Birthplace of the river Danube
Directly beside the castle, crystal-clear water wells up almost unnoticed amidst the spring’s aesthetic surroundings. You have to look carefully to see the continually rising bubbles in the turquoisecoloured spring water. The source of the Danube is a karst spring, whose water rises up through strata of chalk and gravel. From the source of the Danube, the Danube stream flows underground below the so-called “Danube Temple”, that is situated on the Brigach river, to its current emergence point. Officially, the Danube only comes into existence where the Danube stream connects with the confluence of the Brigach and Breg rivers. Every child in the area knows the saying, “Brigach and Breg to the Danube give birth”. As long ago as 1499, King Maximilian came to Donaueschingen to see for himself how the Danube springs “from a hill more or less at its centre”. The whole royal retinue celebrated a memorable festival around the source of the Danube. The king’s highranking, noble guests were required to leap into the spring’s chilly water, which keeps a constant temperature of 7 or 8 degrees. Nowadays, instead, visitors to the Danube’s source make a wish: turning their backs to the source, they throw a coin with their left hand over their right shoulder. Why not give it a try as well?