Danube region -
Travel planning:

Discover the Danube – Route of Emperors and Kings

‘The Danube – Route of Emperors and Kings’ is an international working group which includes ten tourism organisations and river cruise lines. These members work to promote their common European heritage and let visitors today travel in the footsteps of Marcus Aurelius, Frederick I, the Habsburgs and many others.

To understand Europe, travel the Danube

As part of the INTERREG EU project “Transdanube Travel Stories”, a new thematic itinerary entitled “Europe on the Danube” has been created. It is one of six interconnected new narratives, with each route travelling a specific section of the Danube. “Europe on the Danube” focuses on the middle course of the river, with sites steeped in history, surprising connections and exciting attractions in eastern Austria, Slovakia, Hungary and northern Croatia, as well as glimpses of the European Capitals of Culture Novi Sad in Serbia and Timişoara in Romania.

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Charming Christmas Markets at castles and monasteries in the Danube Region

In Vienna, they were once called “Krippenmarkt”, “Budenmarkt” or “Thomasmarkt” on the Graben around 1600. There were mainly sweet baked goods for sale, but of course there was still no talk of terms like “Christmas market” or even “Christkindlmarkt”. It was probably not until the middle of the 18th century that a “St. Nicholas, Christmas and Nativity Market” was set up on the Freyung for the first time – but this one had over 100 stalls.

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When the Danube was the border: World Heritage Danube Limes

On July 30, 2021 the time had come: The Roman Limes along the Danube in Bavaria, Austria and Slovakia received the long-awaited and longed-for seal of a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  At UNESCO this is officially called: “Transnational site Danube Limes inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List”. The Limes as a former border of the Roman Empire stretched from northern England across Europe and the Middle East to North Africa.

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The Danube region

Royal journeys from Regensburg to Budapest, via Linz and Vienna

The Route of Emperors and Kings extends along the Danube from mediaeval Regensburg, through Passau, Linz, Vienna and Bratislava, to the metropolis of Budapest, linking urban cultural centres, historic treasures and world-class landscapes. This is where the history of Central Europe was written, and this history remains very much a part of life today. From Roman times onwards, kings and queens travelled on and along the Danube with their royal entourages. Over the centuries, this age-old route therefore came to be known as the ‘Route of Emperors and Kings’ – and it has lost none of its appeal to this day.

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