Cities & Scenery of the Historic Danube
FRC-880058/880016 Danube
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Itinerary
1
Day 1
Budapest, Hungary

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.

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Day 2
Vukovar, Slovenia

Vukovar is home to Croatia's biggest river port and can be found where the Vuka River meets the Danube. The city’s name literally means ‘fortress on the Vuka River’ and each year it holds a film festival that celebrates movies produced in the Danube area.

Despite a dark past that includes the Vukovar Massacre and the Croatian War of Independence, the city has worked hard to create a modern feel but still maintain its historical past. A memorial commemorates those who lost their lives and the Heritage Museum highlights events from prehistory to today.

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Day 3
Belgrade, Serbia

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.

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Day 4
Donji Milanovac, Serbia - Iron Gate, Romania

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.

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.

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Day 5
Vidin, Bulgaria

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.

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Day 6
Russe, Bulgaria

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.

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Day 7
Galati, Romania
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Day 8
St Gheorghe, Romania

Located at the southern end of the Danube River is the village of St Gheorghe, one of the oldest cities in Transylvania.  The long history of the village is evident in some of the remaining building which have an obvious Byzantine influence in their style and construction. The village of St Gheorghe also plays host to the Anonimul International Independent Film Festival.

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Day 9
Fetesti, Romania

The Romanian town of Fetesti is located in the Baragan plain, just south of Bucharest and on the Borcea branch of the Danube River. Fetesti was first mentioned in 1528 by the ruler of Wallachia, Fetesti gained town status in 1868. Located close to mouth of the Danube and the Black Sea, it is, today, an important industrial centre within Romania.

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Day 10
Cetate, Romania
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Day 11
Turnu Severin, Romania
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Day 12
Novi Sad, Serbia

The second largest city in Serbia, Novi Sad cuts an impressive figure along the banks of the Danube River. Dominated, by one of the largest fortifications in Europe, the mighty fortress of Petrovaradin, the city offers a range of ethnically mixed sites, buildings and landmarks to enjoy.  As well as being the administrative centre, Novi Sad is also a great cultural centre of the Vojvodina region. The city’s cultural offerings include the Serbian National theatre, a University, an art academy, an array of museums and The Magistrate Building, an exquisite example of empire architecture.

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Day 13
Kalocsa, Hungary

Located in central Hungary is the town of Kalocsa, which overlooks the Danube River and is surrounded by the Sarkoz swamps. It is home to a wealth of folk art motifs, which were painted by the town’s “writing women” and are distinguished by their inventive use of colour and design. These motifs are often reproduced and distributed outside of Hungary. The Károly Visky Museums display a range of local work, while the bishop’s palace also displays a number of art treasures.

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Day 14
Budapest, Hungary

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.

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Day 17
Bratislava, Slovakia

Bratislava is the Slovakian capital city and is situated in the south-western part of the country. The city is dominated by the four-towered 13th century Bratislava Castle, which provides views over Slovakia and the neighbouring nations of Austria and Hungary. Bratislava Castle was once home to the Austrian royal family until it was destroyed by fire in 1811, but has since been restored. The city is also home to the Gothic castle of St. Martin, which was the site of the coronation of many kings and queens throughout history.

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Day 18
Vienna, Austria

The charming Austrian capital is situated on the River Danube and is a world-renowned centre for classical music, art, theatre and history. Home of the waltz, the Spanish Riding School, Sachertorte and Vienna Boys’ Choir, its central core is easily manageable by foot but excellent public transport is also available. The Schönbrunn Palace is the summer residence of Maria Theresia and the Hapsburgs and is one of the most iconic buildings in this great city.

Before 1806, Vienna was the seat of the Holy Roman Empire and later it became the capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and, in 1918, the capital of independent Austria which emerged from World War I as a republic. During WWII, Vienna was divided into five zones, but the 1955 State Treaty helped the country regain its independence and Vienna was once again the capital of a sovereign Austria.

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Day 19
Wachau Valley, Austria - Melk, Austria

As one of the most beautiful stretches of river in Europe, the Wachau Valley extends for 24 miles along the Danube River between the Austrian towns of Krems and Melk. The scenery here includes hilltop castles, lush vineyards, dense forests and famous medieval monasteries. History can be uncovered from the Stone Age, else well as the periods of the Celts, the Romans and the Hapsburgs.

The Wachau Valley is one of the most prominent tourist destinations of Lower Austria. Along the route, you will find picturesque towns such as Aggstein, Willendorf and Durnstein, where King Richard the Lion-Heart of England was held captive by Duke Leopold V. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Wachau is famous for the apricots and grapes grown in the region, both of which are used to produce specialty liquors and wines like dry Rieslings and Grüner Veltliners.

Situated in northeast Austria is the city of Melk – regarded as a gateway to the famous Wachau wine region. It is located at a meeting point of the Danube and Melk rivers and is home to a towering, yellow, baroque Abbey, which sits high above the Danube River. Inside the Abbey, you will find many interesting features including the Melk Cross, Abbey Library, Marble Room, and Collegiate Church. Elsewhere in the city, you will find a number of pretty Renaissance houses and the Schallaburg Castle.

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Day 20
Passau, Germany

Resting at the confluence of the Danube, Inn and Ilz rivers in Bavaria is the town of Passau. Lying on the border of Austria, Passau offers a unique and eclectic blend of German and Austria Baroque architecture. St Stephen’s Cathedral is the main focus for tourism in Passau and is a true masterpiece of Italian Baroque. The main attractions of the cathedral include a treasury, museum, Italian painted frescoes and the biggest European church organ, boasting 17,774 pipes.

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Day 21
Regensburg, Germany

Situated along the banks of the Danube River is the Bavarian city of Regensburg. A cultural centre of Germany, the cities medieval heart is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, boasting one of the most important Gothic churches in Bavaria, St. Peter’s Cathedral. With a stunning 14th century stained glass window and two Romanesque chapels, St. Peter’s in one of the main attractions in Regensburg. Full of history, the city also offers other notable examples of Romanesque architecture, including the Porta Praetoria, which dates back to 179 AD. Despite the repeated bombings of WW2, Regensburg’s medieval buildings and charm has survived, and sustained little damage.

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