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Map of the course of the Main

Map of the course of the Main

Water code EN : 24
location Germany
River system Rhine
Drain over Rhine  → North Sea
source Fichtel Mountains ( White Main ), Franconian Alb ( Red Main )
Source height 887  m above sea level NN  (Weißer Main),
580  m above sea level NN (Red Main)
muzzle in Mainz-Kostheim in the Rhine at 496.63 km coordinates: 49 ° 59 '40 "  N , 8 ° 17' 36"  O 49 ° 59 '40 "  N , 8 ° 17' 36"  O
Mouth height approx.  82  m above sea level NN
Height difference approx. 805 m
Bottom slope approx. 1.5 ‰
length 527 km 
553 km main line via Regnitz 
Catchment area 27,292 km²
Discharge at the Trunstadt
A Eo gauge : 11,985 km²
Location: 378.4 km above the mouth
NNQ (July 4, 1976)
MNQ 1976–2006
MQ 1976–2006
Mq 1976–2006
MHQ 1976–2006
HHQ (Jan. 4, 2003)
15 m³ / s
40.7 m³ / s
109 m³ / s
9.1 l / (s km²)
707 m³ / s
1430 m³ / s
Discharge at the Frankfurt – Osthafen
A Eo gauge: 24,764 km²
Location: 37.6 km above the mouth
NNQ (June 29, 1976)
MNQ 1966–2006
MQ 1966–2006
Mq 1966–2006
MHQ 1966–2006
HHQ (Jan. 31, 1995)
9 m³ / s
61.4 m³ / s
193 m³ / s
7.8 l / (s km²)
971 m³ / s
2010 m³ / s
Discharge  at the mouth of the
A Eo : 27,292 km²
211 m³ / s
7.7 l / (s km²)
Left tributaries Regnitz , Tauber
Right tributaries Franconian Saale , Kinzig , Nidda
Big cities Würzburg , Offenbach am Main , Frankfurt am Main , Wiesbaden , Mainz (opposite the mouth)
Medium-sized cities Bayreuth , Kulmbach , Lichtenfels , Bamberg , Schweinfurt , Kitzingen , Wertheim , Aschaffenburg , Seligenstadt , Hanau , Maintal , Mühlheim am Main , Rüsselsheim am Main
Ports in all larger and medium-sized cities from Bamberg
Navigable 388 km from Bamberg; 393.5 km for small vehicles through the Altmain near Volkach
The Main in Frankfurt

The Main in Frankfurt

The Main is 527 kilometers flowing distance of the longest right tributary of the Rhine .

The source rivers of the Main arise in the Fichtelgebirge ( White Main ) and in the Franconian Alb ( Red Main ). On the western edge of the city of Kulmbach in the Melkendorf district near Steinenhausen Castle , the two source rivers unite to form the actual Main. The course of the river maintains its main east-west direction - which is rare in Central Europe - despite many distinctive changes in direction and touches several Franconian low mountain ranges . Large parts of the Franconian wine-growing region and numerous, partly well-preserved historical town centers are located on the Main . The Main flows through large conurbations around Würzburg and Frankfurt . Opposite the old town of Mainz - between Ginsheim-Gustavsburg and the Maaraue in Mainz-Kostheim  - it flows into the Rhine . From there (kilometer 0) upstream to above the railway bridge at Hallstadt (kilometer 387.69) is the Main ( Ma ) federal waterway .

The Main is not particularly long, but nevertheless a historically and geographically important river. In late antiquity , its lower course from Miltenberg was the outer border of the province of Upper Germany of the Roman Empire . In the 19th century, the Main Line separated the spheres of influence of the two German great powers Austria and Prussia within the German Confederation with its seat in Frankfurt directly on the Main. The Main, which actually runs within Upper Germany , is neither a dialect nor a cultural border, but according to common understanding the Main line divides Germany into a northern and southern part. In terms of traffic geography, the Rhine-Main area is the center of Germany and Europe.


Different lengths are given for the Main. The reason is that the river has different origins and thus its upper reaches. Together with the longer source river, the Red Main, this results in a flow length of 527 km, together with the larger, but shorter source river, the White Main, a length of 518 km. From the merging of these two upper reaches, the Main has a length of 472 km. The Regnitz flows about 81 km below the union , which is significantly larger there than the Main. If one looks at the waterway from the course of the Regnitz including its main upper course Rednitz and in turn its own main upper course Fränkische Rezat as a source river, the total length is 553 km. Before German reunification , the Main was sometimes named as the longest river that flowed exclusively in what was then the Federal Republic.

Catchment area of ​​the Main

The catchment area of the Main and its tributaries covers 27,292 km² and extends over most of Franconia , the north-eastern part of Baden and the north of South Hesse. In the south it borders on the catchment area of ​​the Danube (a few hundred meters south of the Weißmainquelle lies the source of the Fichtelnaab , which flows into the Black Sea via Naab and Danube ); the border between the two is part of the main European watershed .

With an average discharge of 211 m³ per second at the confluence with the Rhine to Aare (560 m³ / s), Maas (357 m³ / s) and Moselle (315 m³ / s), the Main is the fourth largest tributary of the Rhine.

The 388 km long navigable route begins near Bamberg and has been connected to the Danube via the Main-Danube Canal since 1992 . There are several large inland ports, especially in the Rhine-Main conurbation around Frankfurt .

The Main runs through the federal states of Bavaria and Hesse . In the area of ​​the cities of Freudenberg and Wertheim, Baden-Württemberg has a share of around 25 km on the left bank.

The Main hiking trail and the Main bike trail run along the Main .

See also: List of cities and towns on the Main


The name Main is of Celtic origin; the Celts called the river Moin or Mogin. When the Romans came to the area at the beginning of the 1st century AD, they Latinized the name to Moenus . The oldest evidence (as Moenis ) is provided by Pomponius Mela (shortly after 43/44 AD), later mentions can be found e.g. B. Pliny ( Naturalis historia ) or Tacitus ( Germania ). There are rivers with similar names in Ireland ( Maoin ) and Britain ( Meon, Latin maionus ). Several explanations are being considered for the origin of the name. Some authors attribute it to an Indo-European word mei meaning water (cf. Latvian maina or Lithuanian maiva: swamp ), others to a wall or fence (cf. Latin moenia: ring wall). In the Middle Ages, the river was mostly passed down as Moyn or Moyne , the name Meyn first appeared in the 14th century.

In the dialects spoken on the Main (also known as the Main River from the 17th to 19th centuries ), the river has the following names:

  • Maa in Upper Franconia,
  • Mee in eastern Lower Franconia,
  • Moa Wertheimer area, Miltenberg area, Aschaffenburg area (district)
  • Mää city ​​of Aschaffenburg
  • Maa (locally partly nasalized , partly evaporated), Seligenstadt area, Frankfurt area


River course

The Main flows from east to west through Upper Franconia , Lower Franconia and South Hesse , crossing the cities of Bayreuth (on the Red Main), Kulmbach (on the White Main), Lichtenfels , Schweinfurt , Würzburg , Aschaffenburg and Frankfurt am Main , then it flows out at the point of the Main across from Mainz in the Rhine.

While the Main flows through areas with few settlements in the Lower Franconian section, the Lower Main plain from Aschaffenburg to the confluence is determined by the large settlement areas and many traffic routes in the Rhine-Main region .

Source rivers

The Main has two source rivers, the White and the Red Main.

White main

The 41 km long White Main is the right and northern source river of the Main. It rises in the Fichtelgebirge - 20 km as the crow flies northeast of Bayreuth , northwest of Fichtelberg . Its granite source is 887  m above sea level. NN on the eastern slope of the 1024 m high Ochsenkopf . The White Main initially flows through the 679 m high Bischofsgrün , then the spa Berneck which by its Cistercian monastery known Himmelkron and finally north of Plassenburg the Bierstadt Kulmbach . Here it runs in a flood basin that was created in the 1930s to protect against flooding.

The White Main owes its name to the light granite rock of its source area, which makes its water appear whitish.

Red Main

The 72 km long Rote Main is the left and southern source river of the Main. It rises in the Franconian Alb - 10 km south of Bayreuth , 5 km west of Creußen . Its unmounted source (wooden pipe) is located in the Lindenhardt Forest just under 2 km northwest of Hörlasreuth . The river carries sediment with it from the loamy bottom of its catchment area, which gives it a reddish color and determines its name.

Hörlasreuth is the first village that the Rote Main touches, the small town of Creußen the first larger town. The Rote Main flows further north to Bayreuth and then in numerous meanders northwest through a wide valley.

The two source rivers unite on the western outskirts of Kulmbach near Steinenhausen Castle . At this point, the river section known as the Main begins ( 50 ° 5 ′ 12.9 ″  N , 11 ° 23 ′ 52.2 ″  E ). This is where the upstream counting of river kilometers ends.

Confluence of the White (↘) and Red Main (↙)

The Obermain

Basilica Vierzehnheiligen high above the main valley
Mainaue near Oberau

The area from the source rivers to the height of Bamberg is known as the Obermainland . From the confluence of the two source rivers in Kulmbach at Steinenhausen Castle, the young Main flows westward through a wide valley on the northern edge of the Franconian Alb. After the two medium-sized towns of Bayreuth and Kulmbach on its source rivers, it now touches the first two of the numerous small towns on its banks with a well-preserved historical townscape, these are the Burgkunstadt , which emerged from a Carolingian castle, and Lichtenfels (town hall 1740 by Heinrich Dientzenhofer, city palace, parish church, Gate towers).

The Wei s main flows into Burgkunstadt as a left tributary , not to be confused with the White Main, which is also known as the Wei ß main.

Between Lichtenfels and the small town of Bad Staffelstein, the Main flows through a culturally rich, wide valley area. Here on a hill above the left bank stands one of the most important buildings of the German baroque , the pilgrimage church Vierzehnheiligen , built according to plans by Balthasar Neumann . (Downstream there are other buildings by Neumann, especially in and around Würzburg.) The opposite bank is dominated by the baroque buildings of the Benedictine monastery Banz, founded in the 11th century .

Bad Staffelstein and the Main Valley, view from the Staffelberg

Above Bad Staffelstein with its historic townscape and a large half-timbered town hall from the 17th century, there is the 540 m high Staffelberg , whose rocky summit plateau has been inhabited since the Stone Age. There, in the 2nd century BC. Celtic city Menosgada , mentioned by the Greek geographer Claudius Ptolemy , is believed to have been around 30 BC. Was abandoned.

Tributary of the Regnitz

From now on, in a southerly direction, the Main runs through a floodplain landscape in numerous loops , takes on the Itz from the right at Breitengüßbach and after a few kilometers reaches the north-western city limits of Bamberg . There, the Regnitz , by far the largest tributary, flows to it, whose north-westerly direction of flow is now taken up by the Main.

Up to Bamberg, the Main is a popular river for water hiking . For this reason, the world's first folding boat lift was built at the weir in Hausen in 1934 .

After the foundation of the Bamberg diocese in 1007, the Main between Hallstadt and Michelau was the border with the Würzburg diocese for around 800 years .

The Main-Danube Canal , completed in 1992, begins in Bamberg , via which the industrial region around Nuremberg has been connected to the German inland waterway network since 1972 . Its mileage starts at the confluence of the Regnitz in the Main (Main-km 384.07) near Bischberg . Bamberg's port, which opened in 1962, is located about 2 km above the mouth of the Regnitz on the north bank. The Ludwig-Danube-Main Canal between Bamberg am Main and Kelheim an der Donau was opened as early as 1846 . Damaged in World War II, the canal was abandoned in 1950.

Below Bamberg, the now navigable Main flows unusually straight for around 20 km, swiveling in a westerly direction to Schweinfurt. It separates the Haßberge on the right from the Steigerwald on the left. There are also small towns with well-preserved historical centers such as the castle town of Eltmann , Zeil with its half-timbered market square or Haßfurt with the Gothic knight's chapel and the Mariaburghausen monastery on the shore. In Limbach and Zeil there are known sanctuaries. Just before Schweinfurt, the mighty Mainberg Castle rises above vineyards . In Schweinfurt the Main reaches the Maindreieck , the first - before the Mainviereck - of two geometric sections of the river in Lower Franconia that are striking in the landscape .

Main triangle

The Main Triangle and the Main Loop near Volkach
Schweinfurt with the river Main and the skyline at night

The two legs of the Main triangle are spanned by the Main between the cities of Schweinfurt and Marktbreit and the nearby Ochsenfurt and Gemünden , on the map they form a truncated triangle open to the north. In the early Middle Ages this landscape was the east of the Waldsassengau .

A large part of the cultivation area of ​​the Franconian wine-growing region is located on the Maindreieck and its surroundings . It begins with the former Free Imperial City of Schweinfurt, the center of the European rolling bearing industry . Schweinfurt's art treasures include the Old Town Hall (1572), one of the most beautiful buildings of the South German Renaissance , the St. John's Church and the Georg Schäfer Museum with the world's largest collection of paintings by Carl Spitzweg . A few kilometers south of Schweinfurt on the left bank of the Main is the Grafenrheinfeld nuclear power plant , which was shut down in 2015, and whose two 143 m high cooling towers dominate the landscape.

The Volkacher Mainschleife,
on the horizon the Steigerwald
Old Main Bridge Ochsenfurt , partially destroyed in 1945
Old Main Bridge and Marienberg Fortress in Würzburg

After about 20 km on the southward leg, the river settles into the Mainschleife , at the apex of which lies the town of Volkach , known for its viticulture and the pilgrimage church of Maria im Weingarten . The Main runs around a mountain spur in a wide arc with the Vogelsburg at the top, from where shipping traffic on the river could once be controlled. The southern part of the Main loop is cut off for shipping as far as Gerlachshausen because of the narrow bends in the river near Escherndorf by the Gerlachshausen lock and power station canal ( Main Canal ). The 6 km long and 30 m wide, deeply cut canal was built between 1950 and 1957 as part of the "emergency measure of value-creating unemployment welfare". This created the so-called wine island with the wine villages of Nordheim and Sommerach and the Volkach district of Hallburg . The Volkacher Mainschleife is designated as a geotope and landscape protection area by the Bavarian State Office for the Environment .

About 10 km downstream on the left bank is the Münsterschwarzach abbey, inhabited by Benedictine monks, with a monumental church. Shortly afterwards, the small wine town of Dettelbach with city fortifications and medieval appearance follows . Kitzingen , further south on the eastern flank of the Main Triangle, used to have an important wine trade and is still an important center for this branch of industry today with the Franconian regional winegrowers' cooperative. In Kitzingen there is one of the few remaining medieval Main bridges , as well as four other bridges , dating from the 13th century. The silhouette of the old town on the Main Main is dominated by seven towers from different eras, of which the Falterturm is the most famous. In the Etwashausen district on the opposite side of the river is the important Kreuzkapelle by Balthasar Neumann .

To the south of Kitzingen follow the important wine town Sulzfeld (right bank) with its completely preserved fortifications and the small town Marktsteft (left bank).

At the Mainspitze on the left bank are the towns of Marktbreit (Renaissance town hall, baroque wine trading houses) and Ochsenfurt (Gothic town hall and partly preserved Main Bridge from 1519). The village of Segnitz across from Marktbreit is the westernmost testimony of the Main Slavs on the Main, but not the westernmost once Slavic settlement in southern Germany.

Winterhausen , Sommerhausen , Eibelstadt and Randersacker follow on the western side of the Main Triangle . Würzburg , the second largest city in Franconia , then stretches on both sides of the river . In the old town, which was badly damaged in the Second World War, important buildings such as the Romanesque cathedral or the Marienberg fortress have been preserved or restored. The baroque residence and the summer residence of the Würzburg prince-bishops with a rococo garden in neighboring Veitshöchheim are works by Balthasar Neumann.

The western side of the Main Triangle is otherwise less densely populated; To the north-west of Würzburg there are only the small towns of Karlstadt and Gemünden in larger settlements , where the main triangle merges into the Mainviereck when the river turns south.

Main square

The corner points of this square, which is open to the north, are successively the cities of Gemünden , Wertheim , Miltenberg and Aschaffenburg. In this section, the Main flows around the southern part of the Spessart for about 100 km .

In Gemünden flows from the northeast of the largest right tributary of the River Main, the Franconian Saale , and in Lohr 's largest river from the Spessart, the Lohr . From here, the main valley, which now runs south, becomes narrower, densely wooded and sparsely populated.

Church in Grubingen on the map of Spessart by Paul Pfinzing (1594)

Eight kilometers south of Lohr is Neustadt am Main on the right with a 1250 year old former Benedictine monastery. It was from him and from Würzburg that Eastern Franconia was Christianized in the 8th century. A pedestrian bridge connects Neustadt with its district Erlach, a former shipping settlement. Rothenfels at the foot of the Romanesque castle of the same name is the smallest town in Bavaria with around 1000 inhabitants. Only at the southeast corner of the Mainviereck follow two small towns again: Marktheidenfeld and Wertheim. Immediately above Wertheim, the Main forms a long loop, the Uphar Main Loop . There it flows around a five-kilometer spur running south, the so-called Kingdom of Heaven , which is only 400 m wide at its narrowest point.


In Wertheim, with its medieval townscape and castle ruins , the Tauber flows into the Main from the south . From Wertheim the Main flows in meanders to the west, separating the states of Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria. Wertheim on the left bank of the Main was in Baden and is now part of Baden-Württemberg, while Kreuzwertheim , on the right- hand side of the Main and much older, is Bavarian.

Johannisburg Castle, Aschaffenburg

The landscape now resembles that on the eastern side of the square. In the winding, wooded valley that borders the Spessart in the south, lie the two towns of Stadtprozelten and Freudenberg , towered over by castles , as well as the oldest settlement in the area, Dorfprozelten .

The southwest corner of the Mainviereck marks the half-timbered town of Miltenberg at the mouth of the Mud . Many medieval churches, for example in Frankfurt or Mainz, were built from Miltenberg red sandstone that was shipped from the quarries to the construction sites.

The Alemannic settlement of Grubingen , which disappeared in the 17th century and whose St. Michaelis church stood on the banks of the Main until 1778, was located in the valley between the Odenwald and Spessart, which was now facing north again . Other small towns with well-preserved town centers follow, such as Klingenberg and Obernburg . The settlement density along the Main is now increasing significantly.

In Aschaffenburg you have reached the Rhine-Main conurbation , the second largest German metropolitan region . The landmark of the former Electoral Mainz residence city, the renaissance castle Johannisburg , lies to the right above the bank of an arc of the Main extending far to the east; a little below the I. King Ludwig built Pompejanum .

The Lower Main

The districts of Miltenberg and Aschaffenburg and the district-free city of Aschaffenburg are called Bavarian Lower Main . This area therefore overlaps with the Main Square.

Ice drift on the Main near Seligenstadt

From Seligenstadt to the estuary, i.e. in the entire Hessian section, the Main flows through a densely built-up urban landscape . Only a few can be found over several kilometers of undeveloped banks.

On the left of the now freely meandering river course, which gradually swings to the northwest, is the town of Seligenstadt , which goes back to a Roman fort, with the Carolingian Einhard basilica and a Hohenstaufen palace . Opposite is Karlstein, which belongs to Bavaria .

On the right bank, in Karlstein , the first nuclear power plant in Germany was built in 1961 . The experimental reactor was shut down in 1985 and dismantled by the end of 2008. In Kahl , the lowest municipality in Bavaria, the river of the same name flows out at 103  m above sea level. NN from the right into the Main.

Main riverbank in Großauheim

The first Hessian community on the right bank of the Main is Großkrotzenburg with the Staudinger power plant that can be seen from afar . Hainburg is on the opposite bank . A modern road bridge, the Limes Bridge, connects both banks below the power station .

