Iron Gate Nature Park

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Iron Gate Nature Park
Iron gate
Iron gate
Iron Gate Nature Park (Romania)
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Coordinates: 44 ° 38 ′ 21 ″  N , 22 ° 6 ′ 23 ″  E
Location: Caraș-Severin , Romania
Next city: Orșova
Surface: 1,156 km²
Founding: 2000
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The Iron Gate Nature Park ( Romanian Parcul Natural Porțile de Fier ) is a nature reserve in the Caraș-Severin and Mehedinți districts in south-western Romania . The Iron Gate Nature Park covers an area of ​​115,655 hectares and extends over the southern foothills of the Banat Mountains ( Locva Mountains and Almăj Mountains ), the Mehedinți Mountains and part of the Mehedinți Highlands , as well as the breakthrough valley of the Danube at the Iron Gate . The Eisernes Tor nature park was founded in 2000 as a nature reserve of national importance and in 2007 was recognized by the IUCN as a category V ( nature park ) protected area . In 2011, the Iron Gate Nature Park was entered in the Ramsar Convention's list of protected areas of international importance . Protected areas have been set up on both sides of the Danube - the Đerdap National Park in Serbia and the Iron Gate Nature Park on the Romanian side. The aim is to create a cross-border biosphere reserve as part of the future Danube Region Euroregion .


Ruins of the Roman Drobeta

First settlements and buildings

The region around the area of ​​the Danube breakthrough Iron Gate is home to evidence of a long and eventful history. Numerous sites from the Stone , Bronze and Iron Ages have been preserved. The numerous testimonies from the time of the Roman Empire are also interesting . For the Romans , the Danube formed the border to the barbarians , but it was also an important artery . The emperors Tiberius and Trajan had a road cut into the rock along the Danube bank. Remains of the border fort Drobeta near Turnu Severin and bridgeheads of the formerly imposing Trajan's Bridge over the Danube from the Iron Gate dam have also been preserved from Roman times . The bridge was designed by Apollodorus of Damascus and was the longest bridge in the world for over a millennium. Fortresses and monasteries in particular have survived from the Middle Ages . In addition to the historical sights, there are also numerous sacred buildings of various denominations.

Population in the 21st century

In 2010, 45,735 people lived in the Iron Gate Nature Park, 12,726 of them in Orșova and 13,049 in Moldova Nouă , Moldova Veche , Moldovița and Măceşti . The population density is around 45 inhabitants per square kilometer, with Orșova having the highest population density with 300 inhabitants per square kilometer.

The ethnic structure is made up as follows: Romanians (80.85%), Serbs (11.31%), Czechs (4.79%) in Bigăr , Eibenthal , Sfânta Elena and Gârnic , Roma (1.72%) in Eșelnița and Berzasca and other ethnic groups: Hungarians (0.73%), Germans ( Banat Swabians and Banat mountainous Germans ) (0.39%) Slovaks , Ukrainians and Bulgarians .


Iron Gate Dam

The Danube reaches Romania at Baziaș . Over a short distance, the current follows its path without restrictions. The first limestone section Strămtura Pescari – Alibeg consists of steep slopes of up to 120 meters high made of Jurassic limestone and chalk formations . After the Danube makes a large curve on the rock faces near Cozla , it reaches the second limestone section of the Danube file and is increasingly narrowed by the mountain belt. From kilometer 996 in Svinița and the towers of the former Tri Cule fortress , the Danube turns to the north-east, so that at kilometer 989 the great arch started in Cozla is completed. At km 973.8, the Danube basin ( Cazanele Mari in Romanian ) offer a truly picturesque picture. The almost 200 meter high walls seem to float freely over the water in some places.

Until it was defused in 1972 as a result of the construction of the dam at the Eisernes Tor 1 power plant , the Iron Gate was considered to be the most dangerous section of the Danube for navigation, which could not be passed without a local pilot . The Iron Gate is one of the most imposing valley openings in Europe . On the Cazan between the cities of Orșova and Donji Milanovac , the Danube is narrowed to 200 meters wide and 80 meters deep. Nature reserves have been set up on both sides of the Danube - the Nationalparkerdap National Park in Serbia and the Iron Gate Nature Park on the Romanian side.

In the Iron Gate Nature Park there are numerous fossil sites , bird and reptile reserves, a total of 18 protected zones. The nature park has a 2007 EU - funding received in the amount of 110,000 euros. With this, the administration in Drobeta-Turnu Severin wants to set up new tourist routes and map the species living in the reserve. The park administration wants to create the basis for a database on all species and habitats that exist in the reserves of the nature park. The administration has set itself the goal of marking the walking - and cycling routes and the installation of information panels with the description of habitats.

Between Baziaș and the Eisernes Tor 1 power plant, the scientific basis for the Eisernes Tor-Đerdap biosphere reserve of the future Danube region is to be created. The biosphere reserve includes six villages in the administrative district of Mehedinți and eight in the administrative district of Caraș-Severin, as well as the 18 nature reserves on the southern bank of the Danube breakthrough:

In the nature park, there are two special protection areas for bird life, which are part of the European network of bird protection areas , as stipulated by government resolution 1284/2007 . One is the course of the Danube between Baziaş and the Iron Gate with around 10,000 hectares and the other is the mountains of the Almăjului-Locvei Mountains, which extend over 118,141 hectares. At the same time , an information and documentation center about the cross-border nature park is to be set up in Dubova , the most touristically developed town on the Donaustausee .

Protected zones

Iron gate, postage stamp
National road (DN57) along the Danube near Dubova

The area of ​​the Eisernes Tor nature park is divided into 18 protected areas:

Serial No. Protected zone IUCN category Area in hectares
01 Vărănic Hill IV 350.00
02 Cracul Găioara IV 5.00
03 Oglănic Valley IV 150.00
04th Cracul Crucii IV 2.00
05 Fața Virului IV 6.00
06th Gura Văii - Vârciorova IV 305.00
07th Duhovna hill IV 50.00
08th Bahna fossil deposit III 10.00
09 Cazanele Mari and Cazanele Mici IV 215.00
10 Svinița fossil deposit III 95.00
11 Golf Ostrov - Moldova Veche IV 1,627.00
12 Valea Polevii water cave IV 3.20
13 Valea Mare IV 1,179.00
14th Divici – Pojejena IV 498.00
15th Swifts Gorge Divici Valley IV 5.00
16 Calinovăț island IV 24.00
17th Baziaș Gorge IV 170.90
18th Nera Delta IV 10.00

Tourist destinations

Historic buildings

Ladislaus fortress

The Ladislaus Fortress ( Romanian Cetatea Ladislau ) was built on the left bank of the Danube near the village of Coronini and served as a customs post for shipping on the Danube. It was first mentioned in a document in the 19th century.

Tri Kule fortress

The ruins of the fortress Tri Kule ( Romanian Cetatea Tri Cule ) are located near the village of Svinița . The fortress was flooded when the dam was being built. Today only two of the three towers are visible; the third is under water. The fortress was built in the 14th century as a defense against the Ottoman Empire .

Decebal sculpture

The Decebal sculpture ( Romanian Sculptura lui Decebal ) is carved into rock and goes back to the initiative of Iosif Constantin Drăgan , the founder of the Europa-Stiftung-Drăgan ( Romanian Fundația Europeană Drăgan ). The project was started in 1994 based on sketches by an Italian sculptor and ended in 2005. The sculpture is 40 meters high and 25 meters wide and is located at the point where the Mraconia flows into the Danube.

Sacred buildings

Mraconia Monastery
Roman Catholic Church, Orșova

The Vodița Monastery ( Romanian Mânăstirea Vodița ) is located on the territory of the municipality of Vârciorova . It was built in the years 1370-1372. The founder of the monastery was the Greek-Serbian monk Nicodim , who settled in Wallachia in 1359 . The ruins of the Vodița Monastery are next to the wooden church built in 1995.

The monastery of St. Anna ( Romanian Manastirea Sf. Ana ) was from 1936 to 1939 on the Dealul Mosului in Orşova of Pamfil Şeicaru built of the First World War with the Brave Military Order Michael was excellent. The nunnery is dedicated to Saint Anne.

The monastery Mraconia ( Romanian Mănăstirea Mraconia ) was built in 1523 on the banks of the river Mraconia and has since undergone several changes. During the Russo-Austrian Turkish War of 1787–1792, the monastery was completely destroyed. In 1931 the reconstruction of the monastery began, but the ruins were flooded after the construction of the hydroelectric power station.

The St. Nicolai Church in Orșova ( Romanian Biserica Sf. Nicolae ) was first mentioned in 1660. The new church was built in the early 19th century. Between 1968 and 1970, when the entire city had to be relocated as a result of the flood dam, the Nicolai Church was also demolished and rebuilt at its current location. The church is a listed building .

The Roman Catholic Church in Orșova ( Romanian Biserica romano-catolică ) was built between 1972 and 1976 in the center of Orșova, near Piața 1800 . The church is a unique architectural monument in Europe.

