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The Dunajec (Polish pronunciation: [duˈnajɛt͡s]) is a river running through southern Poland. It is a right tributary of the Vistula River. It begins in Nowy Targ at the junction of two short mountain rivers, Czarny Dunajec and Biały Dunajec (Black and White Dunajec). Dunajec forms the border between Poland and Slovakia for 17 kilometers[1] in the Pieniny Środkowe (Slovak: Centrálne Pieniny) range, east of the Czorsztyn reservoir. It is the only river taking waters from the Slovak territory to the Baltic Sea.

Dunajec
Dunajec from Trzy Korony.jpg
Dunajec viewed from Trzy Korony
Country Poland, Slovakia
Physical characteristics
River mouth Vistula
50°14′35″N 20°43′42″E / 50.2431°N 20.7283°E / 50.2431; 20.7283Coordinates: 50°14′35″N 20°43′42″E / 50.2431°N 20.7283°E / 50.2431; 20.7283
Length 249 km (155 mi)
Discharge
  • Average rate:
    85.5 m3/s (3,020 cu ft/s)
Basin features
Progression VistulaBaltic Sea
Basin size 6,796 km2 (2,624 sq mi)
Dunajec in the Pieniny Środkowe range (Slovak: Centrálne Pieniny) forming a 27 km border between Poland and Slovakia

The Dunajec is 249 kilometers long, including its source river Czarny Dunajec,[1] which makes it Poland's thirteenth longest river. It has a basin area of 6,796 square kilometres (4,838 in Poland, and 1,958 in Slovakia).[1] On the Slovak/Polish border, it flows through the Zamagurie region, with attractions such as the Dunajec River Gorge, the Trzy Korony massif with a 500 metres (1,600 ft) precipice, Červený Kláštor, and two Pieniny castles in Czorsztyn and Niedzica.

Dunajec Gorge in the Pieniny mountains
Dunajec in the Pieniny mountains
Dunajec, 1939

Below the two source streams Dunajec flows through a broad valley called Nowotarska Basin. It then supplies the waters of the dam in Niedzica (Jezioro Czorsztyńskie Lake) and the dam in Sromowce Wyżne (Sromowce Wyżne reservoir). Flowing through the central part of the Pieniny range, it creates a picturesque turn at the Polish Slovak border between Sromowce Wyżne and Szczawnica, where it flows by Kotuńka rock which differentiates the area from the over parts of the river. Further down it turns to the north into the Western Beskid Mountains, and Sądecka Basin (where it merges with its own largest tributary, the Poprad river). It flows across an open valley of the Beskid Foothills and falls down across Rożnów Foothills (with two more dams: the Jezioro Rożnowskie Lake, and Jezioro Czchowskie Lake) and finally, it leads into the Sandomierz Basin and the valley of Vistula Lowlands. Dunajec flows into the Vistula River in the vicinity of Opatowiec.

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