The Danube originates in the town of Donaueschingen which is in the Black Forest of Germany. Then it flows southeast for 2 872 kilometers, passing through four Central European capitals before emptying into the Black Sea via the Danube Delta in Romania and Ukraine.

Once a long-standing frontier of the Roman Empire, the river passes through or touches the borders of ten countries: Romania, Hungary, Serbia, Austria, Germany, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Ukraine, and Moldova, more than any other. Its drainage basin extends into nine more.

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