The Iron Gates is a gorge on the Danube River.

It forms part of the boundary between Romania and Serbia. 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 Orşova, 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, Hungarian, Slovakian, Turkish, German and Bulgarian names literally mean "Iron Gates" and are used to name the entire range of gorges. An alternative Romanian name for the last part of the route is Defileul Dunării, "Danube Gorge". In Serbia, the gorge is known as Đerdap (Ђердап), with the last part named Đerdapska klisura. The Romanian side of the gorge constitutes the Iron Gates natural park, whereas the Serbian part constitutes the Đerdap national park. Gorges 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 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, Gospodin Vir, which is 15 km long and narrows to 220 m. 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 Small Kazan gorge, which have a combined length of 19 km. The Orşova 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 "boiler") is the most famous and the most narrow gorge of the route: the river here narrows to 150 m and reaches a depth of up to 53 m. East of this site the Roman emperor Trajan had the legendary bridge erected by Apollodorus of Damascus. Construction of the bridge ran from 103 through 105, preceding Trajan's conquest of Dacia. On the right bank a Romanplaque 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 treasures have been unearthed in the geographically less spectacular gorge of Gospodin Vir: in the 1960s the archaeological survey Lepenski Vir was unearthed, the most significant in southeastern Europe. The sandstone statues from the early neolithic are particularly splendid. Along with the other surveys that can be found in the Iron Gates, it indicates that the region has been inhabited for a very long time. Channel The riverbed rocks and the associated rapids made the gorge valley an infamous passage in shipping. In German, the passage is still known as the Kataraktenstrecke, even though the cataracts are gone. Near the actual Iron Gates the Prigrada rock was the most important obstacle until 1896: the river widened considerably here and the water level was consequently low. Upstream, the Greben rock near the Kazan gorge was notorious. In 1831 a plan had already been drafted to make the passage navigable, at the initiative of the Hungarian politician István Széchenyi. Finally Gábor Baross, Hungary's "Iron Minister", completed the financing for this project. In 1890, beyond Orşova or Orsova in Hungarian,(Ursa in Romanian) being the last border town of Hungary, rocks were cleared by explosion over a 2 km stretch to create an 80 m

wide and 3 m deep channel. A spur of the Greben Mountains was removed across a length of over 2 km. Here, a depth of 2 m sufficed. On 17 September 1896, the Sip Channel thus created (named after the Serbian village on the right bank) was inaugurated by the AustroHungarian emperor Franz Joseph, the Romanian king Carol I, and the Serbian king Alexander Obrenovich. The results of these efforts were slightly disappointing. The currents in the channel were so strong that, until 1973, ships had to be dragged upstream by locomotive. The Iron Gates thus remained an obstacle of note. Dams The construction of the joint Romanian-Yugoslavian mega project that would finally tame the river commenced in 1964. In 1972 the Iron Gate I Dam was opened, followed by Iron Gate II Dam, in 1984, along with two hydroelectric power stations and two sluices. The construction of these dams gave the valley of the Danube below Belgrade the nature of a reservoir, and additionally caused a 35 m rise in the water level of the river near the dam. The old Orşova, the Danube island Ada Kaleh (below) and at least five other villages, totaling a population of 17,000, had to make way. People were relocated and the settlements have been lost forever to the Danube. The dam's construction had a major impact on the environment as well—for example, the spawning routes of several species of sturgeon were permanently interrupted. That said, the flora and fauna, as well as the geomorphological, archaeological and cultural historical artifacts of the Iron Gates have been under protection from both nations since the construction of the dam. In Serbia this is done with the Đerdap National Park (since 1974, 636.08 km2) and in Romania by the Porţile de Fier National Park (since 2001, 1,156.55 km2). Ada Kaleh The isle of Ada Kaleh is probably the most evocative victim of the Đerdap dam's construction. A Turkish enclave, it had a mosque and a thousand twisting alleys, and was known as a free port and smuggler's nest. Many other ethnic groups lived there beside Turks. The island was about 3 km downstream from Orşova and measured 1.7 by 0.4-0.5 km. It was walled; the Austrians built a fort there in 1669 to defend it from the Turks, and that fort would remain a bone of contention for the two empires. In 1699 the island came under Turkish control, from 1716 to 1718 it was Austrian, after a four month siege in 1738 it was Turkish again, followed by the Austrians reconquering it in 1789, only to have to yield it to the Turks in the following peace treaty. Thereafter, the island lost its military importance. The 1878 Congress of Berlin forced the Ottoman Empire to retreat far into the south, and the island came under the control of Austria-Hungary, though it remained the property of the Turkish sultan. The inhabitants enjoyed exemption from taxes and customs and were not conscripted. In 1923, when the Ottoman monarchy had disappeared, the inhabitants chose to join Romania. The Ada Kaleh mosque dated from 1903 and was built on the site of an earlier Franciscan monastery. The carpet, a gift from the Turkish sultan, has been located in the Constanţamosque since 1965.

