The Altmühl is a river in Bavaria
Bavaria, formally the Free State of Bavaria is a state of Germany, located in the southeast of Germany. With an area of , it is the largest state by area, forming almost 20% of the total land area of Germany...

, Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

. It is a left tributary of the Danube
The Danube is a river in the Central Europe and the Europe's second longest river after the Volga. It is classified as an international waterway....

 and is approximately 230 km in length.

The source of the Altmühl is located close to the city of Ansbach. From here the river runs southeastwards as a narrow brook to enter the Altmühlsee (a lake) north of Gunzenhausen
Gunzenhausen is a town in the Weißenburg-Gunzenhausen district, in Bavaria, Germany. It is situated on the river Altmühl, 19 km northwest of Weißenburg in Bayern, and 45 km southwest of Nuremberg. Gunzenhausen is a nationally recognized recreation area. The city was mentioned first in the...

. After leaving Gunzenhausen the river describes a broad curve through the Frankish Alb. It enters the Altmühl Valley Nature Park, which is famous for its natural beauty: The meander
A meander in general is a bend in a sinuous watercourse. A meander is formed when the moving water in a stream erodes the outer banks and widens its valley. A stream of any volume may assume a meandering course, alternately eroding sediments from the outside of a bend and depositing them on the...

s of the Altmühl River have cut deep gorges into the mountains of the Frankish Alb.

The Altmühl passes the cities of Treuchtlingen
Treuchtlingen is a town in the Weißenburg-Gunzenhausen district, in Bavaria, Germany.-Geography:Treuchtlingen is situated on the river Altmühl, 9 km southwest of Weißenburg in Bayern, and 45 km northeast of Donauwörth...

, Eichstätt
Eichstätt is a town in the federal state of Bavaria, Germany, and capital of the District of Eichstätt. It is located along the Altmühl River, at , and had a population of 13,078 in 2002. It is home to the Katholische Universität Eichstätt-Ingolstadt, the lone Catholic university in Germany. The...

 and Beilngries
Beilngries is a town in the district of Eichstätt, in Bavaria, Germany. It is situated on the river Altmühl and the Rhine-Main-Danube Canal, 30 km north of Ingolstadt....

. After Dietfurt
Dietfurt is a town in the district of Neumarkt in Bavaria, Germany. It is situated on the river Altmühl, 38 km west of Regensburg.It is known as the "Bavarian China" , Chinese is one of the town's official languages, and a "Chinese Culture Festival" is held in Dietfurt on a yearly basis...

 the river bed was straightened and integrated into a canal connecting Main and Danube (the Rhine-Main-Danube Canal
Rhine-Main-Danube Canal
The Rhine–Main–Danube Canal , located in Bavaria, Germany, connects the Main and the Danube rivers across the European Watershed, running from Bamberg via Nuremberg to Kelheim...

). In spite of protests by conservationists this canal was opened in 1992 and has destroyed much of the beauty of the eastern Altmühl Valley.

The Altmühl finally meets the Danube in Kelheim
Kelheim is a municipality in Bavaria, capital of the district Kelheim. It is situated at the confluence of Altmühl and Danube. As of June 30, 2005, the town had a population of 15,667....

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