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The Donau (Danube) measures an impressive length of 2888 km through 10 different European countries. The main source, the Breg, rises near the Martinskapelle 1,078 metres above sea level, and 100 metres away from the Rhein/Donau watershed.
A spring is a point where groundwater flows out of the ground, and is thus where the aquifer surface meets the ground surface. Dependent upon the constancy of the water source (rainfall or snowmelt that infiltrates the earth), a spring may be ephemeral (intermittent) or perennial (continuous). When water issues from the ground it may form into a pool or flow downhill, in surface streams as is the case with the Donauquelle.
. In early German history the Donau was seen as the largest European river being called 'Danubius' in the upper reaches and 'Ister' in the lower reaches.
The question of where to find the origin of the Donau has kept scholars busy for centuries. Today this question has definitely been settled. The Donau begins in the district of Donaueschingen where the Brigach and the Breg merge, however the spring is at the Martinskapelle in Furtwangen because the longest source of the Donau is the Breg.
In 1847 the Grand Duchy of Baden's Encyclopaedia already stated that: “The Donau, Germany's biggest river, rises near the Martinskapelle in a wild and lonely area of the Black Forest. To begin with it is called Brege ... and it is not until the Brege meets the Brigach in Donaueschingen that it becomes the Donau.”
The spring furthest away from the mouth of a river is recognized as being the source. As far as the Donau is concerned the little rhyme that many children learnt at school is still correct and translates as: Brigach and Breg form the Donau. “Brigach und Breg bringen die Donau zuweg.”
My family who lives in the area and I would like to highlight this out of the way and sometimes little known area, known as being the true source of the Donau. When you visit the Donauquelle, please take your time to read the many informative signs and plaques, including the one a bit further up the street in front of the Martinskapelle.
In order to claim a find on this earthcache please provide the following:
1) Task: Using a tape measure, measure and email me the width of both the widest and narrowest point of the pool/stream in front of the mouth of the spring. You can also measure the depth at the deepest point of the pool/stream. The width and depth varies depending on the amount of recent rainfall.
2) Research: Is the water from the spring safe to drink? Why or why not? What would make it safe/unsafe to drink?
3) History: Already 2000 years ago, the source of the Donau had been sought. What Roman emperor researched the source of the Donau (See the plaque in front of the Martinskappelle).
Sende mir bitte die Antworten auf meine Fragen. Du kannst sofort loggen. Ich melde mich, wenn etwas nicht stimmt. / Please send me the answers to my questions. You can log your find right away. I will contact you if something is not right.
When visiting the Donauquelle, please drive carefully and watch for oncoming traffic as the road is very narrow.
(No hints available.)
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Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum