Danube: A History of Highways and Floods

Today’s lecture led by Philip Baker focused on the Danube and it’s history of its highways and floods. He talked about the paradoxical nature of the Danube as a river and its history. We learnt that the sheer multiplicity of the Danube and what it means to the different peoples of the Danube Basin. Rivers, like the Danube, are mysterious and there is no real definitive way to actually be able to completely describe it. It’s always flowing and there is no moment when one can step into the same river.

We discussed the idea of the transnational Danube, how Danube doesn’t really belong to a country in specific and how it brings the people of the basin together, yet sets them apart because of the kind of uses it has. Used as a key trade route all the way from Germany, originating from the Black Forest to Ukraine, where it opens up into the Black Sea, the Danube over centuries has been a resource with immense value and power that has been so difficult to harness.

From the building of bridges, their demolition as to prevent invaders from coming in to the sheer size of the treaty that was concluded between (then) Czechoslovakia and Hungary in 1977 to build a dam on the Danube as to harness the immense power of the wild, uncontrollable river, the Danube has seen several chapters of history unfold.

We, in the days to come, will bring the history of the Bulgarian region and their identities to you this week!

Chao for now!

Aditi