Europe, Romania, Wallachia

Drobeta Turnu-Severin, on the Blue Danube

No Comments 19 August 2010

Drobeta Turnu-Severin, on the Blue Danube

While residing in Bulgaria from 2001-2002, the Monkey couldn’t pass up the opportunity to visit his northern neighbors in Romania. After crossing the Danube, he found himself in Drobeta Turnu-Severin. Here are a few photos from there.

Roman ruins, Drobeta Turnu-Severin, Wallachia, Romania
The Monkey’s first stop in Romania was Drobeta Turnu-Severin. It sits across the River Danube from Serbia, and dates from the time of the Dacians, the earliest known inhabitants of Romania. When the Romans conquered the settlement at Drobeta in the 2nd Century, they undertook a massive engineering project: the construction of a bridge spanning the Danube. The bridge has long since disappeared (it was destroyed in the 3rd Century), but here the Monkey inspects the Roman fortress that was built to defend the Drobeta side of the bridge’s span.

Museum of the Iron Gates model bridge, Drobeta Turnu-Severin, Wallachia, Romania
Inside Drobeta’s informative (but at times poorly lit!) Museum of the Iron Gates, the Monkey examines a scale model of Roman Emperor Trajan’s bridge across the Danube. Construction took place from 103 to 105. Even the scale model is impressive: it stretches to the far end of the room in the photo above, by the doorway in the upper left corner.

Water tower, Drobeta Turnu-Severin, Wallachia, Romania
Drobeta Turnu-Severin’s water tower is younger than it looks. It went up around 1910, but has a medieval appearance to it. Either way, the Monkey found it a pleasant place to stop for a photo.

Romania Lei
The Monkey celebrates becoming the latest Romanian millionaire. Romanian Lei are quite colorful, and the bills are made of a plastic that purportedly outlasts most papers and is harder to counterfeit.

This Monkey adventure has been viewed 2104 times since the 2010 website relaunch.



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22,246,862 (2008)

Land area:

230,340 sq. km.


Bucharest (pop. 2,351,000; 2005)


In 2006, Romania ranked 64th in the UNDP Human Development Index and 42nd in total GDP, with a per capita GDP of $5,645.24. Public debt accounts for 13 percent of total GDP, while 25 percent of Romanians are beneath the poverty line.

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Fun fact:

During World War II, Axis-allied Romania helped the Nazi armies attack the Soviet Union in the hopes of reclaiming Bessarabia, a territory with historical linkages to Romania (among others). When the Soviets repelled the attacks and invaded Romania in 1944, Romania’s King Michael had a sudden change of heart and switched sides, joining the Allies. Angry over the betrayal, Hitler launched air strikes on Romania while the Soviet Red Army was still advancing on Bucharest, leaving Romania temporarily at war with both sides!

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