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River course and catchment area

River course and catchment area

Water code CH : 95, FRV --- 0000
location Switzerland , France
River system Rhone
source Rhone Glacier
46 ° 34 ′ 49 ″  N , 8 ° 22 ′ 59 ″  E
Source height 2208  m above sea level M.  (lake in front of the edge of the glacier)
muzzle in the Mediterranean Sea Coordinates: 43 ° 20 ′ 17 "  N , 4 ° 49 ′ 32"  E 43 ° 20 ′ 17 "  N , 4 ° 49 ′ 32"  E
Mouth height m
Height difference 2208 m
Bottom slope 2.7 ‰
length 812 km
Catchment area 95,500 km²
Discharge at the Chancy gauge , Swiss border
A Eo : 10,308 km²
NNQ (Nov 2009)
MNQ 1935–2016
MQ 1935–2016
Mq 1935–2016
MHQ 1935–2016
HHQ (Nov 1944)
63.2 m³ / s
219 m³ / s
339 m³ / s
32.9 l / (s km²)
434 m³ / s
1700 m³ / s
Discharge at the Beaucaire
A Eo gauge: 95,590 km²
Location: 60 km above the estuary
HHQ (Dec 2003)
1400 m³ / s
1700 m³ / s
17.8 l / (s km²)
2000 m³ / s
10,900 m³ / s
Left tributaries see chapter on the Rhone river system
Right tributaries see chapter on the Rhone river system
Flowing lakes Lake Geneva
Navigable to the mouth of the Saône

The Rhone [ ʁoːnə ] ( French - grammatically masculine : le Rhône [ləˈʁoːn], Occitan (more precisely: Provencal) lo (u) Rose [lu rɔze]) is a river of about 800 km in length, of which 264 km in Switzerland and 545 km in France .

It is the most water-rich river in France. The French departments Rhône and Bouches-du-Rhône are named after the river.

The Rhone rises in the Swiss canton of Valais at the foot of the Rhone Glacier and is also called "der Rotten" in German . After leaving the Alps, it flows through Lake Geneva . In southern France it flows into the Mediterranean with a delta .


Other forms of the name are Arpitan Rôno , Occitan Ròse . The original German name "der Rotten" is only officially in use in Upper Valais . The river is called Rottu in Valaisan German .

The Greeks called the river Ῥοδανός Rhodanos , and the Romans Rhodanus .

The river name is masculine in all neighboring languages .

River course


The Rhone rises from the Rhone Glacier in the Swiss canton of Valais . The meltwater is currently collecting in a lake at 2208 m above sea level at its edge. In the first 6.5 km it loses 840 meters in altitude, it passes the place Gletsch at 1757 m and then reaches the valley floor near Oberwald at 1368 m above sea level. From there it flows through the Valais Rhone Valley , in the upper section, the Goms, southwest and falls below 1000 meters on the southern edge of Fiesch . From Visp (643 m above sea level) to Martigny (372.2 m above sea level) it flows 72 km mainly westwards. The canton of Valais, which essentially consists of the Rhone Valley and its side valleys, lies between the main European watershed in the north and the main Alpine ridge in the south. This is where the highest peaks in the Swiss Alps rise . In Martigny the Rhone makes a striking 90 ° bend (the Rhone knee ) and then flows 37 km in a north-northwest direction, first through a narrow valley, then through the valley funnel around Monthey and Aigle VD . In the village of Le Bouveret , the Rhone flows into Lake Geneva , which it leaves again in Geneva . The river's water needs an average of 11.4 years to flow through the lake.

Slope of the Rhone in France


After flowing out of Lake Geneva, the Rhone leaves Switzerland and heads west to the Jura . The breakthrough through this mountain range begins with the narrow Écluse between Collonges and Bellegarde-sur-Valserine and then extends for about 60 km in a north-south direction, as the river mainly flows through longitudinal valleys and switches from one valley to another when there are gaps or breakthroughs in the ridges . In the easternmost of these valleys lies the Lac du Bourget south of the Rhone , separated from the river by the silting zone of the Marais de Chautagne . In Saint-Genix-sur-Guiers the Rhone has traversed the Jura, then soaked but above the heights of the Jura foothills to the north, so it only after Lagnieu the broad tectonic reached the valley, which also includes the Belfort Gap and the Upper Rhine Graben belong. At the eastern edge of this valley, the Ain , also coming from the Jura, flows from the right, and the Saône at the western edge, also from the north . Between Pougny (Ain) and Les Baraques , the river forms the border between France and Switzerland over a length of about 9 kilometers.

Lower Rhone Valley

Lyon , the largest city on the Rhone, is located at the mouth of the Saône .

From Lyon , the Rhone flows south towards the Mediterranean. In the French Rhone Valley , which is broad here , the wine-growing regions of the Côtes du Rhône to Montélimar and the department of Bouches-du-Rhône to Avignon lie between the foothills of the Western Alps and the Cevennes . At Tarascon , the Rhone enters the Mediterranean plain, which, however , is bordered a few kilometers east of the river by the Alpilles .

Rhone Delta

Mouth of the Grand Rhône , the eastern arm of the delta; east of it the Golfe de Fos with ports and industry around Fos-sur-Mer

At Arles , the Rhone divides into a delta of two arms, the Grand Rhône (the "Great Rhone") in the east and the Petit Rhône (the "Little Rhone"). Between the two arms stretches the Camargue , a wet plain known for its fauna but threatened by salinization, bordered to the south by lagoons, the largest of which is the Étang de Vaccarès . The tourist and pilgrimage site of Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer is located at the mouth of the Little Rhone . East of the mouth of the Great Rhone at Port-Saint-Louis is a bay, the Golfe de Fos , lined with port and industrial facilities , named after the city of Fos-sur-Mer on its north bank. Already at Fos-sur Mer there are hills up to almost fifty meters above sea level, and beyond the Canal de Caronte , which may have been dug in ancient times , the mountainous coast of the Côte d'Azur begins .

Cities on the Rhone

A selection of larger or otherwise known cities on the Rhone (order downstream):

Surname Residents (municipality) Inhabitants (metropolitan area) Sea level annotation
Brig-Glis 13,088 691 m Starting point of the Simplon Pass and the intersection of the Lötschberg axis with the Swiss Rhone Valley .
Manners 33,532 515 m Capital of the canton of Valais
Martigny 17,651 471 m Starting point of the Col de la Forclaz on the Arve with Chamonix at the western foot of the Montblanc and the Great Saint-Bernhard in the Aosta Valley
Lausanne 133,521 372 - 929 m on the north shore of Lake Geneva, capital of the Vaud region
Geneva 201.164 369 - 458 m known as the seat of many international organizations
Seyssel 2,276 + 965 250 - 937 m Seyssel (Haute-Savoie) on the left and Seyssel (Ain) on the right bank of the Rhone
Lyon 500,715 2,237,676 162 - 305 m largest city on the Rhone
Vienne 29,325 111,606 140 - 404 m
Valence 71,767 175,636 106 - 191 m
Montélimar 36,643 74,692 056 - 213 m "Capital of Nougat "
orange 29,193 27,279 024 - 127 m roman u. a. “ Stadtgründungsbogen ” and theater; historical references and a. Defeat of the Romans at Arausio in 105 BC Chr. And Wilhelm von Nassau-Orange in the Dutch struggle for independence .
Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2,199 020 - 130 m former papal summer residence; well-known wine-growing region
Avignon 90,305 518.981 010 - 122 m 1309–1377 seat of the popes ; incomplete bridge Pont Saint-Bénézet
Beaucaire 16,036 001 - 156 m
Tarascon 13,941 002 - 200 m Dragon story
Arles 52,566 55,876 000 - 057 m roman u. a. Theater, forum and arena (amphitheater); a place of activity of Vincent van Gogh
Port-Saint-Louis 8,565 000 - 003 m The Grand Rhône flows into the sea

Rhone river system

The Rhone has numerous tributaries. Direct tributaries with a length of more than 100 kilometers in the order of their length:

The Saône, where it joins the Rhone in Lyon, has already covered a longer stretch than this. The stretch of the river from Saône and the lower Rhone is 860 km longer than the course of the Rhone itself with 812 km. The longest river route in the Rhone river system, from Rhone – Saône– Doubs - Cébriot , measures 1031 km.

