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The Rhine (German: Rhein; Dutch: Rijn; French: Rhin; Romansh: Rain; Italian: Reno; Latin: Rhenus) is one of the longest and most important rivers in Europe, at 1,320 km (820 mi), with an average discharge of more than 2,000 m3/s (71,000 cu ft/s).

The name of the Rhine comes from Old High German: Rhine, which, in turn, comes from Middle High German: Rin, from the Proto-Indo-European root *reie- ("to move, flow, run").[2] The Reno River in Italy shares the same etymology.

The Rhine and the Danube formed most of the northern inland frontier of the Roman Empire and, since those days, the Rhine has been a vital, navigable waterway, and carried trade and goods deep inland. It has also served as a defensive feature and has been the basis for regional and international borders. The many castles and prehistoric fortifications along the Rhine testify to its importance as a waterway. River traffic could be stopped at these locations, usually for the purpose of collecting tolls, by the state that controlled that portion of the river.

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Additional Photos by Marque Berger (rio_de_janeiro) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 78 W: 82 N: 410] (2091)
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