Most Ada Kaleh inhabitants emigrated to Turkey after the evacuation of the island. A smaller part went to Dobrogea, another Romanian territory with a Turkish minority. Đerdap je klisura na Dunavu. Ona čini dio granice između Rumunije i Srbije. U širem smislu obuhvata trasu od 134 km, u užem smislu obuhvata samo poslednju prepreku na ovom putu, odmah iza rumunskom gradu Orsova, koji sadrži dvije hidroelektrane brane, sa dvije elektrane, Đerdap I i Đerdap II. Klisura se nalazi između Rumunije na severu i na jugu Srbije. U ovom trenutku, rijeka razdvaja južne Karpate od severozapadnog podnožja planine Balkan. Na rumunskom, mađarskom, slovačkom, turskom, nemačkom i bugarskom naziv doslovno znači "Gvozdena vrata" i koriste se da navedu čitav niz klisura. Alternativni rumunski naziv na poslednjem dijelu trase je Defileul Dunarii, "Klisura Dunava". U Srbiji klisura je poznata kao Đerdap, sa još jednim dijelom imena - Đerdapska Klisura. Rumunski dio klisure predstavlja prirodni park Đerdap, a srpski dio predstavlja Nacionalni par Đerdap. Klisure Prvo sužavanja Dunava leži izvan rumunskog ostrva Stara Moldova i poznat je kao Golubac Klisura. Klisura je 14,5 km dugačka i 230 m široka na najužem mjestu. Na njenom čelu, postoji srednjovekovno utvrđenje u Golupcu, na srpskoj strani. Dolinom Ljupovska leži druga klisura, Gospodin Vir, koji je 15 km dug i sužava se na 220 m. Litice dostiže do 500 m i najteže joj je pristupiti sa zemlje. Širi Donji Milanovac formira vezu sa klisurama Veliki i Mali Kazan, koji imaju kombinovanu dužinu od 19 km. Orsova dolina je poslednji široki dio prije nego što stigne rijeka do Vlaških ravnica na poslednjoj klisuri, Sipskoj klisuri. Veliki Kazan (Kazan znači "kotao") je najpoznatija i najuža klisura trase: ovde se rijeka sužava na 150 metara i dostiže dubinu i do 53 m. Na istočno dijelu ove strane, rimski imperator Trajan je podigao legendarni most Apolodor od Damaska. Izgradnja mosta je prethodila Trajanovom osvajanju Dakije I trajala je od 103. do 105. godine. Na desnoj obale obilježava ga rimska plaketa. Na rumunskoj obali, u Malom Kazanu, lik protivnik Trajana Dadačkog - Decebala je isklesan u stijeni od 1994 do 2004. Znatno starije blago je otkriveno u geografskoj manje spektakularnoj klisuri Gospodin Vir: u 1960-im tokom arheološkom istraživanja Lepenski vir iskopano je najznačajnije blago u jugoistočnoj Evropi. Pješčano kamenite statue iz ranog neolita su posebno sjajne. Zajedno sa drugim pregledima koji se mogu naći u Đerdapskoj klisuri, ukazuje da je ovaj region naseljen vrlo dugo. Kanal Korito rijeke od stijena i pridruženih brzak ove klisure stvorili su zloglasni prolaz u brodarstvu. U nemačkom, prolaz je još poznat kao “Put brzaka”, iako su nestali brzaci. Blizu stvarne “Željezne kapije” stijena Prigrada predstavljala je najvažniju prepreku do 1896: rijeka se ovdje znatno proširila i nivo vode je samim tim bio nizak. Uzvodno, stijena Greben, u blizini klisure Kazan, je bila ozloglašena. Na inicijativu mađarskog političara Ištvana Sečenje 1831. godine plan je već bio pripremljen da se ovaj plovni prolaz osbosobi. Konačno Gabor Baroš, mađarski "Gvozdeni ministar", završio je finansiranje ovog projekta. U 1890, iza Orsova ili Orsova na mađarskom jeziku, (medved na rumunskom jeziku), kao poslednji granični grad u Mađarskoj, stene su “očišćene” ekpolozijom I to više od 2 km da

