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We took a grand cruise from Budapest, Hungary, west to Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Our boat traversed
the Danube River, the River Main, the Danube-Main-Rhine Canal, and then finally the Rhine River. Our trip passed through
Hungary, the Slovak Republic, Austria, Germany, and finally, the Netherlands. The river trip covered some 1386 km,
starting in mid-Europe, crossing the Continental Divide, and ending at the North Sea.
 This page covers the journey from Budapest, Hungary, to the Continental Divide on the Rhine-Main-Danube Canal.

For the river cruise heading east from Budapest through Hungary, Serbia, Romania, and Bulgaria ending at the Black Sea click here.

Click on any picture to enlarge it.

Map of the River Cruise   Detailed Map of the River Cruise

Jerrold Patz & Naimah Zakaria Passing Through A Lock on the Danube River

This is a basic overview of the river systems of Europe. The left graphic is from our boat and we visited every city listed except for Basel. The middle graphic is from the cruise overview and details every city visited. The right photo shows us at a lock on the Danube. The water mark on the lock's wall shows how much the boat must be lifted to meet the height of the river. For the entire trip, we traversed 68 locks.
 picture Jerrold Patz Naimah "Jerrold Patz"  

Jerrold Patz and Naimah Zakaria are on the left, overlooking the Danube River and the Hungarian Parliament Building.  The center photo shows a detail of the Moorish architecture of the synagogue in Budapest. It claims to be the second largest synagogue in the world. The third photo is a detail of the Hungarian University of Science Library. Note its ornamental colored tile dome. The fourth photo depicts a piece of the architecture at Fishermen's Bastion, a complex built on the site of a medieval fish market. The right picture shows Jerrold Patz on the Chain Bridge with the Royal Palace on the far bank of the Danube.
 picture Jerrold Patz Naimah  
"Jerrold Patz"

Jerrold Patz and Naimah Zakaria Overlooking The Parliament Building in Budapest   Budapest's Moorsih Synagogue

Hungarian University of Science Library Building, Budapest   Budapest's Fishermen's Bastion   Jerrold Patz Overlooking the Royal Palace in Budapest

13th Century Bratislava Castle   Bratislava New Bridge and City

Bratislava, The Primate's Palace   Sculpture in Bratislava's Old Town Main Square

Bratislava is the capital of modern Slovakia. A major city on the Danube River, it was called Pressburg by the Germans and Pozsony by Hungary. The left photo shows part of the 13th Century Bratislava Castle that overlooks the Danube River. Construction and restoration continue to this day. The second photo is taken from the castle wall and shows the new bridge over the Danube. The ugly, block buildings on the far bank are from the Communist era. The third photo is of the Primate's Palace, rebuilt in 1776 and now used for city administration. The right photo, taken in the main square of the Old Quarter, shows a whimsical bronze sculpture of a man emerging from a manhole. The adjacent sign, part of the exhibit, reads "MAN AT WORK".

In the left photo, Jerrold Patz is standing in front of St Stephen's Cathedral (Stephansdom) in the center of Vienna, Austria. The cathedral has Romanesque facades, Gothic towers, and baroque altars. On the right, a plaque marking the location of the 15th Century city walls of Vienna.
picture Jerrold Patz
"Jerrold Patz"  

Jerrold Patz At St Stephen's Cathedral, Vienna   Plaque Marking The 15th Century Location of the Vienna City Wall

Detail of a Clock on a Bridge Between Buildings in Vienna   An Imperial Coronation Church in Vienna

Vienna's Holocaust Memorial

The left photo is a detail of an ornate clock in a walkway between two buildings in Vienna's heart. The center photo is of a neo-Gothic coronation church that was at the point where our boat was docked. The photo on the right is of the Holocaust Memorial in the center of Vienna. Its stark concrete represents a library with all of the book spines with their titles turned inward, as if history were backwards. It is a somber memorial to World War II and Germany's past.
 Vienna clock

From Vienna, we cruised west to Durnstein, Austria. On the left, we are in a picturesque spot overlooking the Danube River. The right photo is of the ruins of the castle where Richard the Lionheart, King Richard I of England, was imprisoned in the year 1192.
picture Jerrold Patz Naimah
"Jerrold Patz"  
Jerrold Patz and Naimah Zakaria at Durnstein, Austria, Overlooking the Danube   Ruins of the Castle Where Richard The Lionheart, King of England, Was Imprisoned
The Benedictine Abbey at Melk, Austria   Jerrold Patz Standing In One Of The Libraries In The Abbey

Detail Of The Library Ceiling, Melk Abbey

After Durnstein, we traveled to Melk, a town mentioned in the Song of the Nibelungs;  location of magnificent Benedictine Abbey, one of Europe's largest baroque monasteries. The left photo shows the Abbey as seen from the river, the middle photo shows Jerrold Patz standing in one of the many libraries within the abbey, and the right photo shows a detail of the library's ceiling.
 picture Jerrold Patz "Jerrold Patz"  Melk Library
Still on the Danube, we leave Austria and enter Germany at Passau where we join the Inn and Ilz Rivers. This fairy-tale city was founded more than 2000 years ago and has seen its share of conquerors: Romans, barbarians, Crusaders, Huns, and the like. The organ on the right is one piece of five within the cathedral of St Stephan. This is the largest church organ in the world with 17,774 pipes, ranging in length from millimeters to many meters.
 picture  of world's largest organ  pipe organ "Crusader City"  "world's biggest pipe organ" "world's largest pipe organ" 
Crusader Detail in Passau, Germany   The World's Biggest Pipe Organ, Passau, Germany
Lock on the Danube into Regesnburg   Regensburg's Porta Praetoria Ruins From 179

Weltenburg Abbey

Along to Regensburg, we enter another river lock  that takes us away from the Danube River and onto the Rhine-Main-Danube Canal (see below). The middle photo is of the Porta Praetoria, part of the ruins of a Roman fort built in the year 179. And, on the right, the Benedictine Abbey in Weltenburg, a late-baroque  jewel built in 1716.
  Weltenburg Abbey
Nuremberg is an ancient city with 900-year old ramparts (left). It features an amazing array of architecture including the Frauenkirche (2nd photo), the stepped-gable 14th century church whose elaborate 16th century clock (3rd photo) at noon displays prince-electors to honor their emperor, Karl IV. The 4th picture shows an ornate, gold fountain in the Market Square. It contains a "wishing ring"; legend claims that those who rotate the ring correctly will have their wish fulfilled.

However ancient, Nuremberg is probably best known for the Justice Palace where the War Crimes Tribunal sat in 1946.
Nuremberg ramparts  cathedral clock  

Nuremberg's 900 Year Old Ramparts   Nuremberg's Market Square Frauenkirche

Detail of the Frauenkirche Clock   Ornate Fountain in Nuremberg's Market Square

The Continental Divide on the Rhine-Main-Danube Canal   Certificate for Crossing the European Continental Divide   The Continental Divide on the Rhine-Main-Danube Canal Traveling west from Nuremberg, we crossed the Fanconian Alps and rose some 1332 feet above sea-level through a series of 16 locks. This canal was started by Charlemagne in the 9th century, greatly expanded in 1846 by King Ludwig I of Bavaria, and completed in 1992. The canal allows sea traffic to pass from the North Sea to the Black Sea.

The Continental Divide marker (both photos) appears at Hilpolstein, the highest point on the canal. This marks the point where the river current changes direction (and our boat changed speed). Water to the west of the marker flows down to the North Sea while water to the east of the marker flows towards the Black Sea.

The certificate was issued to document our crossing the continental divide, and although we made the crossing at 0800, champagne was served.
continental divide in Europe  river continental divide 

Continue to European Rivers (Page 2)

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