburg. It also separates the cities of Mainz and Wiesbaden.
The river runs through only one lake on its way, Lake Constance, which is on the border of Switzerland, Germany and Austria.
Along the banks of the Rhine are several castles which notorious robber barons lived in during the 15th - 18th centuries. Before the Industrial Revolution hit Europe, and factories set up along its banks and emptied all their waste into the River. The Salmon left and every living thing died. Then after World War II, the Rhine Action Programme was set up to boost the Rhine's wildlife and reduce the pollution there.
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