Catchment area of ​​the Rhone with naming of most of the waters over 36 km in length
This map in 20% projection - 749 × 1114 px

The Rhone, its main tributaries and their most important tributaries from 36 km in length:

Explanations for the following table:

  • Upstream order
  • If in a line the indication of the confluence side (“right” / “left”) has been moved under the name box of a line above, the body of water shown in the bottom line flows into the one shown in the above line.
  • If an inflow of a next higher-ranking river is listed in the line under an inflow of a tributary of a tributary, the associated page number is accordingly further ahead under the beginning of the name box of the higher-ranking river.
  • Arrows point downstream and mark the upper parts of a previously mentioned river course.
  • If both bodies of water arriving at a confluence are officially classified as source rivers of the body of water below, their mouths are marked with “↑ left” and “↑ right”.
  • Waters less than 36 km are included if they can be viewed as the hydrological upper or lower reaches of a longer river.

Source links:

  • French water numbers → respective dataset of the database SANDRE
  • Swiss water body numbers → suitable section of the interactive map VECTOR25 water network of the Federal Office of Topography (swisstopo) - clicking on the water body sections results in GEWISS numbers and (partial) lengths. The measuring function can be used to determine total lengths and obtain height information.
Inflow in the direction of flow
seen from
Surname Location of the mouth Water number:
[m³ / s]
Rhone Rhone Delta V --- 0000 CH: 95 8120.0 95,590.00 1,69000000
right Gardon or Gard including sections
Gardon d'Anduze (16 km) u. Gardon de Mialet
10 km above Beaucaire V71-0400 127.30 1999.0 0032.7
Left Gardon d'Alès at Vézénobres V7150500 60.6 444
right Gardon de Saint-Jean 10 km above. Anduze V7130500 49.4 265
Left Durance South edge of Avignon X --- 0000 323.50 14,342.00 180, 00
right Coulon ← Calavon
with at the confluence. longer inflow:
Cavaillon X34-0400 88.2 1,028.0 001.17
right Riaille ← Ravin de Font Brune 2.3 km above Valsaintes
(4 km east of Simiane-la-Rotonde )
X3400500 20.7
Left Verdon 10 km above. Saint-Paul X2-0200 165.70 2,294.0 26.8
right Colostre 10 km above. Gréoux-les-Bains X27-0400 36.2 215
right Largue ← Crapon 10 km above. Manosque X27-0400 36.2 215
Left Aces ← Aces de Clumanc 10 km above. Manosque X14-0400 75.3 500 05
Left Bléone at Les Mées X12-0400 67.5 906
right Bès 10 km above. Digne-les-Bains X1220500 38.8 233
right Jabron 10 km below Sisteron X1100500 36.5 205
right Buëch in Sisteron X10-0400 85.2 1,478.0 230.0
Left Petit Buëch 10 km above Serres X1020500 44.9 389 20.20
right Sasse 10 km above Sisteron X07-0400 38.4 332
Left Ubaye 10 km above. Lac de Serre-Ponçon X04-0400 82.7 1.011.0 20.50
Left Guil 10 km above Mont-Dauphin X02-0400 51.5 727 17th0.0
Left Ouvèze 10 km above Avignon V6-0200 93.3 2,200.0 25th0.0
Left Sorgue de Velleron with a longer tributary: at Bédarrides V6150500 30.4 1,083.0 18.10
Left Nesque 10 km from its mouth V61-0400 53.3 406