On the right bank follows Großauheim , today a district of the industrial city of Hanau, which has almost 100,000 inhabitants . Left Main districts are Klein-Auheim and Steinheim , opposite the Hanauer Mainhafen, one of the largest inland ports on the Main.

Friedenskirche, Hanau

The historical core of the former residential and garrison town lies on the right bank. It was almost completely destroyed in several air raids in 1945 . The historic Main Canal led to the Neustadt Hanau . The section closest to the river is still used by the Aschaffenburg Waterways and Shipping Office as a service port . Between the new town of Hanau and the baroque Philippsruhe Palace in Kesselstadt , the Philippsruher Allee runs parallel to the river and is also a main dam that was built in the middle of the 18th century. The avenue is interrupted by the mouth of the Kinzig , which flows around almost the entire old town of Hanau in a wide arc.

A total of three bridges span the Main in the area of ​​the city of Hanau.

The Main near Offenbach with the harbor in the foreground and the skyline of Frankfurt above

West of Hanau follow Maintal on the right bank of the Main, first Dietesheim, a district of Mühlheim am Main, on the left bank of the Main, and then the core town of Mühlheim am Main. The Dietesheim basalt quarries, a nature reserve with the two connected lakes called Vogelsberger See and Oberwald, are known nationwide in Mühlheim. The lakes were created in the course of the renaturation after the completion of the basalt mining and offer idyllic perspectives from the up to 12 meter high cliffs of the lake. The Mühlheim Main Lock is located on the banks of the Main near Mühlheim near Dietesheim. In addition, the Mühlheim Main ferry runs between Mühlheim am Main and the Maintaler district of Dörnigheim . From Hanau the Main flows to the west and shortly afterwards reaches the S-shaped Main bend between Maintal and Frankfurt on the right and Offenbach on the left. There are the Offenbacher districts Rumpenheim with the Rumpenheimer Schloss and Bürgel on the southern bank . In between lies the Schultheis-Weiher nature reserve in the floodplain . A car ferry connects the Offenbach district of Rumpenheim with the Maintaler Ufer near Maintal-Bischofsheim.

The center of the industrial and leather goods town of Offenbach am Main, with a population of 120,000, is located on the left bank of the bank of the connecting loop . The most striking building on the Offenbach Main Front is the Isenburg Castle .

Edged by the noose is the Frankfurt district of Fechenheim opposite . There the Main enters one of the largest contiguous industrial areas in Germany, it extends from the Frankfurt district of Bergen-Enkheim via Fechenheim and the Ostend to the southern Main side to Offenbach. There are three Main ports in it: the Offenbach port , the Frankfurt Oberhafen and the Osthafen , with a total of five large port basins . In the course of the structural change in recent years, some of the port facilities have been shut down. A beach club has been set up on the mole of Offenbach harbor.

Just below the Offenbach barrage on the left bank is the Frankfurter Gerbermühle , a popular excursion destination. There, in September 1815, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Marianne von Willemer met for a tête-à-tête .

The following section of the river in downtown Frankfurt offers a metropolitan scene between the Deutschherrnbrücke and the Main-Neckar-Brücke, which, with its promenades, is in line with the Rhine fronts of Cologne and Düsseldorf , the Dresden Terrassenufer or the Inner Alster in Hamburg .

Nidda estuary in Höchst

Nine bridges span the river for a good four kilometers, and two lines of the Frankfurt S-Bahn and U-Bahn cross under it in the only two main tunnels. When approaching from the east, the well-known picture emerges with the towers of the Imperial Cathedral and the old town churches in the front and the high-rise buildings of the skyline in the background. On the right bank is the old town , on the left the Sachsenhausen district with the museum bank . At the height of the historic Old Bridge there is an island in the Main; The Eiserne Steg crosses it between the Saalhof am Römerberg and the Sachsenhausen Dreikönigskirche . Shortly before the end of the inner city section, on the right-hand side, is the basin of the disused West Harbor in Frankfurt , which is now used as a marina ; A new residential and commercial area was created on the former port area.

A few kilometers after the city center, at the mouth of the Nidda , the old town of Höchst , which today belongs to Frankfurt, is elevated above the right bank of the Main. The renaissance tower of the archbishop's castle , the Justinuskirche and the preserved part of the city fortifications are visible there. Immediately west of the Höchst old town is the four-square-kilometer Höchst industrial park , the former main plant of the Hoechst AG chemical company , where the Trimodalport is located , a commercial port with container handling and a rail connection. The Sindlingen district appears on the right-hand side , after a left curve the town of Kelsterbach follows on the left .

Main riverbank in Frankfurt-Höchst, with the castle tower, city wall, Justinuskirche , ferry terminal and ferry , the hotel ship at the mouth of the Nidda and above the Bolongaropalast
Lower Main in the early Middle Ages with a southern branch (Horlache)
Milestone zero at the mouth of the Main on the Maaraue in Mainz-Kostheim

At the wide Kelsterbacher Bogen on the left there is an oil port (used, among other things, for Frankfurt Airport ) and landing stages for goods ships. Hattersheim - Okriftel with a small ferry pier (Okriftel-Kelsterbach, people and bicycles, summer operation; possibility of launching boats), the former Phrix factory (part of the route of industrial culture Rhein-Main ), as well as lies a little higher above the right bank a gravel and sand loading point. The half-timbered town of Eddersheim below the barrage of the same name is also slightly elevated on the right bank.

After crossing under the A 3 and the new Frankfurt-Cologne route, you will find an oil port of Shell Oil GmbH on the left. The banks, which are now more rural on both sides, are covered with trees; some sandy sections are used for swimming. In Raunheim which runs on the left bank B43 . The former Raunheim barrage is the quarters of the Untermain yacht club with harbor and jetties.

In the literature there are references to an old Main arm, which separated from the main arm between Raunheim and Rüsselsheim am Main, flowed along the Rüsselsheim districts of Haßloch and Königstädten and finally, united with the former Neckar , flowed into the Rhine at Ginsheim. The Horlachgraben, east and south of Haßloch, still gives an idea of ​​this today.

To the right of the Main is the town of Flörsheim with the jetty and boathouse of the rowing club, a port for gravel handling and the port of the Shell tank farm, to the left of the Main is the spacious town of Rüsselsheim am Main with the main factory of Adam Opel AG .

The mouth of the Main

Shortly before the estuary, near Hochheim , vineyards stretch to the right bank; these well-known Hochheimer vineyards are already part of the Rheingau wine-growing region .

Downstream of Hochheim and the opposite community of Bischofsheim , the Hochheimer Bridge as part of the Mainz motorway ring and the Hochheim railway bridge cross the Main.

The last places on the Main are Kostheim on the right and Gustavsburg on the left bank, both together with Bischofsheim were districts of Mainz on the right bank of the Rhine , which in 1945 were separated from the city of Mainz by an Allied zone border . Since then Kostheim has been a district of Wiesbaden and Gustavsburg belongs to the city of Ginsheim-Gustavsburg . The Kostheim barrage is the last barrage on the Main at Gustavsburg .

The confluence with the Rhine, called Mainspitze , is opposite the Mainz Citadel , another former estuary became the Kostheimer Floßhafen , which, together with the Main and the Rhine, includes the Maaraue island .


The longest tributaries of the Main are the Franconian Saale (right, 125 km), the Tauber (left, 114 km), the Nidda (right, 90 km), the Kinzig (right, 86 km) and the Regnitz (left, 59 km) ).

Together with its source river Pegnitz , the Regnitz is 162 km long and thus the longest tributary. In addition, the Regnitz carries significantly more water (56.6 m³ / s) than the Main (44.7 m³ / s) at its mouth, so that hydrographically it can even be considered the main river of the Main system. By far the largest city on a tributary of the Main, Nuremberg, is also located on the Pegnitz .

Graphic of the source and tributaries over 40 km in length (each with source rivers)

List of source and tributaries

The tributaries of the Main with a length of more than 20 km are listed below.
(For a better overview and for sorting downstream, hyphens are inserted in the GKZ numbers after the 24 - Main !) :

Surname location Length
[m³ / s]
Mouth height
[m. ü. NN]
Mouth section GKZ
White main right 051.7 0636.50 09.2 472.0 293 Kulmbach - Melkendorf QF 24
Red Main Left 055.1 500.40 04.9 472.0 293 Kulmbach-Melkendorf QF 24-12
Rodach right 053.0 1009.90 13.4 440.1 269 Marketers OM 24-14
Itz right 065.1 1029.00 09.7 395.7 238 Baunach OM 24-16
Baunach right 053.9 426.20 02.4 394.4 236 Baunach OM 24-18
(with Ellernbach )
Left 022.3 116.18 00.9 390.0 234 Hallstadt OM 24-192
(with Rednitz )
Left 162.1 7523.30 56.6 384.1 232 Bamberg / Bischberg OM 24-2
(with Höllschwärzgraben )
right 023.9 140.50 00.9 354.4 216 Hassfurt OM 24-32
Unkenbach Left 025.7 110.90 321.3 200 Röthlein- Hirschfeld MD 24-334
(with Aubach )
Left 026.6 127.80 00.7 W 310.8 191 Volkach MD 24-336
Schwarzach Left 021.4 179.10 01.0 299.1 188 Schwarzach am Main MD 24-34
Pleichach right 032.4 128.50 00.4 252.4 167 Wurzburg MD 24-376
Wern right 063.5 601.70 02.6 215.6 153 Gemünden am Main - Wernfeld MD 24-38
Franconian Saale right 140.0 2764.80 24.2 211.1 153 Gemünden am Main MV 24-4
(with Lohrbach )
right 023.2 235.50 03.2 198.2 148 Lohr am Main MV 24-52
Hafenlohr right 024.8 147.40 01.7 182.3 143 Hafenlohr MV 24-56
(with Franzosengraben )
Left 026.1 140.40 00.5 165.5 139 Wertheim- Bettingen MV 24-58
Deaf Left 130.6 1809.50 09.8 156.5 136 Wertheim MV 24-6
Req Left 038.3 254.70 01.9 125.9 125 Burgstadt MV 24-712
Mud Left 023.8 402.10 03.4 123.3 125 Miltenberg MV 24-72
Mümling Left 049.7 377.40 04.0 105.7 117 Obernburg am Main MV 24-74
(with Kaltenbach )
right 024.7 156.50 01.3 104.1 116 Elsenfeld MV 24-752
(with Kleinaschaff )
right 021.5 167.90 01.5 84.1 Aschaffenburg AROUND 24-754
(with Mergbach )
Left 062.2 513.00 03.5 77.1 105 Kleinostheim AROUND 24-76
Bald right 032.4 198.40 02.0 66.8 101 Bald on the Main AROUND 24-772
Tiny right 086.0 1058.30 10.8 55.5 099 Hanau AROUND 24-78
Rodau Left 027.6 163.90 00.6 49.9 Mühlheim am Main AROUND 24-792
Nidda right 089.7 1942.40 13.1 24.9 088 Frankfurt- Höchst AROUND 24-8
(with Reichenbach )
right 020.9 37.50 00.3 24.1 088 Frankfurt-Höchst AROUND 24-92
(with Dattenbach )
right 031.4 134.80 01.1 Hattersheim AROUND 24-96
Wickerbach right 023.8 64.90 00.4 8.1 083 Flörsheim am Main AROUND 24-98
  1. The abbreviations in the section column mean: QF = source flow, OM = Obermain, MD = Maindreieck, MV = Mainviereck, UM = Untermain.
  2. ↑ Following a guide, the Volkach flows into a culvert under the left Main Canal from Volkach to Schwarzach, which is used by shipping, into the natural right arm of the Main.

