The Iron Gates (Portile de Fier), Oltenia, Romania
> The largest dam on Danube, the longest river of EU.
> It was built during Ceausescu regime.
> 15% of all energy used in Romania is produced here
> It is placed in the Danube Gorges, the largest gorges of Europe.
Iron Gates is a gorge on the Danube River, a natural boundary between Serbia and Romania. In the broad sense it encompasses a route of 134 km; in the narrow sense it only encompasses the last barrier on this route, just beyond the Romanian city of Orsova, that contains a hydroelectric dam, with two power stations, Iron Gate I Hydro Power Plant and Iron Gate II Hydro Power Plant. It was one of the most important projects of Ceausescu.
The construction of the joint Romanian-Yugoslavian mega project that would finally tame the river began in 1964. In Eight years later the Iron Gate Dam was opened, along with two hydroelectric power stations (Iron Gate I Hydro Power Plant and Iron Gate II Hydro Power Plant). The construction of this dam gave the valley of the Danube below Belgrade the nature of a reservoir, and additionally caused a 35 m rise in the water level of the river near the dam. Iron Gate I is the largest dam on the Danube, and one of the largest hydro power plants in Europe. At completion in 1972 it was one of the largest hydro plants in the world. The electricity was divided equally between the two countries. Iron Gate II project started in 1977 and completed in 1984.
The old Orsova town, and several other villages were relocated. The dam's construction had a major impact on the environment as well—for example, the spawning routes of several species of sturgeon were permanently interrupted. That said, the flora and fauna, as well as the geomorphological, archaeological and cultural historical artifacts of the Iron Gate have been under protection from both nations since the construction of the dam. In Romania, by the Portile de Fier National Park, protecting an area of over 1,000 sq km.