Djerdap Gorge – A Natural and Historic Phenomenon

The most beautiful part of the Danube river is where the river and the Panonian sea broke through the Carpaths. Perhaps it was this influx of water into the Black Sea that brought huge water mass through Bosforos and the Dardanels and created the myth of Atlantis. About 100 km long and winding Djerdap gorge is the proof of how hard and long was the effort of the river to make its way through the rocks.The first settlers in the gorge were fruit gatherers who came to Lepenski Vir, Vlasac and Padina 9000 years ago.

Roman emperor Trajan used to spend a lot of time in the gorge during his conquests in the east and his battles against the Dacians. It is only after he had made a road through the gorge and a bridge across the Danube, that he managed to defeat them. It took two years to build the 1133 m long bridge, which was considered a great achievement at the time. Only the settlement of Lepenski Vir and Trajan’s plaque, with a portion of the road nearby, were saved from floods. Traces of Roman and Byzantian culture are still present.

This place is often related to a great Serbian hero Milos Obilic who used to hunt in Miroc mountain where he met prince Lazar. It is said that Milos built the Tuman monastery near Golubac.

Four gorges and three valleys form Djerdap gorge, beginning with the Upper gorge and followed by Gospodjinski Vir, Veliki and Mali Kazan and Sipski canal. Vast valleys of Ljupkovska, Donjemilanovacka and Orsavska can be found between the gorges. At the entrance into the gorge there is the old town of Golubac and Babakaj rock. It is said that the Turks kidnapped a girl Golubana and took her to a harem. The girl couldn’t accept the harsh fate of being a harem beauty so the Turks tied her on Babakaj rock where she eventually passed away. A town on its steep slope was named Golubac in her honor.

There is one fortress at the beginning of the Gorge and another at its end. The remains of once powerful fortress Fetislam are located near Kladovo. The fortress was built first by Trajan, then Justinijan and, in 12th century, the fortress of Novi Grad, that was later demolished by Hungarians, was built.

The development of geological material of this part of Serbia can be seen. Tere are many caves near the river the most important of which is Rajko’s Cave near Majdanpek, placed on the rocky banks of the Boljetin River.
The Djerdap Gorge is, in a sense, a history book of both Serbia and our planet. Therefore, there are many reasons for visting this natural and historical phenomenon of the world.