20 October 2016

Eight gravel banks

It wasn't cheap, the two almost aerial photographs taken from the Visegrad castle costed 1700 HUF (~5 €). But totally worth it to climb up there to take a look on the upper tip of the Szentendrei Island and the new islands of Kismaros and Nagymaros. 

I would like to start with the least obtrusive thing: there is a recent archaeologic excavation on the Sibrik hill, Visegrád. If somebody is not familiar with this place there was a late Roman fortress on this hill and later it became the center of the Pilis county in Hungary. 

But let's go further:

Date, water level: 10.04.2015 Nagymaros 15 h -27cm

From the left there is the treeless river bank of Nagymaros, a long island and further right the Marosi Island. In the foreground there is the Szentendrei island and the vast gravel bank on its northern tip. And those small white dots aren't motorboats... 

...but gravel banks, eight in number. There are curious people on them. If a curious person has the height of 17,7-1,8 meters the furthermost gravel bank extends 60 meters into the Danube counting from the end of the Szentendrei Island. 

This end of the Szentendrei island is continuosly groving against the stream. More and more gravel bank emerges from the river. Without any human impact these gravel banks will join the body of the island. 

13 October 2016

Danubian Island of the year 2016

This is the fourth time the Donauinseln blog starts its poll for the Danubian Island of the year. You can vote for the three nominated islands between 13th October and 31th December 2015.

The aim of this poll is to focus attention on the mostly unknown islands of the Danube. Most of you probably visited the Seychelle Islands before any Danubian Island. As we stated this is the third poll, and we hope we have started a tradition and more-and-more people will learn about these islands across the Globe.

The winners so far (please note this is a Hungary-based blog):
2013. Kompkötő Island, Vác
2014. Helemba Island, Esztergom
2015. Kismarosi Island, Kismaros

This year our readers have selected two islands in the qualifying rounds. We start the introduction in alphabetical order, with the island we thought worthy enough to participate in the poll.

Former Fürdő Island, Budapest

Our first nominated island is really unique. This is the first nominated island from Budapest, and the first one which no longer exists. This tiny Danubian island could be found just north from The Árpád bridge, close to the left river bank. In the 18th century an icy flood devastated its trees. Since then it was only a gravel bank, rarely emerging from the river. Just before its final disappearance József Szabó visited the island and collected samples from more than 50 hot springs coming from the limestone hundred meters below.  He also sketched some Roman ruins, possibly remnants of a bath and archaeologists found an altar devoted to the god of the Danube. The Fürdő (Bath) Island has been dredged completely in 1874 due to river regulation works.

Szalki Island, Dunaújváros

The Szalki Island is located next to Dunaújváros, an industrial town in the middle of Hungary. This section of the Danube often changes course. On its predecessor there was a military camp in the beginning of the Roman era, 1st century. Out of its stones an abbey was built on this Island dedicated to Saint Pantaleon, who later gave the name to the nearby village: (Duna)Pentele. This abbey has been swallowed by the Danube in the 16th century. The Szalki island was later attached to the right banks of the Danube and in its side arm they built the ports of the city. Today the Szalki Island is a park, there is a campsite, famous for the rock festival called Rockmaraton. 

Zebegényi Island, Zebegény

Zebegényi Island can be found in the Danube bend. It is a real island on the Danube, which means it is uniquely surrounded by water all year. It is a rather young formation, not long ago it was only a gravel bar without plants on it. By this time this inaccessible strip of land became a popular place for the locals and the tourists as well in summertime. In wintertime it is a shelter for birds. This island was almost excavated during the construction works of the nearby Nagymaros hydroelectric dam, fortunately they stopped the construction, so this island could remain in the Danube Bend.

The poll will be closed at midnight 31th December 2016. The results will be available in the first post of the year 2017.

05 October 2016

Qualifying round of the "Danubian Island of the year 2016" voting

The time has come for the Danubian Island of the year voting. First time we had no qualifying rounds, but when we introduced the new system 10 islands were nominated in 2014. One year later it was 14 and this year we have a list of 17 Danubian islands. There is a fiction-island and a non-existent island in the list, the first is Senki-szigete (No-mans island) from a novel of Mór Jókai and the second is a former island of Budapest, disappeared in the 1870s. We have last year's second: the Zebegényi Island, two Pap islands (Priest Island) form Szentendre and Dunaújváros. Two islands within the boundries of Baja, a town in southern Hungary, and two not-well-known island from the Ráckevei-Danube (Kulcsár island) and southern Hungary (Gabriella island).

Two years ago we registered 436 votes duing the qualifying rounds, last year it has risen significally: 1716 votes, I hope we will surpass this in 2016. Remember, only the first two island qualifies into the finals. There will be another island added by the Donauinslen blog. This voting ends midnight, October 12th 2016. The finals will begin next evening!

So here are the nominated islands for 2016, please select your favourite: