It is magnificent to be standing on the Danube bank – wrote a Roman Consul, Pliny the Younger. It totally refers to Đerdap. The greatest Serbian National Park is in the north-east Serbia and constitutes the national border with Romania. The Đerdap Gorge is part of the park, 100 km of magnificent landscapes and history, where the Danube cuts its way towards the Black Sea. Đerdap starts at Golubac and ends at Kladovo, in Karataš. In the Đerdap Gorge, the Danube is at its narrowest and the deepest points, and at Golubac, just before the entrance, at its widest point – 7 km resembling the sea. The Đerdap Gorge is a natural habitat and reservation of rare bird, animal and plant species. In the thick Đerdap forests one may encounter bears, lynxes, wolves, jackals, white-tailed eagles, owls, black storks, golden eagles, short-toed snake eagles and grey falcons.
Gerdap in Turkish means a dangerous place for navigation, a whirlpool. The Romans and the Slavs called it the Iron Gate.
At the end of the Đerdap Gorge, in 1970 and in 1984, the Đerdap I and Đerdap II hydroelectric power plants were built, belonging both to Serbia and Romania. The Đerdap power plant participates in the total power generation of Serbia with about 20%. As with other rivers, the countryside around Đerdap was completely changed.
A pleasant Đerdap climate has always attracted people to settle there, and many different civilisations left an abundance of their material traces. Đerdap is rich with historic monuments – the Golubac and Fetislam fortresses, the Roman Diana fortress, the Trajan’s Table, the Trajan’s Bridge, the Roman road and above all, Lepenski vir – an archaeological site, the place of the oldest prehistoric European culture.