joi, 19 martie 2015


The Iron Gates is a gorge on the River Danube. It forms part of the boundary between Serbia and Romania. In the broad sense it encompasses a route of 134 km (83 mi); in the narrow sense it only encompasses the last barrier on this route, just beyond the Romanian city of Orșova, that contains two hydroelectric dams, with two power stations, Iron Gate I Hydroelectric Power Station and Iron Gate II Hydroelectric Power Station.
 The gorge lies between Romania in the north and Serbia in the south. At this point, the river separates the southern Carpathian Mountains from the northwestern foothills of the Balkan Mountains. The Romanian side of the gorge constitutes the Iron Gates natural park, whereas the Serbian part constitutes the Đerdap national park.

In English, the gorge is known as Iron Gates or Iron Gate. An 1853 article about the Danube in The Times of London referred to it as "the Iron Gate, or the Gate of Trajan."In languages of the region including Romanian, Hungarian, Slovak, Turkish, German and Bulgarian, names literally meaning "Iron Gates" are used to name the entire range of gorges.
 These names are Romanian: Porţile de Fier  An alternative Romanian name for the last part of the route is Defileul Dunării, literally "Danube Gorge".In Serbian, the gorge is known as Đerdap, with the last part named Đerdapska klisura  from the Byzantine Greek Κλεισούρα , "enclosure" or "pass."
 The first narrowing of the Danube lies beyond the Romanian isle of Moldova Veche and is known as the Golubac gorge. It is 14.5 km long and 230 m (755 ft) wide at the narrowest point. At its head, there is a medieval fort at Golubac, on the Serbian bank. Through the valley of Ljupovska lies the second gorge, Gospodjin Vir, which is 15 km long and narrows to 220 m (722 ft).
 The cliffs scale to 500 m and are the most difficult to reach here from land. The broader Donji Milanovac forms the connection with the Great and the Small Kazan gorge, which have a combined length of 19 km (12 mi). The Orșova valley is the last broad section before the river reaches the plains of Wallachia at the last gorge, the Sip gorge.
 The Great Kazan (kazan meaning "vat" or "reservoir") is the most famous and the most narrow gorge of the whole route: the river here narrows to 150 m and reaches a depth of up to 53 m (174 ft). East of this site the Roman emperor Trajan had built the legendary bridge erected by Apollodorus of Damascus. Construction of the bridge ran from 103 through 105, preceding Trajan's final conquest of Dacia. On the right (Serbian) bank a Roman plaque commemorates him. On the Romanian bank, at the Small Kazan, the likeness of Trajan's Dacian opponent Decebalus was carved in rock from 1994 through 2004.
 Significantly older discoveries have been found in the geographically less spectacular gorge of Gospodjin Vir: in the 1960s the archaeological survey Lepenski Vir was unearthed, the most important in all of southeastern Europe. The sandstone statues dated to the early neolithic era are particularly splendid. Together with many other findings in the Iron Gates gorges area, they indicate that the region has been inhabited for a very long time.

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