Decebal Statue – Asociaţia Pro-Mehedinţi

Thematic Route: The Cultural Heritage Route

Name of the Touristic Attraction: Decebal Statue carved in a rock

Location: It located is at the border between Eşelniţa commune and Dubova commune in Mehedinți County, at about 25 km from Orșova. The statue can be reached from Orşova, onDN 57 to Moldova Nouă.

Description:  It is a 55 m high and 25 m wide basrelief located near Orşova in Mehedinţi County, between Dubova and Eşelnita, near the Mraconia Bay. Considered to be the highest stone sculpture in Europe, the basrelief was made on a rock on the Romanian bank of the Danube and represents the image of the last great ruler of the Dacians, Decebal. The idea of making this basrelief belonged to the historian Iosif Constantin Dragan, a true businessman, passionate about the history of the Dacians and the Thracians. He was the one who promoted and funded the idea of this work between 1994 and 2004. The basrelief is located in front of “Tabula Traiana”, a memorial plate of more than 2,000 years old, located on the Serbian side of the Danube, built  by The Emperor Traian, symbolizing the victories of the Roman Empire against Dacia.

Legend / Story / Impressions / Recommendations: The realization of the basrelief lasted 10 years (between 1994 and 2004) and cost more than  1 million dolars. 12 sculptors-climbers worked on it. The execution of this work took place under the leadership of the Romanian sculptor Florin Cotarcea, using over a ton of dynamite for the shaping of the rock. No heavy machinery could be used, all tools being transported by boat or in 40-50 pound bags, carried on the back. The connection to the pontoon was provided by two transmitter stations. The connection to the pontoon was provided by two transmitter stations. From the base of the rock to the scaffold, climbers had to descend for half an hour. They worked in two shifts of 6 hours each: from 7:30 to 13:30 and from 13:30 to 19:30. The works took place between March and October of each year. The basic work tools used by the sculptors were: the pneumatic hammer, the chisel and the sledge-hammer. During the summer, the rock warmed very hard, making the working conditions difficult. During the works, a series of accidents occurred. A team of five people working on the scaffold,  fell a few meters, as a result of the pulling of two supporting pins on the supporting cable mounted around the cliff. A team of five people working on scaffolding fell into a few meters, as a result of the evulsion of two support pins from the supporting cable mounted around the rock. Fortunately, climbers did not suffer serious injuries.  Also, one of the climbers was bitten by a viper hiding in a supportive point, but an antiviral serum was immediately injected to him. Because of the tremors and the rock that began to crumble, Decebal’s nose, seven meters high, cracked and risked falling apart. Thus, a large part of Decebal’s nose was dynamite and then remodeled and reinforced with iron and cement reinforcement.

Information and Contact:

The bas-relief is the property of the Dragan Foundation:

http://www.decebalusrex.ro/

Route close to other Thematic Route:

In the area you can also visit:

  • Mraconia Monatery
  • Danube Gorges
  • Ponicova Cave
  • Veterani Cave
  • Natural Park “The Iron Gates”

Other useful information:

Accomodation:

„Decebal” Pension: phone: +40747 808 585

„Melba” Pension: phone: +40727 474 179

„Cabana Delfinul” Pension: phone: +40740 791 538

„Casa Mraco” Pension: phone: +40744 879 168

„Casa Lucian” Pension: phone: +4765 954 639

„Vila Hercules” Pension: phone: +40748 330 162

Events in Dubova:

– “Sons of the Village” Feast – 9th September

– „Nedeia”– 8th September

In the area there are cruises on the Danube and also fishing can be practiced here.

GPS Coordinates: lat, long: 44.6410343, 22.291614200000026, elevation: 95 m