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Originating as three forks in Balkan's highest mountain range Rila, it flows in northern direction until its confluence with the Danube River. It fuels the largest artificial lake in the country, the Iskar Reservoir, forms the divide between the Vitosha and Plana Mountains in the west and the Sredna Gora mountain range in the east before entering the Sofia Valley, which contains the city of Sofia. From there the Iskar runs through the Balkan Mountains forming the spectacular 84 km long Iskar Gorge. North of the Balkan Mountains the river crosses the Danubian Plain and finally flows into the Danube between the villages of Baykal and Gigen.
The Iskar river is a right tributary of the Danube. With a length of 368 km it is the longest river that runs entirely within Bulgaria. Iskar has a significant economic importance, providing water for the needs of the capital and a number of manufacturing plants. It waters are also utilised for irrigation and electrical energy generation, while the scenic gorges and rock formations throughout its course provide excellent conditions for recreation.