stvori 80 m širok i 3 m dubok kanal. Trag planine Greben je uklonjen sa više od 2 km dužine. Ovdje je dubina od 2 m dovoljna. Dana 17. septembra 1896, Sipski kanal koji je napravljen (dobio je ime po srpskom selu na desnoj obali) je otvorio austro-ugarski car Franjo Josif, rumunski kralj Karol I i srpskog kralj Aleksandar Obrenović. Rezultati tih napora su bili pomalo razočaravajući. Struje u kanalu su bile toliko jaki da su do 1973 lokomotive morale da vuku brodove uzvodno. Đerdapska klisura je na taj način ostala prepreka za pomenuti. Brane Izgradnja zajedničkog rumunsko-jugoslovenskog mega projekat koji će napokon ukrotiti rijeku konačno je počelela 1964. U 1972 otvoren je Đerdap I, a zatim i Đerdap II, a 1984 dvije hidroelektrane i dvije ustave. Izgradnja ovih brana dala je dolini Dunava, ispod Beograda, prirodni rezervoar, i dodatno izazvala porast vodostaja reke oko 35m kod brane. Stara Orsova, Ostrvo u Dunavu Ada Kaleh (ispod) i još najmanje pet sela moralo je da ode, odnosno 17000 stanovnika. Ljudi su preseljeni, a Dunav je zavijek izgubio svoja naselja. Izgradnja brane je imao veliki uticaj na životnu sredinu, kao na primer, putevi mrešćenja nekoliko vrsta jesestre su trajno prekinuta. Flora i fauna, kao i geomorfološki, arheološko i kulturno istorijski predmeti Đerdapske klisure su pod zaštitom od strane oba naroda od izgradnje brane. U Srbiji su to uradili sa Nacionalnim park Đerdap (od 1974, 636,08 km2), a u Rumuniji Nacionalni park “Gvozdena Kapija ”(od 2001, 1,156.55km2). Ada-Kale Ostrvo Ada Kaleh vjerovatno najviše podsjeća na žrtve izgradnje Đerdapske brane. Turska teritorija, imala je džamije I hiljadu sokaka, i bila je poznata kao slobodna luka I gnijezdo švercera. Mnoge druge etničke grupe živejele su tamo pored Turaka. Ostrvo je oko 3 km nizvodno od Orsove i mjerilo je od 1.7 dp 0.4-0.5 km. To je bilo zazidano; Austrijanci su izgradili tvrđavu 1669. godine da bi se odbaranili od Turaka, i ta će utvrda ostati kao jabuka razdora za dva carstva. 1699. godine ostrvo je došlo pod tursku vlast, od 1716. do 1718. ostrvo je bilo Austrijsko, posle četiri meseca opsade, 1738. godine bilo je ponovo tursko, zatim Austrijanci ponovo osvajaju 1789., samo da ga predaju Turcima u predstojećem mirovni sporazumu. Nakon toga, ostrvo je izgubio svoju vojnu važnost. 1878. god. Berlinski kongres primorio je Osmansko carstva da se povuče daleko prema jugu, a ostrvo je palo pod kontrolu Austro-Ugarske, iako je ostalo vlasništvo Turskog sultana. Stanovnici uživali izuzeće od poreza i carina i nisu preseljeni. 1923. godine, kada je Otomanska monarhija nestala, stanovnici su izabrali da se pridruže Rumuniji. Ada-Kale džamija datira iz 1903., a sagrađena je na mestu ranijeg Franjevačkog samostana. Tepih, poklon od turskog sultana, je smješten u Konstanca džamiji od 1965. Većina stanovnika Ade-Kale emigrirali u Tursku posle evakuacije ostrva. Manji dio odlazi u Dobrudža, drugu rumunsku teritoriju sa turskom manjinom.

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