Legendary, sportive and touristy: Tips and options to approach the Rhine

Some use it for water sports, some spin myths around it. Others like to visit tourist destinations along  the river. The Rhine has inspired imagination for centuries and it still offers a lot of possibilities to get into contact with it today.

Now, how long is the Rhine exactly?

Rivers usually have a defined length. Consequently, they are not able to shorten or lengthen over night. But is this really the case? 


When the Rhine extended by almost 90 kilometers

From around 1960 to 2010, schoolbooks, encyclopedias like Brockhaus and even official publications from authorities stated that the Rhine measured 1,320 kilometers from its source to its mouth. The reason behind this erroneous measurement was a transposition of digits, which must have occurred around 1960.

When the Rhine shrunk by 90 kilometers

This error was only discovered 50 years later when Bruno Kremer, a biology professor at the University of Cologne, came across different measurements during his research. He subsequently checked the sources and discovered the error. As a consequence of his discovery, the Rhine was once again measured exactly. The result is a length of 1,232.7 km – that is, if no digits were transposed again.

Die BASF Kläranlage am Verbundstandort Ludwigshafen ist eine der größten Anlagen ihrer Art weltweit. Sie wurde im Dezember 1974 in Betrieb genommen und seither kontinuierlich verbessert sowie auf den neuesten technischen Stand gebracht.In der Anlage werden jährlich fast 100 Millionen Kubikmeter Produktionsabwässer der BASF geklärt. Der Betrieb reinigt außerdem noch 20 Millionen Kubikmeter Abwässer aus den Städten Ludwigshafen und Frankenthal sowie aus der Gemeinde Bobenheim-Roxheim. Insgesamt besitzt die Kläranlage eine Kapazität, die für die Abwassermenge von circa drei Millionen Menschen ausreichen würde.