vineri, 26 octombrie 2012

Portile de Fier, a savage part of Romania

The Danube River flows through all Europe 2800 km, crossing 3 capitals and 6 countries and ends its adventurous travel through a wonderful Delta. When the Danube crosses the Carpathians and constitutes the border between Romania and actually Serbia has the ugliest, most dangerous face.
His majesty The Danube in Cazane

Before 1972 when the big dam of Portile de Fier was raised the navigation was barely possible, but even today it is not easy, despite the building of the second dam (Portile de Fier II). In the area, 100 km long, the Danube crosses a few gorges offering a savage landscape.  You can make rafting on the lakes, on the Danube, or you can climb the mountains feeling a Robinson Crusoe.
The impressive monument of the dacia ruler, King Decebal, who fought against the Romans and is nowadays a national symbol of courage and patriotism

Portile de Fier means Iron Gates, translated from Romanian. Amazingly, all the other people in the area, and all the navigators, have the same designation for this region. With a ship, you pass first through the Gorge of Golubac (14 km long), and you can see from the former Serbian city of Golubac only nine towers emerging from the water. Further, the Gospodin Gorge, 15 km long and 220 meters wide, followed by a gorge called Cazanele Dunarii, which is 19 km long and 150 meters wide. The surrounding rocks are very abrupt, 700 meters high, and there is no possibility to come on any shore. You will notice here Tabula Traiana, an antic Roman monument, build to remember the Roman highway to Dacia . On the Romanian shore, on behalf of Iosif constantin Dragan, wealthy businessman, has been carved a huge statue of the Dacian king Decebal, who dared to fight against the Romans, and is today a model of patriotism (no Romanian city without a Decebal street). 12  sculptors have been busy 12 years working at that monumental statue, and they even wrote "Facet Dragan" . After, the former city of Orsova,overflowed and removed on a new location.
The picturesque Island of ada kaleh, overflowed after the building of the dam

In this region was also the Island Ada-Kaleh, for centuries a pirates nest and a Turkish enclave. Some of its buildings have been removed to Island of Simian, but the people refused to reset, and fled in Dobrogea (another region of Romania with an important Turkish minority) or Turkey. This the most evocative, if not hurting, lost due to the Dam of Portile de Fier, and there are plans and intentions to build Ada Kaleh again from scratch.

Not far, there is Drobeta Turnu Severin, an industrial town, hosting The Museum of Iron Gates and the amazing water tower (1904). In Drobeta are still visible two foot of the former Roman bridge on the Danube, which facilitated the displacement of Roman divisions.

Portile de Fier is really a paradise for nature and mountain freak, for rafters and adventurers, historians and environmentalists.

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