This mythical river that is the Rhine attracts ardent admirers who come to simply contemplate it. It reaches Alsace just downstream of Basel and leaves it at Lauterbourg. As early as the 8th and 9th centuries, boatmen sailed down the Rhine to the North Sea to sell wine to English, Danish and Swedish traders. The Rhine used to disperse its waters into the plain, but at the end of the 19th century major work was undertaken to regulate the flow of the river. Since then, over a large portion of Alsace, the Rhine shares its waters with the Grand Canal. Important efforts are being made to bring the once neglected river back to its natural state, and it has now earned itself a new name: the Wild Rhine.