The Church of the Holy Archangels ( Romanian Biserica Sf. Arhangheli ) was built in 1836 in Baroque style on the site of the Berzasca municipality . It is the oldest Romanian church in the Donaudefilee.


The Gaura Chindiei ( Romanian Peştera Gaura Chindiei ) cave is located near the village of Pescari in the Caraş-Severin County. The cave is 80 meters above the water level of the Danube and at 16 meters in length it is more of a small cave. The cave is a listed building, traces of Protodacic and Dacian life were discovered in it, as well as Neolithic and Paleolithic objects of art.

The Veterani Cave (in Romanian Peştera Veterani ) is located in the nature reserve Cazanele Mari , 25 kilometers from Orşova. The cave was used over the centuries as a place of sacrifice and as a place of homage to the gods, but also as a shelter during the Turkish-Austrian wars. In the middle of the cave there is a stone altar that served as a sacrificial site. The Dacians worshiped the deity Zamolxis here . Remains of the cave bear ( Ursus spelaeus ) and fossil remains of endemic plants have also been found in the Veterani cave .

The Haiduken Cave (in Romanian Peştera Haiducilor ) is located on the area of ​​the Valea Mare nature reserve , 3 kilometers from Moldova Nouă . It has a length of 1,370 meters. Traces of the Mesolithic have been discovered in the Haiduken Cave .


Hungarian oak
Big pasque flower
Purple willow

The vegetation in the Donaudefilee is characterized by Mediterranean , Nemoral , Pannonian and Boreal climates.

The warm, temperate vegetation zone of the Eisernes Tor nature park gives the Danube river a special color. The following can be found at great heights:

There are also alpine elements in the lower Danube Filee:

The endemic species include around 28 to 33 species and subspecies:

The eight species in List I. of the Bern Convention are of particular importance :

The vegetation of the Eisernes Tor nature park consists mainly of forests, bushes and meadows.

The forests take up 70-75% of the total area of ​​the nature park and are without exception deciduous forests that belong to the nemoral climatic zone:

Growing on bare rocks and steep slopes:


In the south of the Locva Mountains, between the Nera Pond and the island of Moldova Veche, several wetlands are lined up, which were created as a result of the construction of the Eisernes Tor 1 hydropower plant and are of great importance for the waterfowl population in the nature park.

The vegetation of the wetlands consists of:


Greek tortoise
European horned viper
Teal duck

The fauna of the Eisernes Tor Nature Park consists of 5,205 taxa , 4,873 of which are invertebrates and 332 are vertebrates. Among the vertebrates , the bird world is represented with 205 species, followed by the fish with 63 species and the amphibians with 12 taxa. 34 mammals live on the area of ​​the nature park .

Among the invertebrates are of particular importance:


Reptiles :

The predators are represented by:

The following animals are native to the area as herbivores :

The bats are also of particular importance :

Waterfowl :


  • Brigitta Gabriela Hannover Moser: Romania: Art treasures and natural beauties . Trescher Verlag, 2012, ISBN 978-3-89794-197-7
  • Margaret Millar: The Iron Gate , Diogenes Verlag, 1992

Web links

  • , Official website of the Iron Gate Nature Park
  • (PDF file; 2.00 MB), nature tourism. Romania. Discover the Garden of the Carpathians, Ministry of Regional Development and Tourism Directorate of Tourism Promotion, Bucharest, Romania, 2011
  • : Come with me . Through the Banat Mountains.

Individual evidence

  1. a b c d banaterzeitungonline , Werner Kremm: Expansion of the Iron Gate Nature Park
  2. ( Memento from February 3, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF file; 1.50 MB) The Iron Gate. Europe's largest river gorge. The Iron Gate - the largest valley breakthrough in Europe
  3. ( Memento of May 8, 2013 in the Internet Archive ), Parcul Natural Portile de Fier. Diversitatea etnica.
  4. , Iron Gate travel information
  5. a b c d e f g h i j k portiledefier-obiecive-arheologice ( Memento of October 14, 2012 in the Internet Archive ), Parcul Natural Porțile de Fier. Obiective arheologice
  6. Decebalus ( Memento from May 1, 2012 in the Internet Archive ), Rex Dragan Fecit
  7. a b c d e f g h portiledefier-flora-vegetatie ( Memento of May 8, 2013 in the Internet Archive ), Parcul Natural Porțile de Fier. flora
  8. a b c d e f g portiledefier-fauna ( Memento of May 8, 2013 in the Internet Archive ), Parcul natural Parcului Natural Portile de Fier. fauna