The Iron Gates are two colossal locks of the Danube River, which spread more than 80 kilometers apart. Two Locks, two Gates, a massive iron infrastructure to tame the river rapids and facilitate navigation. The “Iron Gates” term was first introduced by The Times newspaper back in 1853. Geographically it refers to a much larger area, which stretches over 83 miles, but most people refer only to the area of the Four Big Gorges and three wide basins formed among or just to the two locks.
In the 1960’s the narrow gorges in this area of Danube were filled with rapids, which were hindering commercial transport. The two massive locks were much needed to help control the speed of the river, facilitate and make navigation safer. After the completion of the project, the level of the river rose 39 meters higher and massive power stations were built. Commercial and tourist transport were enabled, which increased the navigable length and usability of the river. Danube was really tamed and it is now safe and ready to be explored.
The four narrow gorges are by far the most beautiful part of Danube. It has to be experience and it is really hard for us to describe how picturesque and inspiring it all is from the boat. By the time they were finished The Iron Gates were the 10th largest hydroelectric plant station in the world. It is really a piece of engineering genius.