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The 527-kilometre-long river (also dialectally known as Maa, Mää and Mee) originates from a confluence of two headwaters, the White Main (Fichtelgebirge) and the Red 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 Franconian wine growing region. All 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 flowing 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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