Geomorphology and hydrology


One of the numerous meanders of the Main, the Main arc between Offenbach and Fechenheim

The oldest proven forerunner of the Main already existed in the early Oligocene around 35 million years ago. At that time, however, like today's Main, it only flowed from east to west as far as Bamberg, from then onwards in today's Regnitz / Rednitz Valley to the south and flowed into the sea, a remnant of the Tethys, which was spreading in the foothills of the Alps at that time near Augsburg . About 14.7 million years ago, the Urmain was dammed up north of Treuchtlingen by debris from a meteorite impact ( Nördlinger Ries ) to form a huge lake, which later drained again.

Towards the end of the Tertiary about 2.6 million years ago, the main area was drained by several rivers south to the Danube . Only with the formation of the Upper Rhine Graben did the watershed shift to the southeast. Accordingly, the most westerly of these Danube tributaries initially reversed its direction of flow to the west towards the Lower Main, later something similar happened on the eastern Mainviereck and the Main Triangle, both witnesses of the old Danube-facing directions of flow. Today's Upper Main broke through the Haßfurt Keuperstufe in the Danube / Günz interglacial period and from then on also flowed west.

At the beginning of the Pleistocene , the Main's river system largely corresponded to its current state. Since then, today's valley shapes have been able to develop. The Main cut itself by more than 100 m in a relatively short time. The alternation between warm and cold periods initially resulted in relatively wide and flat valleys, which were later cut narrower and deeper. In the cold periods, large amounts of rubble were deposited due to frost weathering, which were cleared out again in the warm periods. As a result of the multiple changes in climate and water flow, several terraced steps usually formed in the valleys .

The phenomenon of the valley filling can be observed within these terrace steps . Towards the end of the Old Pleistocene , the Main filled its valley with up to 60 m thick sediments. The cause has not yet been clearly clarified. The phase of this accumulation lasted over several cold-warm changes and towards the end of the Middle Pleistocene (probably Cromer III) the Main began to erode again until it reached its current valley level.

Characteristic of the Main are the meanders in the valley that formed where the Main flows through shell limestone and red sandstone . There were several meander breakthroughs and the formation of so-called circulating mountains, e.g. B. the Romberg in Sendelbach, the Achtelsberg between Hafenlohr and Windheim, the Rainberg in Kreuzwertheim and the Grohberg near Faulbach. The Main Loop from Volkach and the Main Loop near Urphar / Kreuzwertheim, the so-called "Kingdom of Heaven". is an example of a not yet completely broken meander.

The Upper Main flows through the cultural landscapes named after it , the Upper Mainland and its core, the Upper Main Hill Country

Water flow

The mean water flow of the Main is 112 m³ / s in Schweinfurt, 120 m³ / s in Würzburg, 155 m³ / s in Aschaffenburg, 200 m³ / s in Frankfurt and approx. 211 m³ / s at the confluence with the Rhine. The water flow is subject to strong fluctuations over the course of the year. The highest discharges are usually achieved in spring, between January and March, and the lowest towards the end of the summer half-year.

From the 1970s until 2000, the so-called Danube-Main crossing was built in Bavaria . The low water flow of the Regnitz is increased by up to 15 m³ / s by channeling water from the Altmühl and over the Main-Danube Canal into the catchment area of ​​the Main. About 150 million m³ of water per year reach the arid Franconia and the Main via the Franconian Lake District. The transition is the largest water management project in the Free State of Bavaria. It was passed unanimously in the Bavarian state parliament in 1970, but environmental concerns are expressed by critics. The transfer of considerable amounts of water over the European watershed from the catchment area of ​​the Danube to that of the Rhine means for them an impermissible interference in the natural water balance. The proponents of the project argue, however, that the project improves the ecology of the Main system (by improving the water quality in the summer months), while in the Altmühltal and on the Danube the danger of summer floods is reduced.


Flood January 2011, Karlstadt

Main floods occur almost exclusively in the winter half-year, often after a period of precipitation in connection with the snowmelt. Particularly high damage was always recorded when the flood was accompanied by ice drift, e.g. B. 1306, 1784 and 1882. Over the centuries, numerous floods of the Main have been documented, which caused great damage or claimed human lives. The Main bridges in Würzburg and Frankfurt were destroyed several times by floods.

High water marks at the city gate of Sulzfeld am Main
Flood in Frankfurt-Höchst, January 2011

There are no contemporary documents about flood events from the Middle Ages , only reports in chronicles from the 16th or 17th centuries. There is no written evidence of the floods of the years 855, 874, 879, 880 and 1174 listed by Lersner. The first documents that allow indirect conclusions about flood damage date from the 13th century in the form of imperial privileges. So granted on May 10, 1235 King Henry VII. Half of the proceeds of the local coin the people of Frankfurt, in perpetuity for the restoration and preservation of the Main Bridge to use and required to wood the imperial forest can be seen. Due to the great importance of the Frankfurt Main Bridge for traffic, the oldest reports repeatedly contain references to flood damage, e. B. 1192, 1235 and 1306: Anno domini because one counts after the purt of Our Lord Jesus Christ thousand three hundred and six jars, on our women candlestick evening (February 1st) , the Main of Eys is known to Frankfurt and is so large that it the two towers, and the majority of the bridges, pushed away, to which a great people of men and women stood on the bridges with five hundred people who died toes.

Information about the most important floods in Würzburg has been available in Würzburg since the 14th century . The course of damage from a flood can be very different along the Main. For example, the water level at the Würzburg gauge during the January flood in 2003 was around 30 cm higher than in January 1995, while it was exactly the opposite in Frankfurt. The following statements refer to the Frankfurt gauge. With mean water, the water level at the Frankfurt am Main gauge is 177 cm, based on the zero point at the Frankfurt Osthafen (+90.64 m above sea level). If the water level reaches or exceeds 300 cm (high water mark I), shipping is restricted; from 370 cm, the highest shipping water level (HSW) - high water mark II, shipping is no longer possible. This applies to the route from the port of Aschaffenburg to the Griesheim barrage, for which Frankfurt is the reference level. Then the first erosion occurs. Such floods occur on average about every three years.

The water levels in Frankfurt have been measured regularly since 1826, initially by the Physikalischer Verein , and since 1845 by the city survey office. In the 19th century, floods occurred in 40 years, including twice in several years and even three times in 1845.

The highest water levels:

19th century

  • March 31, 1845: approx. 640 cm
  • February 21, 1876: 620 cm
  • November 27, 1882: 633 cm
  • December 31, 1882: 570 cm

20th century

  • February 1909: 596 cm
  • January 16, 1920: 618 cm
  • February 27, 1970: 540 cm
  • January 30, 1995: 547 cm

The highs in the 21st century were in January 2003 (519 cm) and January 2011 (485 cm). Overall, the protection against smaller floods has been improved since the Main's dam regulation and the associated deepening of the river.

Much larger flood levels have been handed down from earlier centuries. The worst flood ever recorded occurred in July 1342, the so-called Magdalene flood . At that time the water in the Weißfrauenkirche was seven shoes high, that is about 2 m. This corresponds to a water level of around 785 cm at the gauge that has never been reached. The flood of January 17, 1682 was about 690 cm one of the largest and at the same time the first, about which a printed eyewitness report is available. Thus, Frankfurt's Old Town was the Fahrtor to new Kräme flooded, Römerberg , Big Hirschgraben , tramline and many other streets with the boat passable and the water stood in several churches. The flood in 1784 lasted from January 27 to March 4, 1784. With a height of approx. 659 cm, it is also one of the largest flood events and is also extensively documented in contemporary reports. In contrast to previous descriptions, the flood is no longer portrayed as a judgment of God, but the course is described factually, as well as the protective measures taken by the Frankfurt Council and the relief measures for the flood victims in need.

Ice drift

Ice on the Main near Karlburg on February 5, 2006. The break line of the
icebreaker can be clearly seen

Until the end of the 19th century, the Main froze over every other year for its entire course, at the earliest in November (1513 on November 13) and at the latest in January. The ice generally broke between the end of January and the end of March (latest date: March 25, 1845). The ice drift often caused devastating damage to bridges and banks.

