The New Student's Reference Work/Rhine
Rhine, the most important river in Germany and one of the most noted in the world, takes its rise in Switzerland, and, after a northerly course of about 850 miles, empties into the German Ocean. The area drained by the Rhine and its feeders is estimated at nearly 100,000 square miles. It is divided into the Upper, Middle and Lower Rhine, the first being the river from its source to Basel, the second its course from Basel to Cologne and the third its course from Cologne through the Netherlands to the sea, into which it empties by mouths forming an extensive delta. Canals connect the Rhine with the Rhône, the Danube and other rivers, opening lines of communication with France and Belgium on one side and with the Netherlands and every part of Germany on the other. The delta, most of which lies below the sea, has to be protected by strong embankments or dikes, the principal ones rising 25 or 30 feet above the lowest level of the river.