Left Aigue / Aygues ← Eygues SW of Orange V53-0400 114.20 473 06.22
right Cèze opposite orange V54-0400 128.40 1,359.0 22nd0.0
Left Lez at Mornas V52-0400 73.5 445
right Ardèche 1 km above. Mont-Saint-Esprit V50-0400 125.10 2,376.0 650.0
right Chassezac 10 km below Ruoms 5040500 84.6 560 15.30
right Altier at Pied-de-Borne V5040660 39.1 150 3.5
right Beaume (Ardèche) at Ruoms V5030500 43.9 244 7.6
Left Roubion in Montélimar V44-0400 66.6 612
Left Drôme down against La Voulte-sur-Rhône V42-0400 110 (110.7), 00
Left Véore 10 km upwards La Voulte-sur-Rhône V40-0400 37.6 392 or 383 2, 0
right Eyrieux 1 km above. La Voulte-sur-Rhône V41-0400 83.4 865 15.50
Left Isère Valence W --- 0000 286, 00 11,890.00 330, 000
right Herbasse 10 km above its mouth W35-0400 40, 0 187 1.5
Left Drac in Grenoble W2-0200 130.20 3,626.0 990.0
right Romanche at Vizille W27-0400 78.3 1,222.0 38.40
Left Arc 10 km south of Grésy-sur-Isère W10-0400 127.50 1,985.0 310.0
right Arly Albertville W04-0400 34.5 648 25th0.0
right Doux Tournon V37-0400 70.1 631 7.5
Left Galaure Saint-Vallier V36-0400 56.2 232 2.2
right Cance 10 km above. Saint-Vallier V35-0400 41.3 380 4.2
Left Claires ← Collières with a longer influx: Saint-Rambert-d'Albon V3430560 21.7 631 low
Left Rival → Raille → L'Oron 10 km from its mouth V34-0430
> 60, 000
Left Varèze across from Chavanay V3300500 39.2
right greed Givors V31-0400 40.3 417 320.0
right Saone Lyon (165 m above sea level) U --- 0000 480, 00 29,950.00 47300.0
right Azergues Anse U46-0400 61.9 886 7.5
right Brévenne Chazay-d'Azergues U4635010 39, 0 437 3.1
right Turdine Lozanne U4630660 28.7 161 1.5
Left Chalaronne Thoissey U4400500 52, 0 175 1.0
Left Veyle Mâcon U42-0400 66.9 672 6.8
Left Renon Vonnas U4230500 40.8 131 0.8
Left Reyssouze Pont-de-Vaux (Reyssouze) U40-0400 75.1 495 1.4
Left Seille 10 km below Tournus U34-0400 100, 00 2,620.0 30.80
Left Sane-Vive or Sane 10 km below Cuisery U3470500 46.8 295
Left Sane-Morte 10 km below Cuisery U3470580 54.6 127
Left Solnan Louhans U34-0430 61.6 680 130.0
right Vallière Louhans U3450500 50.8 250 5, 0
Left Sevron 10 km southwest. Front brew U34-0430 54.6 195 3.0
right Burn 10 km east of Saint-Germain-du-Bois U3410500 53.8 445 5.1
right Great 12 km below Chalon U32-0400 95.6 1,000.0 100.0
Left Guye 10 km west of Malay U3220500 46.6 430 2.1
right Dheune 10 km below. Verdun-sur-le-Doubs U30-0400 76.5 1,059.0 06.79
Left Meucine 10 km above . Palleau U3030500 38.1
Left Doubs Verdun-sur-le-Doubs U2-0200 , CH: 135 453, 00 7,760.0 17600.0
Left Guyotte Navilly U2740500 41.1 160 6.5
Left Orain at Chaussin U2710500 39, 0 200 2.9
Left Loue 12 km up. Dole U26-0400 127.20 1,733.0 59.20
right Allan ← Allaine near Montbéliard (165 m above sea level) U23-0400 , CH: 93 65, 0 1,120.0 22.80
right Bourbeuse
10 km below Morvillars U23-0420 39.8 708
Left Cébriot 1.8–1.9 km after the source of the Doubs U2000500 08.5
right Ouche Saint-Jean-de-Losne U13-0400 95.4 973 8.5
right Tille 10 km above. Saint-Jean-de-Losne U12-0400 82.7 1,100.0 11.10
right Ignon Is-sur-Tille U1210500 44.2 378 3.3
Left Ognon 10 km above Pontailler U10-0400 213.60 3,208.0 340.0