The longest glaciation in 1768 lasted 79 days (from January 3rd to March 22nd). Thus, the river was almost always cleared of ice at Easter , as described by Johann Wolfgang Goethe in the Easter walk ( Faust. The first part of the tragedy. In front of the gate ).

In the 20th century, the heating up by power plants and industrial plants, combined with the dam regulation, led to the fact that a closed ice cover formed less and less on the river, even in severe winters. In Frankfurt the Main froze for the last time in the winter of 1962/1963. On the upper reaches, particularly in the severe winters of 1984/1985 and 1995/1996, there was still heavy icing, so that shipping had to be stopped. Most recently, in January 2002, January and February 2006 and in January 2009, after long periods of cold weather, shipping was obstructed due to ice drift.

nature and environment

Water quality

Up until the 20th century, the Main was one of the rivers rich in fish in Central Europe. With increasing industrialization and population growth, the water quality deteriorated increasingly. The construction of the Niederrad wastewater treatment plant in Frankfurt, Germany's first wastewater treatment plant to go into operation in 1887 , as well as numerous other municipal and industrial wastewater treatment plants, did not change anything.

After the Second World War, the bathing establishments had to be gradually closed. Fish mortality has increased since the 1960s and in the 1970s the water quality of the Lower Main was in water quality class III-IV or IV (poor condition). The peak of the pollution of the Lower Main was reached in the particularly hot summer of 1976. At the time, an experiment carried out by Frankfurt students caused a considerable stir. The project group placed goldfish in water samples that had been taken from the river at various points in the Frankfurt city area. One of the goldfish, whose aquarium had been filled with water from a place below the Höchst plant, did not survive the experiment.

The expansion and new construction of municipal and industrial sewage treatment plants as well as process improvements in industry ensured that the water quality gradually improved again. According to the current report on the biological water quality of the flowing waters in Hesse , the water quality of the Main corresponded to quality class II (good condition) in the entire Hessian section in 2010 . The remaining water pollution is to a large extent due to surface runoff, e.g. B. after heavy rainfall, or due to pollution from agriculture and difficult to reduce further.

Nevertheless, it is still not recommended to bathe in the river Main, as microbial contamination cannot be ruled out. According to the recommendations of the HMUKLV , rivers are generally unsuitable as bathing water. In 2004 it was discussed to temporarily improve the water quality on the river section between the barrages Offenbach and Griesheim by introducing several 100,000 m³ of drinking water so that the swimming competition of the Ironman Germany triathlon can be held in the Main, instead of in the Langener Waldsee as before . However, the plans were controversial in public and have not yet been implemented.

Flora and fauna


In the 19th century, the Main was one of the most biodiverse bodies of water in Germany. Fishing guilds existed in many places since the Middle Ages, in Frankfurt am Main z. B. since the year 945. The river regulation, combined with the water structure changes required by shipping (e.g. bank reinforcements), together with the already mentioned water pollution, led to a drastic decline in fish species, on the Untermain for example from around 30 to 35 four. Commercial fishing came to a standstill. In the meantime, most of the originally native species have returned, but the populations of many species cannot sustain themselves, but only through targeted stocking with young fish.


In terms of fish ecology, the largest part of the Main belongs to the bream region or the barbel region . Among the species observed include eel , barbel , bream , chub , perch , bream , hazel , pike , carp , nose , asp , roach , rudd , tench , bleak , catfish and perch . Salmon and sturgeon in particular have not yet returned home . The aim of the Salmon 2020 project is to restore living conditions for salmon in the Rhine river system by 2020. By activating denatured floodplains and improving the water structure, e.g. B. Connection of oxbow lakes and protection of gravel stretches, suitable spawning grounds are set up. In the catchment area of ​​the Main, some tributaries come into question that were previously home to salmon, e.g. B. Rodach and Kinzig.

Since the opening of the Main-Danube Canal in 1992 about 20 species from the Danube region have migrated into the Main, including stone moroko ( Pseudorasbora parva ), Marbled goby ( Proterorhinus marmoratus ), asp ( Aspius aspius ) Pickerel ( Vimba vimba ) and Zobel ( Abramis sapa ).

The floodplains of the Upper Main are a habitat for rare animals such as kingfisher , little ringed plover , bluethroat , marsh harrier and demoiselle . Attempts are made to protect the nationally important deposits by renaturing the river, connecting former gravel pits and other measures.

According to the European Fauna-Flora-Habitat Directive of 1992, the federal states are obliged to report areas for the protection of certain habitat types and habitats of endangered animal and plant species to Brussels . Selected areas from the national proposals are then to form the Europe-wide system of protected areas Natura 2000 together with the bird protection areas registered in accordance with the EU Bird Protection Directive . As part of this project, the state of Bavaria also reported various areas on the Main, e.g. in Upper Franconia. B. the Mainaue and limestone slopes between Kauerndorf and Trebgast, the Main Valley from Theisau to Lichtenfels and from Staffelstein to Hallstadt and the Mainaue between Eltmann and Haßfurt. Main meadows were also reported in the administrative district of Lower Franconia, but also z. B. Dry slopes on the Kallmuth and the vineyards of the Maindreieck.




Excerpt from the Main route map from 1593 with grained ships

The Celts and Germanic Cimbri already used the Main as a waterway. In the course of the expansion of the Roman Empire under Augustus and Tiberius , the Main was next to the Lippe in northwest Germany one of the two main routes of incursion into free Germania . The establishment of the Roman Mainz opposite the confluence of the Main into the Rhine was largely due to its strategic location in relation to the two rivers. In the Roman settlement of Nida on the small tributary Nidda , a boat harbor was discovered during excavations. In this way, goods could be transported via the Nidda and Main between the civitas taunensium on the right bank of the Rhine and the Roman Mainz.

In the lower reaches of the Main, the Main ran through imperial territory since Augustan times - the province of Germania superior (Upper Germany) - and it formed an outer border on the west side of the square . It was guarded by a number of nine to ten forts , but not separated from the free Germania by the usual limes with wall or rampart with palisade and moat , but as at other river borders, the river was sufficient to prevent undesired approaches. The so-called Main Limes as part of the Upper German Limes ran between the present-day villages of Großkrotzenburg and Bürgstadt .

A legion was not stationed in this area. But there was always one in Mogontiacum , today's Mainz , opposite the confluence of the Main and the Rhine , and since 1985 there has been evidence of a large warehouse at Marktbreit ; but it evidently did not serve to subjugate this area, for there is no reason to believe that an expansion to the east was planned here.

middle Ages

Finds and documents from the Middle Ages also show the great importance of shipping on the Main. Numerous settlements owe their development either to their role as transshipment points or as customs stations. Charlemagne was the first to pursue the project of a canal between the Main and the Danube. However, the plans failed because of the technical difficulties that were insurmountable at the time. Remains of this fossa Carolina can still be found in Treuchtlingen today.

The ships of the Middle Ages could travel about 100 km per day downstream with a loading capacity of 10 to 20 tons. Upstream the ships had to be pounded or towed . In this way, daily stages of over 30 km were achieved. The ships were not allowed to sail at night and the sailors had to stay on board. Since the 12th century there was a regular connection between Frankfurt and Mainz, the market ship. Since the 14th century, two ships have alternated daily, one to the mountain and the other to the valley. The ships were used to transport people and goods, but also to transport mail. The departure in Frankfurt took place daily at 10 a.m. from the driver's gate . The travel time to Mainz was about seven to nine hours. In 1391 the Roman-German King Wenzel granted jurisdiction over the market ships to the Free City of Mainz . The city of Frankfurt lost its previously existing jurisdiction. In 1474 the elector of Mainz acquired sovereignty over the market ship.

Modern times

Shipping on the Main near Klingenberg around 1650

In 1600 a market ship was set up between Hanau and Frankfurt several times a week . The occasion was the establishment of the Neustadt Hanau . The market ship ran regularly until 1848, when the parallel Frankfurt-Hanau Railway was opened. Compared to the regular market ships, free shipping was rather insignificant. After 1337 there was no longer a ship's guild in Frankfurt, but the few registered shipmen were both fruit and fruit traders. After the establishment of the Neustadt Hanau, a market ship commuted from Hanau to Frankfurt several times a week between spring ( Laetare ) and autumn ( Michaelis ) since 1602 , which was under the sovereignty of Count von Hanau-Münzenberg (disputed by Kurmainz) . The traffic was only given up after the opening of the Frankfurt-Hanau Railway in 1848.

Industrial age

Main shipping in Frankfurt around 1850
Poster for the opening of the Main Canal and the Frankfurt West Harbor, 1886

The advent of the railroad in the 19th century initially meant a decline in shipping on the Main. Despite the introduction of steam shipping in the 1830s, only small ships with a load capacity of 1000 quintals (50 tons) could sail on  the Main, while ships with up to 16,000 quintals (800 tons) were already operating on the Rhine in the mid-19th century. As a result, the cargo destined for the Main had to be handled in Mainz or Gustavsburg. From 1836 the Ludwig-Danube-Main Canal joined the Main from Bamberg . In 1843 it reached Nuremberg , and from 1846 it was continuously navigable as far as the Danube , which briefly led to an increase in transport volumes. Among other things, large quantities of coal were transported from the Ruhr area to the south, stones, forest and agricultural products to the north (80,000 to 200,000 tons annually). However, mostly reloading had to be carried out in Bamberg. In addition, shipping was affected by the increasing siltation of the Main estuary and the often low water flow during the season. For this reason, the so-called mean water correction with groynes and parallel works between the mouth of the Saale in Gemünden and Frankfurt was carried out from 1846 to 1876. The regulatory objectives were a minimum fairway depth of 90 cm and a fairway width of 26 m. The construction of the Taunus Railway to Wiesbaden (1839), the Frankfurt-Hanau Railway (1848) and the Main Railway to Mainz (1863) was the freight volume on the Main from earlier about 200,000 tonnes per year but dramatically, reaching in 1879 a low point with around 93,400 tons annually. By contrast, rail freight traffic in Frankfurt reached around 1.4 million tons in the same year.

