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The 527-kilometre-long river (dialectally also Maa, Mää and Mee) originates from a confluence of the two headwaters Weißer Main (Fichtelgebirge) and Roter Main (Frankische Alb) in Bavaria-Germany. The longest right tributary of the Rhine flows in a large W-shape between Aschaffenburg and Schweinfurt through the wine-growing region of Franconia. All the vineyards are planted on south-facing valley slopes on the banks of the Main or in side valleys of its tributaries (Franconian Saale, Kinzig, Nidda, Regnitz, Tauber). After passing through the metropolitan areas of Würzburg and Frankfurt am Main, it flows into the Rhine opposite the old town of Mainz between Ginsheim-Gustavsburg and the Wiesbaden district of Mainz-Kostheim.

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