Left Rahin approx. 10 km to Lure U1020500 50.5 170 2.3
right Vingeanne between Gray u. Pontailler-sur-Saône U09-0400 93.3 650 6.0
right salon at Dampierre-sur-Salon U07-0400 71.6 410 4.6
Left Durgeon 10 km west of Vesoul U05-0400 42.4 410 6.7
Left Lantern 10 km up. Port-sur-Saône U04-0400 64.3 1,044.0 21.80
Left Semouse Conflans-sur-Lanterne U04-0430 41, 0 275 7th, 0
Left La Combeauté Saint-Loup-sur-Semouse U0450500 37, 0 129 2.1
right Breuchin 10 km west of Luxeuil-le-Bains U0410500 44.2 220 4.4
right Amance or Mance Jussey U02-0400 46.3 461 4.6
Left Côney next to the Canal de l'Est U01-0400 55, 0 495 5.3
right Ain at Saint-Maurice-de-Gourdans V2-0200 1900.0 3,765.0 12300.0
Left Albarine 10 km west of Ambérieu-en-Bugey V29-0400 59.4 313 6.9
right Suran Pont d'Ain V28-0400 74, 0 357 6.7
right Valouze 10 km below Thoirette V26-0400 41.8 312 8.0
Left Oignin 10 km above Thoirette V25-0400 43.6 6th, 0
Left Bienne Dortan V24-0400 68.8 791 30th0.0
Left Bourbre at Pont-de-Chéruy V17-0400 72.2 728 or 750 7.6
Left Guiers ← Guiers Mort at Saint-Genix-sur-Guiers V15-0400 50, 0 609 160.0
Left Canal de Savieres at Chanaz in the left arm of the rhone V1335002 04.7
Lac du Bourget (231 m above sea level) Chindrieux 17.3 00691.65
Leysse Le Bouget-du-Lac V1310500 28.5 560
Left Fier 10 km below Seyssel V12-0400 71.9 1,380.0 41.20
Left Cheran at Rumilly V1250500 53.7 350 7.8
Left Thiou Meythet / Annecy border V1230500 00 /3.9 /
299 8th, 0
Lac d'Annecy (447 m above sea level) Annecy 14.6
Eau Morte ← Nant Debout ← Ruisseau des Combes at Verthier V1230560 17.6
Left Ruisseau du Bard 13.3 km from its mouth V1230580 09.3
Left Usses Seyssel V11-0400 46.1 220 3.3
right Valserine Bellegarde-sur-Valserine V1010500 47.6 395 or 361 17.30
right Swiss stone pine 2.24 km after Lake Geneva Geneva V0-0200 , CH: 92 107.80 2,083.0 78.20
right Giffre 10 km below Cluses V01-0400 46.2 440 18.70
Lake Geneva (372.1 m above sea level) Geneva CH: 95 71.8
right Venoge Morges CH: 127 38.4 0236 4.2
right Veyron 11 km after its source CH: 158 22nd, 0
Left Dranse ← Dranse d'Abondance Thonon-les-Bains V03-0400 49.1 495 20.10
↑ Rhône = Rotten Le Bouveret CH: 95 1950.0
Left Dranse or Drance from: Martigny , 455.5 m above sea level M. V03-0400 CH: 136 15th, 0 680 8.9
↑ right Dranse de Bagnes Sembrancher 714.6 m above sea level M. CH: 137 30.4
↑ left Dranse d'Entremont CH: 138 25th, 0
Left VispaMatter Vispa from: Visp CH: 182 37, 0 , 0787.6 17.80
↑ left Zmuttbach Zermatt CH: 4199 06.3
Zmutt glacier (up to 3362 m above sea level) 2235 m above sea level M. CH: 662472 07.2
↑ right Gornerbach Zermatt CH: 3649 04.4
Gorner Glacier (up to 3562 m above sea level) 2163 m above sea level M. CH: 3720 11.4
Left Grenzgletscher (up to 4465 m above sea level) CH: 662416 13.34 (from the demolition at 2163 m)
Rhone Glacier (up to approx. 3600 m above sea level) Glacier lake 2208 m above sea level M. CH: 660238 09.3
Tributaries> 100 km (direct / indirect ) in the table: Ain  • Arc  • Ardèche  • Arve  • Cèze  • Drac  • Drôme  • Durance  • Eygues  • Gardon  • Isère  • Loue  • Saône  • Seylle  • Verdon

A comprehensive listing of all tributaries can be found in the list of tributaries of the Rhone .

Hydraulic engineering

Rhone corrections in Valais

Visp : Rhone dams in progress

The first Rhone correction was carried out between 1863 and 1893 . The river was laid in a straightened river bed so that the plain could be drained and cultivated. This reduced the length of the river in Swiss territory from 230 km to 119 km. Between 1930 and 1960 the dikes were raised and a double profile with a main channel and foreland was created.

After the floods of 2000, the planning of the third Rhone correction began in 2001. The aim is to increase the security for towns and industrial areas in the entire Valais Rhone Valley and at the same time to make the course of the river more natural again. On March 31, 2016, the State Council of the Canton of Valais approved the design plan for the third Rhone correction with the compensatory measures for agriculture in the Rhone plain. The river bed is widened and deepened in sections. After the project loan had been approved in the referendum, construction work began at Visp and Aproz in spring 2017 .

On September 9, 2019, the National Council approved the loan of over one billion francs for the second stage of the third Rhone correction. No federal referendum can be held against the loan . The submission is now pending with the Council of States , which has to decide on the loan.

Traffic routes


For centuries the Rhone has been an important waterway from cities such as Arles, Avignon, Valence, Vienne and Lyon to the Mediterranean ports of Fos, Marseille and Sète. In the past, river navigation was also known on the upper reaches of Lake Geneva.

Nowadays the Rhone is largely developed like a canal . From Lyon to the estuary there is navigability for large barges (Grand Gabarit), but in some cases only via side canals. Like most of the navigable waterways, the Rhone is operated by the Voies navigables de France (VNF). It used to be navigability for smaller inland vessels from Lyon to Lake Geneva, but the locks on this section of the river were closed.

Even before barrages were built, the Rhone between the mouth and Lyon was used by ships. In the Rhone Delta, the canals were built mainly because of the insufficient gradient, because the silting up would mean that no permanent natural fairway would remain. In the middle section it was the fall gradient, the flow speed of which up to 4 m / sec caused the problems that are mostly no longer present today thanks to many river power plants. From Arles to Pont St. Esprit, only the St Bénéze bridge in Avignon was problematic. From Tournon to Lyon the river was again well suited for navigation. Before the construction of the railroad and the construction of steamships, shipping upriver by horse-drawn train was common. This disappeared with the construction of the railroad, but steam shipping began. After a few failures, a special design of a river boat, the so-called “grappins”, was able to operate profitably. In addition to the normal paddle wheels, the tugs also had a very large gear wheel. This gearwheel was lowered to the bottom of the river in the fast flowing gates when traveling upstream and then served as a drive wheel. The progressive regulation of the Rhone and deepening of the fairway made the use of grappins more and more difficult. So one began around 1895-1900 between St. Esprit and Tournon with the rope trade . In 1913 there were ten ships in the section, each with a ten kilometer long steel cable on a pulley with which it was anchored on the bank and moved on the river by winding or unwinding the cable. The barge had to be passed from one rope to the other. Normal side wheel steamers, so-called "remorqueurs", were used as barges on the remaining stretch. Seaworthy screw tugs were used between Marseille and Arles. In 1913, Escher & Wyss delivered three new side wheel tugs to the “Compagnie Lyonnaise de Navigation et Remorquage à Lyon”, which were also able to pass through the section previously operated by towers with three of the 36 newly acquired barges. The first voyage with the "France" took place under flood conditions from April 3, 1913 from Tarascon – Beaucaire to Lyon. The effective travel time was 48 hours.

