IntroductionRhine (rĪn) [key], Du. Rijn, Fr. Rhin, Ger. Rhein, Lat. Rhenus, principal river of Europe, c.820 mi (1,320 km) long. It rises in the Swiss Alps and flows generally north, passing through or bordering on Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Austria, Germany, France, and the Netherlands before emptying into the North Sea. Its important tributaries are the Aare, Neckar, Main, Moselle, and Ruhr rivers; canals link the river with the Maas, Rhône-Saône, Marne, and Danube (via the Main) valleys.
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