Traian’s Bridge – Asociaţia Pro-Mehedinţi

Thematic Route: The Cultural Heritage Route

Name of the Touristic Attraction: Traian’s Bridge

Location: in Drobeta Turnu Severin, Mehedinți County. The bridge was built in the waters of the Danube River, near Drobeta Turnu Severin, Mehedinţi County.

Description: The bridge plans belonged to the famous architect, Apolodor of Damascus. 1,135 m long, 14.55 m wide and 18.6 m high, the bridge was built on 20 pillars made of stone blocks, and for the wooden part of the bridge, oaks of 200 hectares of forest, were used. Each of the ends of the bridge had a monument portal, whose relics were seen from both sides of the Danube.

Legend / Story / Impressions / Recommendations: Considered to be the boldest engineering work of the Roman antiquity, Traian’s Bridge was built within 3 years, between 103 and 105. The place was not chosen randomly. At Drobeta, the rapid currents from the Boilers Defile calm down, the soil is solid, and the width and depth of the water were apparently appropriate. The choice of the place where the bridge was built allows us to believe that it was designed for the economic and strategic servicing of the entire territory. The bridge was not built during the first war with the Dacians, but by  the outbreak of the second one (105-106 a.Ch), it was finished. There is no concrete clue about the ruining of Traian’s bridge. The one who mentions the short life of this construction is Dio Cassius. He states that Emperor Hadrianus (117-138) is responsible for the partial destruction of the bridge. He did it to protect the southern part of the Danube from the invasion of the roxolan and iazyge tribes. There is also the version of Procopius, which claims that the bridge has collapsed due to the Danube waters and alluviums. It seems that this information is true, and it is confirmed by the modern research that has taken place later on. What is certain is that the exact date when the bridge ceased to be used, is not known. It seems, however, that the abandonment and total destruction of the bridge are linked to the final abandonment of Dacia in 275 a.Ch. During the Renaissance, when interest in the genius works of Antiquity was a passion in the West, King Francis I of France asked Sultan Soliman the Magnificent to allow him to demolish a pillar of the bridge to find out the secret of the composition of the cement used. The ruins of Traian’s bridge were thoroughly studied in the modern period in 1689 by the Austrian officer Luigi Ferdinando who, taking into account the expansion of the Habsburg Empire, had the initiative (unsuccessful) to build another bridge alongside the remnants of Traian’s Bridge.

Information and Contact:

Traian’s Bridge is under the administration of the Iron Gate Region Museum:

phone: + 4 0252 312 177

e-mail: office@muzeulpdf.ro,

website: http://www.cimec.ro/Muzee/MuzeulRegiuniiPortilordeFier/Index.htm

Route close to other Thematic Routes:

In the area you can aslo visit:

  1. “Dragalina General Park” with the Severin Fortress and the Drobeta Archeological Complex placed on the slope of the Danube terrace
  2. “Roses Park” made up of hundreds of varieties of trees, shrubs and roses
  3. The Water Castle
  4. Iron Gate Hydropower Plant Museum
  5. “Theodor Costescu” Cultural Pallace
  6. The Orthodox Cathedral

Other useful information:

Accommodation:

„Traian”Hotel: phone: +4 0252 311 760

„Continental” Hotel: phone: +40372 528 828

„Condor” Hotel: phone:+40252 311 128

„Corona” Hotel: phone: +40743 128 658, e-mail: contact@corona.ro

Events in Drobeta Turnu Severin:

1.Severin’s Days – 23rd April

2.Danube’s Day – 29th June

  1. National Festival of Literature “The meaning of love”- in Spring

4.The festival “Songs of Romanians from Everywhere” – in October

  1. The Autumn National Book Fair – in October
  2. Excellence Awards Gala – in Autumn

GPS Coordinates: lat, long: 44.6237815, 22.6670763, elevation: 52 m