Iron Gates of the Danube River between Serbia and Romania

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    Tabula Traiana - Roman Monument at the Iron Gates of the Danube River

    Tabula Traiana - Roman Monument at the Iron Gates of the Danube River
    ••• Cruising the Danube River Tabula Traiana - Roman Monument at the Iron Gates of the Danube River. Iron Gate of the Danube (c) Linda Garrison

    The Iron Gates of the Danube River originally consisted of four narrow gorges and three wide basins spread over several miles of the river dividing Romania and Serbia. Some people consider an 83-mile stretch of the river to be the Iron Gates, but most define it as just the section with the four narrow gorges. The term "Iron Gate" was first used by The Times of London in an 1853 article about this section of the river.

    In the 1960's the government built a huge lock and dam to help control the speed of the river and make navigating this section of the Danube River safer. Before the Danube River was dammed, commercial river boats transferring goods up and down the river dreaded having to navigate the rapids of the narrow Iron Gates section of the river. Today, the river flowing through the Iron Gates is peaceful, and it is 130 feet higher than before the dam and power station was built. The effect of the dam can be felt on the river for over 100 miles; and two locks, spread...MORE more than 50 miles apart, anchor each end of the Iron Gates. Over 23,000 citizens living along the river had to be resettled after the dam was completed.

    Danube River cruises in eastern Europe sail through the Iron Gates in daytime, and the scenery is spectacular, even though not as dramatic as it was 50 years ago. Most river cruise travelers consider the Iron Gates area and the Wachau Valley in Austria as the most scenic parts of the Danube River.

    Eastern European river cruises on the Danube usually run between Budapest and Bucharest or the Black Sea. Those wishing to cross Europe from the Black Sea to the North Sea at Amsterdam can combine an eastern Europe Danube River cruise with a "Grand European" river cruise between Budapest and Amsterdam.

    The Roman emperor Trajan laid this marker almost 2000 years ago to commemorate the construction of the road to Dacia.

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    Iron Gate of the Danube River between Serbia and Romania

    Iron Gate of the Danube River between Serbia and Romania
    ••• Cruising the Danube River Iron Gates of the Danube River between Serbia and Romania. Iron Gate of the Danube (c) Linda Garrison

    The Tabula Traiana marker laid by the Roman emperor Trajan over 2000 years ago can be seen on the left side of this photo. It's on the Serbian side of the Danube and was moved to its current location in 1972 when a dam and hydroelectric station on the river caused the water to rise.

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    Dacian Chief Decebalus Carved into the Iron Gates

    Dacian Chief Decebalus Carved into the Rock Cliff of the Iron Gates of the Danube
    ••• Cruising the Danube River Dacian Chief Decebalus Carved into the Rock Cliff of the Iron Gates of the Danube. Iron Gate of the Danube (c) Linda Garrison

    This huge face carved into the Romanian side of the Danube River celebrates the Romanian hero Decebalus, who fought many battles with the Romans.

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    Decebalus Carved into the Rock Cliff of the Iron Gates

    Dacian Chief Decebalus Carved into the Rock Cliff of the Iron Gates of the Danube
    ••• Cruising the Danube River Dacian Chief Decebalus Carved into the Rock Cliff of the Iron Gates of the Danube. Iron Gate of the Danube (c) Linda Garrison

    Decebalus led his army into battle with the Romans many times. He committed suicide when the Roman emperor Trajan conquered Dacia.

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    High Cliffs Line the Iron Gate of the Danube River

    Iron Gate of the Danube River between Romania and Serbia
    ••• Cruising the Danube River Iron Gate of the Danube River between Romania and Serbia. Iron Gate of the Danube (c) Linda Garrison

    The towering cliffs make this section of the eastern Danube River one of the region's most scenic places.

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    Tiny Chapel at the Iron Gate of the Danube River

    Iron Gate of the Danube River between Romania and Serbia
    ••• Cruising the Danube River Iron Gate of the Danube River between Romania and Serbia. Iron Gate of the Danube (c) Linda Garrison

    This tiny chapel sits on the edge of the Danube River at the Iron Gates.

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    Close-up Photo of Chapel at Iron Gate of the Danube River

    Iron Gate of the Danube River between Romania and Serbia
    ••• Cruising the Danube River Iron Gate of the Danube River between Romania and Serbia. Iron Gate of the Danube (c) Linda Garrison

    Isn't this small chapel lovely?

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    Cross on Cliff Overlooking the Danube River

    Iron Gate of the Danube River between Romania and Serbia
    ••• Cruising the Danube River Iron Gate of the Danube River between Romania and Serbia. Iron Gate of the Danube (c) Linda Garrison

    This cross must be much larger than it looks since this cliff overlooking the Danube River is very high.

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    Iron Gate of the Danube River between Romania and Serbia

    Iron Gate of the Danube River between Romania and Serbia
    ••• Cruising the Danube River Iron Gate of the Danube River between Romania and Serbia. Iron Gate of the Danube (c) Linda Garrison

    More tall cliffs over the eastern Danube River.

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  • 10 of 12

    Iron Gate of the Danube River between Romania and Serbia

    Iron Gate of the Danube River between Romania and Serbia
    ••• Cruising the Danube River Iron Gate of the Danube River between Romania and Serbia. Iron Gate of the Danube (c) Linda Garrison

    Narrow gorges like this one on the eastern Danube River were filled with rapids before the river was dammed.

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    Iron Gate of the Danube River between Romania and Serbia

    Iron Gate of the Danube River between Romania and Serbia
    ••• Cruising the Danube River Iron Gate of the Danube River between Romania and Serbia. Iron Gate of the Danube (c) Linda Garrison

    When cruising on a river, it's always interesting to see roads with tunnels or train tracks following the river.

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    Cave in the Rock Wall of the Iron Gates of the Danube River

    Cave in the Rock Wall of the Iron Gates of the Danube River between Romania and Serbia
    ••• Cruising the Danube River Cave in the Rock Wall of the Iron Gates of the Danube River between Romania and Serbia. Iron Gate of the Danube (c) Linda Garrison

    Numerous caves line the rock walls of the Iron Gates of the Danube River separating Romania and Serbia.