On the initiative of the Mayor of Frankfurt, Mumm von Schwarzenstein , the construction of a 36 km long Main canal between Mainz and Frankfurt was planned from 1868. However, the plans were changed several times. In 1883, an agreement between the riverside states decided to expand the river itself with barrages and to raise the water level from an average of half a meter to two and from 1891 to two and a half meters, so that it was navigable for the 1000-tonne Main ships. From 1883 to 1886 five barrages with a needle weir , sluice (85 × 10.5 m), raft channel with drum weir and fish ladder were built on the lower reaches of the Main between Mainz and Frankfurt ( Kostheim , Flörsheim , Okriftel , Höchst and Niederrad ) and one was built on the northern bank of the Main new large port built, the Westhafen , which opened in 1886. At the same time, the coal port was built on the opposite bank, which operated until 1912. By 1905, the handling of the Westhafen rose to 1,565,000 tons, half of which was coal and coke from the Ruhr area , as well as grain, sand and gravel. Ten years after its opening, the capacity of the western port was already overloaded, and in 1912 the new, significantly larger eastern port was opened.

In the 1920s, the passage through the needle weir and the lock at the five barrages could no longer cope with the increased volume of traffic on the Main. That is why the Kostheim entrance step received a second lock as early as 1921. 1929–1934 the four barrages above Kostheim were replaced by the Eddersheim and Griesheim barrages. They consist of a roller weir , two locks for barges, a boat lock, a hydroelectric power station and a fish ladder.

Chain shipping

The Main Cow in front of Frankfurt

After the construction of the Westhafen, 90% of the traffic was on the Rhine, only 10% on the Main route, which was not yet congested. In order to improve the low transport capacity, Mainz citizens and the Kingdom of Bavaria founded the Mainkette stock corporation in order to introduce chain shipping , which had already proven itself on the Elbe and Neckar , on the Main. A chain was laid in the river so that a steam tug could hang along. On August 7, 1886, the chain between Mainz and Aschaffenburg was put into operation. In 1891 three chain tractors (called Mainkuh ) were already operating on the Main. In the years that followed, the chain was lengthened more and more: 1893 to Miltenberg, 1899 to Würzburg and 1905 to Bamberg.

Nevertheless, chain shipping remained an episode. As a result of the barrage building progressing up the Main, the chain shipping, which last extended over 314 km, was discontinued in 1908 below Frankfurt, in 1940 below Würzburg and a few years later below Bamberg.


The timber rafting on the Main was first mentioned in a document at the end of the 14th century, and there were transport rafts on the Main until the 1950s. The main purpose of rafting on the Main was to transport wood from the wooded areas of the Upper Main.

The expansion to a large shipping route

Push convoy in front of Freudenberg

At the same time as chain shipping was introduced, the expansion of the Main was advanced through the construction of barrages. It took place in several steps upstream. In 1901 the barrage and port of Offenbach were put into operation; the barrage was replaced by a new one in 1949–1957. In 1921, when the port of Aschaffenburg opened, the section to Aschaffenburg with six barrages was completed; In 1965–1983, three of these were replaced by new buildings and three were demolished.

Shipping route Rotterdam - Constanța , shortest connection between North Sea and Black Sea via: Rhine , Main, Main-Danube Canal , Danube and Danube-Black Sea Canal
Barrage and lock in Offenbach

After the Main became Reichswasserstraße on April 1st, 1921, the German Reich and the Free State of Bavaria signed the contract on June 13th, 1921 for the execution of the Main-Danube waterway between Aschaffenburg and the German border below Passau as a major shipping route for ships up to 1500 t load capacity. In the same year they founded Rhein-Main-Donau AG (RMD) in Munich to finance the construction project. For the hydropower plants to be built by it, RMD received an operating license until 2050 in order to use the proceeds to repay the building loan. Thereafter, the right to use hydropower passes to the Federal Republic of Germany. Today the weirs are controlled by EON, as EON also uses the power plants. The completed waterway sections were handed over to the Federal Waterways and Shipping Administration .

By 1941 another 13 barrages had been built up to Würzburg and the port of Würzburg went into operation. In 1950, the expansion of the Main between Würzburg and Bamberg began with 14 barrages. The experience of the pre-war period was used, so that the new line was more efficient from the start. A particular challenge was the construction of the Würzburg lock to lead the waterway under the historic Old Main Bridge and in front of the Marienberg Fortress . On September 25, 1962, the expansion of the Main to Bamberg was completed at the same time as the Bamberg state port.

The Main-Danube Canal begins in Bamberg and connects the waterways of Western Europe with the Danube.

Today there are 34 barrages between Viereth near Bamberg and the mouth of the Main, which over a total of 388 km overcome a height difference of 149 m (at mean water level of the Rhine). The heights of fall at the barrages are between 2.36 and 7.59 m. The length of the reservoirs is between 5 and 19 km. The lock chambers are on average 300 m long and 12 m wide, with the locks above Würzburg having a central head for a smaller and a larger sub-chamber to save water depending on the volume of traffic. Six barrages below Aschaffenburg have a second lock in Kostheim, Eddersheim and Griesheim with a width of 15 m. The weirs, which are usually three-field, have rollers as closure bodies. All barrages are equipped with fish ladders as a climbing aid. Except for Viereth and Würzburg, all barrages have a boat lock. The total expansion capacity of the 33 hydropower plants is 127.55 MW.


The following table contains an overview of all barrages in the area of ​​the federal waterway:

Barrage Griesheim: lock with control station, power plant
Kostheim barrage: on the left the weir, on the right the lock group with outer harbors
Barrage Location
Main km
Length of the
in km
Upper water
above sea level
Fall height
in m
Power plant
in kW
01 Viereth 380.70 00, 00 230.86 6.00 6,200
02 Limbach 367.18 13.52 224.86 5.36 3,700
03 Knetzgau 359.78 07.40 219.50 4.24 2,900
04th Ottendorf 345.26 14.52 215.26 7.59 6,300
05 Schweinfurt 332.04 13.23 207.67 4.67 3,800
06th Garstadt 323.50 08.53 203.00 4.69 3,900
07th Wipfeld 316.29 07.21 198.31 4.31 2,900
08th Gerlachshausen 300.51 15.78 194.00 6.30 3,900
09 Dettelbach 295.40 05.11 187.70 5.50 4,200
10 Kitzingen 283.98 11.42 182.20 3.66 3,000
11 Market wide 275.68 08.30 178.54 3.31 2,100
12 Goßmannsdorf 269.03 06.65 175.23 3.40 2,000
13 Randersacker 258.89 10.14 171.83 3.30 2,000
14th Wurzburg 252.51 06.37 168.53 2.75 0.900
15th Erlabrunn 241.20 11.31 165.78 4.15 2,700
16 Sky city 232.29 08.91 161.63 4.30 2,500
17th Harrbach 219.47 12.82 157.33 4.90 3,000
18th Steinbach 200.67 18.79 152.43 5.14 4,200
19th Rothenfels 185.89 14.79 147.29 5.26 4,200
20th Lengfurt 174.51 11.38 142.03 3.99 2,600
21st Acorn 160.47 14.04 138.04 4.50 3,100
22nd Faulbach 147.07 13.40 133.54 4.51 4,100
23 Freudenberg 133.95 13.12 129.03 4.51 4,300
24 Heubach 122.36 11.59 124.52 4.00 3,400
25th Klingenberg 113.05 09.31 120.52 4.00 3,000
26th Wallstadt 101.20 11.85 116.52 4.00 3,400
27 Obernau 092.91 08.29 112.52 4.01 3,200
28 Kleinostheim 077.91 15.00 108.51 6.80 9,700
29 Krotzenburg 063.85 14.06 101.71 2.74 -
30th Muhlheim 053.19 10.39 098.97 3.77 4,800
31 Offenbach 038.51 14.67 095.20 3.18 4,100
32 Griesheim 028.69 09.83 092.02 4.49 4,900
33 Eddersheim 015.55 13.14 087.53 3.61 3,640
34 Kostheim 003.21 12.34 083.92 2.36
(MW Rhine)

As part of the Gerlachshausen barrage there is a weir with a boat lock and hydroelectric power station near Volkach, which provides the necessary water level in the canal to Gerlachshausen. Conversely, the lock canal is protected against flooding by a flood gate. A residual amount of water is discharged to the Altmain via the weir . Numerous reservoirs have been declared a landscape protection area and serve as a model for river expansion throughout Europe. Between the estuary and the Lengfurt lock near Triefenstein , the fairway is at least 2.90 m deep all year round. The Main is navigable on this section for ships up to 135 m in length, pushed convoys and coupling convoys up to 185 m long and 11.45 m wide. There it is classified in the European waterway class Vb . Coupling groups and single drivers over 110 m require a special permit. The route to the Main-Danube Canal is to be expanded from 2.50 m to 2.90 m deep and 40 m wide by the year 2018. According to an accompanying landscape conservation plan, compensatory and replacement measures for interventions in nature and the landscape are planned. Until then, the section from Lengfurt corresponds to waterway class Va (ships up to 110 m in length).


