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Natural heritage

At the start of the 19th century, the Rhine's flow changed with each rising, creating and destroying islands and peninsulas, supplying humid zones and marshes. This large river took several meanderings, divided into several branches and sometimes spread over several kilometres in width. At this time, the ecosystem developed according to the whims of the river. Salmon swam upstream to spawn and the alluvial forests were created along the edge of the river. But in order to protect the villages from flooding, sanitize the marshes, ensure a better flow of the rising waters, and recover new land for farming, the River Rhine has been gradually tamed and canalised, further to significant development work. Nowadays, several nature reserves have been opened and maintain some of the last natural landscapes of the River Rhine. Don't miss them!

  • Kühkopf-Knoblochsaue nature reserve in Riedstadt.

    Covering an area of 24 square kilometres, Kühkopf-Knoblochsaue is the largest nature reserve in the State of Hesse. It is home to exceptional flora and fauna, including bush willow, reed beds and Kühkopf island, surrounded by an ancient branch of the Rhine. This nature reserve gives us a good idea of what the Rhine area looked like before its banks were developed by Man.

  • Gelderse Poort

    Located between the towns of Arnhem, Nijmegen and Emmerich am Rhein, Gelderse Poort is a nature reserve that is considered to be one of the 20 most beautiful countryside areas in the Netherlands. It is the starting point for the vast Rhine Delta.

  • Rhäzuns

    The alluvial areas between Rothenbrunnen and Reichenau constitute one of the Rhine's last natural river-side landscapes upstream from Lake Constance. One characteristic of the alluvial landscape is its constant transformation. Subject to the whims of floods and droughts, it evolves every year. Alluvial deposits are taken away or left, new islands and new meanders are formed, providing a wide variety of habitats for plants and animals.

  • River Linge

    108 kilometres in length, it is the longest river flowing solely in the Netherlands. Flowing from east to west, it runs through the Betuwe region from Doorenburg to Gorinchem. Motorized boats are not allowed on the Linge unless the "Watershap Rivierenland" (the Dutch waterways authority) issues a permit for the stretch between Geldermalsen and the Kanal van Steenenhoek.

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