The Canal de Donzère-Mondragon is a side canal of the Rhone on a section south of Montélimar and north of Avignon. Side canals of the Great Rhone in the Camargue are the Canal d'Arles à Fos , the Canal du Rhône à Fos and the Canal Saint-Louis , which connect Arles with Fos-sur-Mer and the Mediterranean.

The Rhone is connected to other waterways such as rivers and canals: In the north there is a connection from Lyon via the Saône and the Rhine-Rhône Canal (River Doubs ) to eastern France and the Rhine . In the south there is a connection to the Canal du Rhône à Sète . An important connection for freight traffic from the Golfe de Fos (Canal du Rhône à Fos) to the Étang de Berre is via the Canal de Caronte . The Canal de Marseille au Rhône connected the Étang de Berre with Marseille until the tunnel du Rove collapsed .

Various canal projects in the Alps that would have connected the Rhone and Lake Geneva with the Upper Rhine , such as the Trans-Helvetic Canal, remained unrealized .


Important road connections in the Rhone Valley were and are:

  • the Roman Via Agrippa , which led upstream from Arelate (today's Arles ) to Lugdunum (today's Lyon ) on the left of the Rhone ,
  • the route nationale 7 (N7), which partly follows the Via Agrippa. In the period after the Second World War until the construction of the A7, the N7 was France's holiday route from the greater Paris area to the Mediterranean,
  • the route nationale 86 (N86) on the right of the Rhone , which served to relieve the N7,
  • the Autoroute A7 , which has taken over the task of the N7.


The oldest railway line on the Rhone is the Saint-Étienne – Lyon railway , 20 km along the river and then 35 km from Givors to the coal town of Saint-Étienne , with the first steam traction (from 1831) on the European continent.

Various railway lines run along the Rhone. The railway accompanies the Rhone virtually along its entire length. This already begins in Gletsch, where the meter-gauge Furka-Oberalp Railway emerges from the old Furka Tunnel (the Furka Base Tunnel extends to Unterwassern ), which connects Visp in the Valais with the Rhaetian Railway in the Vorderrheintal and with Göschenen on the Reuss . Today it is operated by the Matterhorn Gotthard Railway between Oberwald and Visp . The Simplon route runs from Brig to Lausanne along the Rhone and the north bank of Lake Geneva. In St. Maurice, the Saint-Gingolph – Saint-Maurice railway branches off from it , laid out in 1859 as part of the first railway line in Valais from Lake Geneva to Sion . The route on the north bank often runs at a certain height above the bank on the slope. The Lausanne train station is around 75 meters above sea level. From Geneva, the Lyon – Genève railway follows the Rhone. From Lyon up to the height of Avignon there is a double-lane railway line on both banks, the one on the western bank is now practically only used for freight traffic. It continues below Avignon, turned away from the Rhone, to Nîmes , where it reunites with the Tarascon route . The line on the eastern bank of the Rhone was the main connection between Paris and Marseille until the TGV high-speed lines were built . This leads from Avignon via Tarascon to Arles further along the Rhone. From Arles, the Rhone no longer has an accompanying railway line, as both the Chemin de Fer de la Camargue line , a narrow-gauge line of which led to Salin-de-Giraud , and the line to Saint-Louis are now closed and broken off.

The LGV Rhône-Alpes high-speed line for TGV trains has been connecting Lyon with Valence since 1994. In 2001, the LGV Méditerranée route was opened, which leads from Valence via Avignon to Marseille - since then, in connection with the LGV Sud-Est route, the travel time between Paris and Marseille has only been three hours.

The Rhone in art

Vincent van Gogh spent part of his life in Arles in the nineteenth century and immortalized a. a. the Rhone in paintings.

At the end of the twentieth century, the Swiss writer Pierre Imhasly set a monument to the Rhone in his poem and life's work Rhone Saga in twelve years of literary work.

Economy in the Rhone Valley


The Swiss part of the Rhone is used for agriculture, but especially the French Rhone Valley (Vallée du Rhône), downstream of Lyon, which is an important agricultural region in France thanks to the warm climate. Many types of fruit are cultivated in the climatically favorable Rhone Valley, B. peaches , cherries , apricots and strawberries .

In the Rhone valley between Vienne and Avignon you will find the Rhône wine-growing region , especially the Côtes du Rhône (slopes of the Rhone) - there you will find the famous Châteauneuf-du-Pape wine region . Viticulture in the southern Rhône valley has already been proven for pre-Roman antiquity; wine-growing began here in France, starting from Phoenician and Greek trading establishments. But the Rhone Valley with the Valais and the slopes of Lake Geneva is also important for viticulture in Switzerland .

Nuclear energy

The Électricité de France (EDF) operates several nuclear power plants on the Rhone . The location on the Rhone was chosen because the water of the river is available for cooling. In addition to facilities for the production of electrical energy, there are also various nuclear facilities for civil and military processing of nuclear material and for research on the Rhone. This means that a significant part of the French nuclear industry is located on the Rhone.

Locations of nuclear power plants and nuclear facilities on the Rhone (order downstream):


The CERN , the European Organization for Nuclear Research, located in the valley of the Rhone near Geneva. The largest facility at CERN is the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), a particle accelerator in an underground ring tunnel with a circumference of 26.7 kilometers. The LHC is largely located on French territory and partly on Swiss territory.

See also

Web links

Commons : Rhone  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Geoserver of the Swiss Federal Administration ( information )
  2. Swisstopo - the measurement function gives the same value as the card entry
  3. a b c d Jean-François Bergier: Rhone. In: Historical Lexicon of Switzerland .
  4. Aux Ripes Chancy measuring station 1935–2016 (PDF) Federal Office for the Environment FOEN
  5. (Station: V7200010 , option: Synthèse )
  6. Le Rhône at SANDRE (French)
  7. https://www.openstreetmap.org/?mlat=43.338037&mlon=4.825657&zoom=12#map=14/46.1666/5.9898
  8. Larousse: Camargue - Région de Provence (Bouches-du-Rhône), comprise entre les deux bras principaux du delta du Rhône.
  9. geoportail calls the lower course "l'Aygues" in the Cartes IGN classiques and Carte topographique IGN versions, but "l'Aigue" in the Carte IGN and Carte France raster
  10. Bourbre according to management association 750 km²
  11. Contrat de milieu Bassin versant du Bourget du lac
  12. LEMANIQUES: Article of the Revue de l'Association pour la Sauvegardde du Léman from 1994 as PDF from 2016 , 3rd page, info box La Venoge et ses Affluents
  13. ^ 3e correction du Rhône project website of the canton of Valais, accessed on March 7, 2018.
  14. La 3e Correction du Rhône avance à un rythme soutenu on vs.ch, accessed on March 7, 2018.
  15. Rhone correction: billion-euro loan approved. In: schweizerbauer.ch . September 10, 2019, accessed September 10, 2019 .
  16. ^ Jules-Bernard Bertrand: Du Rhône alpestre et de la navigation fluviale dans le passé. En marge des fêtes du Rhône de 1934. In: Annales valaisannes , 1934, pp. 237–249.
  17. Rud. Schätti: New shipping equipment for the Rhone. In: Schweizerische Bauzeitung. Volume 62, Issue 7, August 16, 1913, pp. 85ff. doi: 10.5169 / seals-30763
  18. Last exit: summer. In: zeit.de. July 27, 2006, accessed February 7, 2016 .