Location and cargo handling in tons at the Main ports:

The kilometrage starts at the confluence with the Rhine with 0 km and rises upstream.
L = left in flow direction, R = right in flow direction
k. A. = no information, a. B. = out of service, n. C. = only container handling

History map Main.gif
Schweinfurt harbor
Name / place
(in t )
000.9 L HesseHesse Hesse Land Ginsheim n. C.
008 , 0L HesseHesse Hesse OPEL-Lände Rüsselsheim k. A.
009.1 r HesseHesse Hesse Hochheim oil port k. A.
013.8 L. HesseHesse Hesse Raunheim oil port k. A.
016.8 r HesseHesse Hesse Land of Okriftel k. A.
018.8 L HesseHesse Hesse Kelsterbach harbor k. A.
022.2 L HesseHesse Hesse Schwanheim harbor n. C.
025 , 0R HesseHesse Hesse Highest port a. B.
033 , 0R HesseHesse Hesse Frankfurt West Harbor 0.000.000
037.3 R HesseHesse Hesse Frankfurt East Harbor 1,600,000
039.6 L HesseHesse Hesse Offenbach harbor a. B.
057 , 0R HesseHesse Hesse Mainhafen Hanau 1,800,000
083 , 0L BavariaBavaria Bavaria Aschaffenburg harbor 0.781.230
111 , 0L BavariaBavaria Bavaria Wörth am Main harbor k. A.
151 , 0R BavariaBavaria Bavaria Operating harbor Hasloch the WSA 0.000.000
158 , 0L Baden-WürttembergBaden-Württemberg Baden-Württemberg Wertheim harbor 0.227.021
172.8 R BavariaBavaria Bavaria Lengfurt harbor 0.575,390
211.4 R BavariaBavaria Bavaria Port of Gemünden am Main k. A.
227.1 R BavariaBavaria Bavaria Karlstadt harbor 0.340.732
246 , 0-
253 , 0R
BavariaBavaria Bavaria Port of Würzburg 0.277,316
258.9 L. BavariaBavaria Bavaria Randersacker harbor k. A.
270.5 L BavariaBavaria Bavaria Ochsenfurt harbor 0.159,000
277 , 0L BavariaBavaria Bavaria Ports market wide 0.100,000
284 , 0R BavariaBavaria Bavaria Ports of Kitzingen 0.140,000
296.2 R BavariaBavaria Bavaria Dettelbach harbor ferry
305.5 L. BavariaBavaria Bavaria Volkach harbor a. B.
315.5 R BavariaBavaria Bavaria Wipfeld harbor k. A.
330.5 -
BavariaBavaria Bavaria Schweinfurt harbor 0.350.132
350.4 R BavariaBavaria Bavaria Marina Theres 0.000.000
355.6 R BavariaBavaria Bavaria Hassfurt harbor 0.010,000
362.5 r BavariaBavaria Bavaria Land Zeil am Main 0.085,000
369.6 L. BavariaBavaria Bavaria Eltmann sports boat harbor 0.000.000
382 383 L. , 0
, 0
BavariaBavaria Bavaria Bamberg harbor 0.342,000

Traffic routes in the Main Valley

As with most rivers, riverside paths were created early on the Main, which were used for towing . Due to the usually higher settlement density near the river and the mountainous topography of the area, the Main Valley also served as a route for modern traffic routes, i.e. for railways and modern roads .


Almost the entire length of the railway line runs through the Main Valley . On the sections Hanau-Frankfurt and Frankfurt-Mainz there is even a stretch to the left and right of the Main.

Only between Schweinfurt and Marktbreit is no railway line. While the route between Bamberg and Schweinfurt leads directly to Würzburg, the route between Würzburg and Marktbreit continues to Treuchtlingen.

Between Lohr and Aschaffenburg, the supra-regional connection runs directly through the Spessart . The line between Lohr and Wertheim was closed, the lines between Wertheim, Miltenberg and Aschaffenburg are only of regional importance.

route Course (along the Main)
Bamberg-Hof Mainleus – Lichtenfels – Bad Staffelstein – Bamberg
Bamberg – Rottendorf Bamberg – Schweinfurt (continue on the direct route towards Würzburg)
Treuchtlingen – Würzburg Marktbreit – Ochsenfurt– Würzburg Hbf
Würzburg – Aschaffenburg Würzburg Hbf – Karlstadt – Gemünden – Lohr (continue on the direct route to Aschaffenburg)
Lohr-Wertheim Lohr-Wertheim (closed)
Miltenberg West-Wertheim Wertheim – Miltenberg
Aschaffenburg – Miltenberg Miltenberg – Aschaffenburg
Aschaffenburg – Frankfurt Süd, see
Frankfurt – Hanau and
Hanau – Aschaffenburg
Aschaffenburg – Hanau – Maintal– Frankfurt (Main) Süd (right Main )
Frankfurt Hbf – Göttingen Hanau – Offenbach – Frankfurt (Main) Süd– Frankfurt Hbf (left Main )
Frankfurt Hbf – Mainz Frankfurt Hbf – Rüsselsheim– Mainz Hbf (left Main Railway Station)
Wiesbaden – Frankfurt Hbf Frankfurt Hbf - Frankfurt-Höchst - Mainz-Kastel (right Main)

Road traffic

A70 Maintalautobahn Schweinfurt – Bamberg, Eltmann bridge

The Main Run is accompanied by federal highways for almost its entire length . This also applies to the two source rivers.

The Red Main accompanied from Creußen over Bayreuth up Kulmbach the bundesstraße 85 . The White Main meets the federal highway 303 just a few 100 m after its source , which accompanies it to Untersteinach . From there the B 289 follows him to Kulmbach. This road accompanies the united Main to Lichtenfels (Upper Franconia) , from there the BAB 73 runs on the left bank to Bamberg . From there to Schweinfurt , the B 26 leads , which changes from the left to the right bank in Eltmann . The federal motorway 70 , the Maintalautobahn , usually follows the course of the Main from Bamberg to Schweinfurt, which it crosses at Bamberg, Eltmann and Schweinfurt. Below Schweinfurt, the Main flows in places without an accompanying road. The B 26 takes the direct route to Karlstadt without the detour via the Maindreieck, the B 19 leads directly to Würzburg . From Ochsenfurt to Würzburg another main road runs on the right bank of the Main, the B 13 , to Karlstadt the B 27 , to Lohr then the B 26 again. The sparsely populated east and south side of the Mainviereck is accessed by state roads that accompany the river . From Miltenberg to Aschaffenburg, the B 469 is another main road on the left bank of the Main. From Aschaffenburg via Hanau and downtown Frankfurt to Frankfurt-Höchst , the B 8 runs on the right-hand side of the Main, but sometimes a bit away from the river. The B 43 on its way from Hanau via Offenbach am Main and Rüsselsheim am Main to Mainz occasionally leaves the field of vision of the left bank, especially between Frankfurt-Sachsenhausen and Kelsterbach . On the right bank of the Main, at some distance from the river, Bundesstraße 40 accompanies the last kilometers of the Main from Hattersheim to Mainz.

Main ferries

Main ferry ride
Main ferry Nordheim, from above
Main ferry Frankfurt-Höchst

Twelve ferries are still in operation on the Main (as of July 2018). Since the 1960s, many had to be shut down due to unprofitability. The ferries are usually leased to the ferrymen by the municipalities, but because of the necessary subsidies, they put a considerable strain on the municipal budget. The majority of the ferries are designed for the transport of cars and trucks up to a certain total weight, some only for people and bicycles. Some of the ferries are free, the others are guided on a high wire, but with their own propulsion. In terms of traffic, the ferries are still of major importance. In agriculture in particular, they bring a considerable time advantage, as they save a detour of up to 20 km. The ferry between Escherndorf and Nordheim, west of Volkach, lies on the section of the Main (Altmain) cut off by the Gerlachshausen lock and power station canal.

items Location
Main km
Type from to
01 Main ferry Okriftel 017.82 free moving passenger
ferry irregularly operating leisure ferry
Okriftel Kelsterbach - B 43
02 Main ferry Höchst 024.82 free moving passenger ferry Maximum Schwanheim
03 Main ferry Rumpenheim 048.06 cable car ferry Rumpenheim Dörnigheim
04th Main ferry Mühlheim 050.63 Cable-guided car ferry
operation ceased
Dörnigheim Muhlheim
05 Main ferry Seligenstadt 069.60 free moving car ferry Seligenstadt Großwelzheim
06th Main ferry Stadtprozelten 144.60 Car ferry Stadtprozelten Moon field
07th Main ferry Ochsenfurt 271.05 Passenger ferry NIXE
irregularly operating leisure ferry
Ochsenfurt Kleinochsenfurt
08th Main ferry Mainstockheim 290.61 Car ferry Mainstockheim Albertshofen
09 Main ferry Mainsondheim 294.36 free moving car ferry Mainsondheim Dettelbach
10 Main ferry Nordheim am Main 307.35 cable car ferry Escherndorf Nordheim am Main
11 Main ferry ride 311.14 Car ferry Drive Kaltenhausen
12 Main ferry Obereisenheim 313.47 Car ferry Obereisenheim Stammheim
13 Main ferry Wipfeld 317.30 Car ferry Wipfeld Lindach / Hirschfeld

The main in art

Gustave Courbet : View of Frankfurt, 1858

Unlike the Rhine and Moselle, the Main was seldom sung about. Nevertheless, in the course of time, a number of some very well-known poems about the Main were written. Which includes:

On the other hand, prose texts about the Main are very numerous, especially travelogues and feature pages . A number of metaphors emerged about the Main, e.g. B. Weißwurstäquator (to characterize the cultural border between northern and southern Germany ), Mainlinie (the language border between Central German and Upper German dialects ) or Pfaffengasse of the German Empire (because of the numerous dioceses, episcopal residences and monasteries on the Main). The writers who left prose texts about the Main include: Wilhelm Heinrich Wackenroder , Ludwig Tieck , Heinrich von Kleist (in letters to his bride), Clemens Brentano , Friedrich Stoltze , Rudolf G. Binding , Alfons Paquet and Eva Demski . The title of the Main is the novel “ The Veil in the Main ” by Alexandre Dumas , the author of the “ Three Musketeers ”, who tells a dramatic adventure and love story that mainly took place in Frankfurt in 1866 against the background of Bismarck's war policy.

Numerous painters have depicted the river in their works, u. a. Conrad Faber , Matthäus Merian , Domenico Quaglio , Gustave Courbet and Max Beckmann . Carl Friedrich Mylius deserves special mention among the early photographers of the Main .

