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Map showing the position of the Main in Germany

The Main ( ) is a river in Germanymarker, 524 km (329 miles) long (including White Main, 574 km (357 mi)), and it is one of the more significant tributaries of the Rhinemarker. The Main flows through the German states of Bavariamarker, Baden-W├╝rttembergmarker (forming the border with Bavaria for some distance) and Hessemarker. Its watershed competes with the Danube for water; as a result, many of its boundaries are identical with those of the European Watershedmarker.The Main begins near Kulmbachmarker at the joining of its two headstreams, the Red Mainmarker (Roter Main) and the White Mainmarker (Weisser Main). The Red Main rises in the Frankish Alb, 50 km (30 mi) in length, and runs through Creussen and Bayreuthmarker. The White Main rises in the mountains of the Fichtelgebirgemarker; it is 41 km (25 mi) long. Major tributaries of the Main are the Regnitzmarker, the Fr├Ąnkische Saalemarker, the Taubermarker, and the Niddamarker.


The Main is navigable for shipping from its mouth at the Rhine close to Mainzmarker for 396 km to Bambergmarker. Since 1992, the Main has been connected to the Danube via the Rhine-Main-Danube Canalmarker and the highly regulated Altm├╝hlmarker river. The river has been canalized with 34 large locks ( ) to allow CEMT class V ( ) vessels to navigate the total length of the river. The 16 locks in the adjacent Rhine-Main-Danube Canal and the Danube itself are of the same dimensions.

File:Frankfurter Mainbruecken.jpg|The Main in FrankfurtImage:Mainspitze fg01.JPG|Confluence into the Rhine.

Ports and municipalities

Around Frankfurt are several large inland ports. Because the river is rather narrow on many of the upper reaches, navigation with larger vessels and push convoys requires great skill.

The largest citys along the Main are Frankfurt am Mainmarker and W├╝rzburgmarker. The Main also passes the following towns and cities: Burgkunstadtmarker, Lichtenfels, Bad Staffelsteinmarker, Eltmannmarker, Ha├čfurtmarker, Schweinfurtmarker, Volkachmarker, Kitzingenmarker, Marktbreitmarker, Ochsenfurtmarker, Karlstadtmarker, Gem├╝ndenmarker, Lohrmarker, Marktheidenfeldmarker, Wertheimmarker, Miltenbergmarker, Obernburgmarker, Aschaffenburgmarker, Seligenstadtmarker, Hainburgmarker, Hanaumarker, Offenbachmarker, Hattersheimmarker, Fl├Ârsheimmarker, and R├╝sselsheimmarker.

The river has gained enormous importance as a vital part of European "Corridor VII", the inland waterway link from the North Seamarker to the Black Seamarker.


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