The Danube is the second longest river in Europe, flowing almost 1,800 miles from the Black Forest in Germany into the Black Sea. Historically the “Iron Gates” section of the river had hazardous whirlpools, currents and rocks just below the surface, making navigation of this section of the river a treacherous 4 day event, possible only when the water was high enough.
Between 1960 and 1971 Yugoslavia and Romania cooperated to build the Iron Gates dam which floods the Danube as far upstream as Belgrade. The double lock system lifts (or lowers) boats 108 feet and has had a massive effect on increasing traffic on the river. The complex includes a hydropower plant. Naturally the Iron Gate project has had serious environmental impact on the area, burying historically important sites and dislocating whole cities.
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