See also


  • Johann Kaspar Bundschuh : Mayn . In: Geographical Statistical-Topographical Lexicon of Franconia . tape 3 : I-Ne . Verlag der Stettinische Buchhandlung, Ulm 1801, DNB  790364301 , OCLC 833753092 , Sp. 465-467 ( digitized version ).
  • J. Albrecht Cropp , Carlheinz Gräter : The Main. Weißer Main, Roter Main, Europa-Kanal. From the sources to the mouth. Stürtz-Verlag, Würzburg 1985, ISBN 3-8003-0255-1
  • Eckhard Meise : The boatmen's family Bein and the end of the Hanau market ship . In: Hanauer Geschichtsblätter 31 (1993), p. 213ff.
  • Eckhard Meise: Beginning of steam shipping . In: Stadtzeit (1998). History magazine on the occasion of the 150 years revolution and gymnastics movement Hanau 1848–1998, p. 195f.
  • Eckhard Meise: The end of the Hanau market ship . In: Stadtzeit (1998). History magazine on the occasion of the anniversary 150 years of revolution and gymnastics movement Hanau 1848–1998, p. 193f.
  • Alexander von Reitzenstein: The Main ( German land - German art ). Munich / Berlin 1960
  • Andreas Rumler: The Main. Bayreuth, Bamberg, Würzburg, Aschaffenburg, Frankfurt: on the "Street of Emperors and Kings" (DuMont art travel guide). Cologne 1994
  • Erwin Rutte: Rhine - Main - Danube. A geological story. Thorbecke-Verlag, Sigmaringen 1987, ISBN 3-7995-7045-4
  • Georg Schanze: The chain towing on the Main . Buchner, Bamberg 1893 ( digitized version )
  • Georg Schanz: The Main Shipping in the XIX. Century and their future development . Buchner, Bamberg 1894 ( digitized version )
  • City on the river - Frankfurt and the Main. Archive for Frankfurt's History and Art (AFGK). Vol. 70. Verlag Waldemar Kramer, Frankfurt am Main 2004, ISBN 3-7829-0559-8
  • Martin Eckoldt (Ed.), Rivers and Canals, The History of German Waterways, DSV-Verlag 1998
  • European Shipping and Port Calendar (WESKA) 2010. Published by: Association for European Inland Shipping and Waterways e. V., Binnenschiffahrts-Verlag GmbH , Duisburg-Ruhrort

Web links

Commons : Main (river)  - Collection of images, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Main  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. a b c Lengths (in km) of the main shipping routes (main routes and certain secondary routes) of the federal inland waterways ( memento of January 21, 2016 in the Internet Archive ), Federal Waterways and Shipping Administration
  2. According to the Bavarian State Government, the length of the Main is 527 km ( Bavarian administration portal ( Memento from January 15, 2011 in the Internet Archive )). The length specification of 524 km is derived from the kilometers for large shipping (lower due to shortened lock channels).
  3. a b German Hydrological Yearbook Rhine Region, Part II 2006 Bavarian State Office for the Environment, pp. 56 & 60, accessed on October 4, 2017, from: (PDF, German, 23.6 MB).
  4. a b Note: The mean estuary discharge is based on the data from the Raunheim level ( Memento from November 12, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) (catchment area: 27,142 km², corresponding to 99.5% of the catchment area; MQ: 224 m³ / s), for However, this level is used in the investigation by HYMOG: Hydrological modeling principles in the Rhine region, Annex 1 http: // ftp: // (link not available) ( Aachen 2011), a correctly calculated value of 210 m³ / s is given (p. 122), which results in a more plausible area discharge of around 7 l / s km² for the intermediate catchment area to the Frankfurt-Osthafen gauge . The mouth discharge of the Main is then 211 m³ / s.
  5. Directory E, Ser. No. 31 of the Chronicle ( Memento from July 22, 2016 in the Internet Archive ), Federal Waterways and Shipping Administration
  6. Today, the attribute “longest inner German river” would only apply if viewed very narrowly; in fact, the Weser, including the longer of the two source rivers, the Werra , is significantly longer than the Main at 744 km. Only if you first consider the confluence of the Fulda and Werra as the origin of the Weser, at 452 km, it is shorter than the Main. However, the Weser is already a stately river at its “source”. The other German rivers, which are definitely longer than the Main ( Danube , Rhine , Elbe , Oder and Moselle ) originate or flow abroad and therefore fall out of the category of only internal German rivers.
  7. 3.30: De Chorographia 3.30 amnium in alias gentes exeuntium Danuvius et Rhodanus, in Rhenum Moenis et Lupia, in oceanum Amissis, Visurgis et Albis clarissimi . Among the rivers are the most important: Of those that flow to other peoples: Danube and Rhone, in the Rhine: Main and Lippe, in the ocean: Ems, Weser and Elbe
  8. ^ Water management office Hof - Weißmainquelle
  9. ^ Water management office Hof - Rotmainquelle
  10. Ship lifts in Germany, Eckhard Schinkel (editor), LWL-Industriemuseum, Volume 28
  11. Main hike 60 years ago
  12. Geotop: Volkacher Mainschleife (accessed on September 26, 2013; PDF; 247 kB)
  13. ^ Karl Dittmarsch: The Main from its origin to its mouth . Zabern, 1843. p. 412. Google Books
  14. Level data from Kemmern (Main) and Pettstadt and Vorra (Regnitz), increased by the area runoff (6.1 l / s km²) of the respective remaining catchment area (Regnitz: 234.8 km², Main: 184.7 km²) up to the mouth
  15. Reiner Keller; The mean precipitation in the river basins of the Federal Republic of Germany - Bundesanstalt für Landeskunde 1958
  16. a b number does not include the entire catchment area
  17. Directory of stream and river areas in Bavaria - Main river area, page 69 of the Bavarian State Office for the Environment, as of 2016 (PDF; 3.3 MB)
  18. Fishing Association of Lower Franconia ( Memento from September 25, 2014 in the Internet Archive )
  19. Directory of brook and river areas in Bavaria - Main river area, page 82 of the Bavarian State Office for the Environment, as of 2016 (PDF; 3.3 MB)
  20. Level in the main area: Bürgstadt / Erf
  21. KÖRBER 1962 - The development of the Main valley
  22. DIETZ, K. (1981): On the relief development in the Main-Tauber area. - Rhine-Main. Forsch., 93; Frankfurt a. M.
  23. KURZ, RW (1988): Investigations on the oldest to middle Pleistocene terrace and sediment development in the Mittelmaintal - Würzb. Geogr. Arb., 72; Wurzburg
  24. ↑ In detail, for example, Achilles Augustus von Lersner in his 1706 published Der Weit-famous Freyen Reichs- Wahl- und Handels-Stadt Frackfurt am Mayn Chronica . Older reports can be found in Maximilian Faust von Aschaffenburg's Franckenfurter Chronik , published around 1624, and in the German Annals of the City of Frankfurt am Main from the second half of the 16th century.
  25. Johann Friedrich Böhmer (Ed.), Document Book of the Imperial City of Frankfurt , p. 55 No. 107
  26. ^ German annals of the city of Frankfurt . According to Faust von Aschaffenburg, even 600 people died in the accident, which would be the greatest flood disaster of all time on the Main.
  27. Detailed descriptions can be found in Claudia Schüßler, Floods and Floods - Living with the Main. A chronicle , in: Archive for Frankfurt's History and Art 70 , Verlag Waldemar Kramer, Frankfurt am Main 2004, ISBN 3-7829-0559-8 , pp. 167-183
  28. The level has been there since 1957. From 1915 to 1956 the level was on the Eiserner Steg (+89.80 m above sea level), until 1915 on the Alte Brücke (+90.90 m above sea level)
  29. Inland Waterways Regulations (BinSchStrO) § 11.11 ( Memento from April 25, 2015 in the Internet Archive ), Federal Waterways and Shipping Administration
  30. This height was given on a Latin inscription on the church that was destroyed in World War II. According to the old marking on the drive gate , the water level was 25 feet on the Rhine . A corresponding high water mark can be seen today on the Eiserner Steg.
  31. Blasius Ilßner, Kurtze narration of the great and immortal outpouring of the Main-Strohm, which was highest on January 17th of this 1682nd year. , Facsimile print in the Frankfurt Archive , Braunschweig 2002
  32. Detailed information about the great outpouring of the Maynstrom in and near the imperial city of Frankfurt in 1784 , Frankfurt am Main 1784
  33. Hessian State Office for Environment and Geology : Report on water quality 2010 ( online, PDF )
  34. Hessian Ministry for the Environment, Rural Areas and Consumer Protection : Hessian bathing waters ( online, PDF )
  35. ^ The prehistory of the Frankfurt-Sachsenhausen fishermen's guild. In: Retrieved August 24, 2018 .
  36. See, for example, The fish-ecological situation of the Lower Main (PDF; 2.3 MB) by Egbert Korte, Senckenberg Research Institute , accessed on Feb. 26, 2020 in 2002
  37. ^ Oskar Schenk: From the Main Canal, from the old Hanau harbor and the market ship . In: Hanau city and country. A home book for school and home . Hanau 1954, pp. 369-371.
  38. Waterways and Shipping Directorate South: Data and Facts, June 2003 ( Memento from June 13, 2013 in the Internet Archive )
  39. a b c d e Bavarian State Office for Statistics (ed.): Inland navigation in Bavaria in December and in 2014 . Statistical reports. March 2015 ( online ). online ( Memento from December 25, 2015 in the Internet Archive )
  40. ^ Cover Wertheim
  41. envelope Oschenfurt (2001)
  42. ↑ Handling volumes, Hafen Marktbreit p. 110 ff. (.Pdf) ( Memento of October 3, 2016 in the Internet Archive )
  43. ↑ Handling volumes, Port of Kitzingen 2003, p. 114 ff. (.Pdf) ( Memento of October 3, 2016 in the Internet Archive )
  44. ↑ Handling volumes, Hafen Marktbreit p. 129 ff. (.Pdf) ( Memento from October 3, 2016 in the Internet Archive )
This version was added to the list of excellent articles on November 1st, 2005 .