Đerdap Gorge » Đerdapska klisura | 89 ĐE RDAP GORGE On the IronGates of theDanube The power of the Danube, the present and the past in one place, and many centuries of man’s determination to tame such a mighty river WhentheDanubeextendsinfrontofyour eyes, while it pierces the cliffs above it with suchgreatwidthandpower, you findyourself overwhelmedby theawe that onlynature can inspire. e river, which reaches its greatest power right there, in the ĐerdapGorge, has fascinatedman for centuries. In order to finally conquer the land of Dacia and earn an awesome reputation, RomanEmperor Trajan conquered theDanube by constructing a bridge that was the world’s longest for 1,000 years, the remains of which are still visible near today’s Kladovo. Two millennia later, the flow of the Danube was halted in order for the joint forces of Yugoslavia and Romania to build the “Đerdap I” Hydroelectric Power Plant. e Đerdap Gorge is wondrous. As you take in every peak of rock that splits the sky and attempt to capture within your memory every ray of sunshine that shimmers on the Danube, which reaches the widest, deepest and narrowest parts of its course right here, it becomes clear to you why this place is referred to as the Iron Gate. One thing that you won’t be able to fathom, however, is how this beauty is even possible! And then you’re illuminated by the realisation that you’re truly lucky because you live here, just a threehour drive from this magical place. Already when you reach Golubac you will get the impression that you’re beside the sea. A huge expanse of water appears beside the road that you drive, with tunnels, beaches etc. e real magic happens, however, when you board a boat and sail through the Great and Small Cauldrons. e most monumental part of the Đerdap Gorge is called the “Cauldron”, because in that part the Danube bubbles like water in a cauldron, forming whirlpools. You are left without words, your breath stops as the boat cuts through the Danube, which is only 150 metres wide and 70 metres deep in the Great Cauldron. e eyes don’t know where to turn first, because there are rocks 300 metres high above, and in front of you opens the Iron Gate, with the cliffs seeming to embrace the Danube as hard as they can. ere immediately is the Small Cauldron, the Danube moves faster and is watched from the Romanian side by Decebalus. Carved into the rock, the likeness of the ruler of Dacia watches you in all his majesty. A true guardian of the Danube. Near Decebalus is Trajan’s Plaque, which stands as testimony to his great rival - Trajan. e plaque can only be seen from the water and it should remain that way forever. As far as possible away from the negligence that could damage the proof that it was here, on the territory of today’s Serbia, that one of the greatest architectural endeavours of the Roman age was realised – the bridge with 20 pillars, the appearance of which was carved into Trajan’s Column in Trajan’s Forum in Rome. It is said that this magnificent gorge should first be seen from above, from the observation points of Ploče, Mali or Veliki Štrbac, and only then from below – from the water. We only found that out later, when we’d already been intoxicated by the beauty we’d seen from the boat, and until we get the view from the sky we’ll preserve in our memories that reflection of the mighty Danube in our eyes... Jedna od očuvanih „balon“ signalnih stanica u Kazanu, kojima se pre izgradnje brane regulisao rečni saobraćaj One of the preserved “balloon” signalling stations in the Kazan, which regulated river traffic prior to the construction of the dam Pećina Veterana, prirodno stanište slepih miševa / The Cave of Veterans, home to the natural habitats of bats