The Mura River rises in the Hohe Tauern national park in Austria at 1,898 m above sea level. It is the northernmost river in Croatia forming a natural border of Međimurje with Slovenia and Hungary.
It is the largest left tributary of the Drava River into which it flows near Legrad in Podravina. Its total length is 492 km, running through the Southern Austria and Slovenian Prekmurje region. At parts it forms borders between Austria and Slovenia, Slovenia and Croatia and Hungary and Croatia. In a 78-km part between Hungary and Croatia it flows through remnants of a large ancient oak forest and moors forming the northernmost protected natural landscape of Croatia. It is navigable for smaller boats from Graz to Legrad.
The Mura River seldom changed its course in the past but nonetheless left dead distributaries and dry riverbeds on both its banks. Since there are no reservoirs built along the river, its flow has remained natural preserving forests from drying even when groundwater levels decrease.
In the 20th century there were many river-powered mills along the Mura River. They represent a sort of an invention since records thereof date as far back as the fourth century BCE. Few are still operating today, among them the Babič Mill near Veržej, Slovenia and the reconstruction of an original mill at Žabnik, Croatia.
The Mura River