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The Danube is the second-largest river in Europe (2,888 km) and flows through regions of the former Danube monarchy. In Vienna, the river has a considerable breadth and crosses the city on a riverbed that has been regulated since 1875. Stretching for more than 20 km along the northern banks is the Danube Island recreational area, together with the New Danube for flood protection. This construction from the 1980’s has considerably improved the quality of life in Vienna.