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The New Ada Kaleh on Șimian Island

ada kaleh
Old Ada Kaleh - Ada Kaleh was a small island on the Danube populated mostly by Turks that was submerged during the construction of the Iron Gates hydroelectric plant in 1970. The island was about 3 km downstream from Orşova and measured 1750 by 450 metres. The isle of Ada Kaleh is probably the most evocative victim of the Iron Gate dam's construction. A Turkish exclave, it had a mosque and numerous twisting alleys, and was known as a free port and a smuggler's nest.



The New Ada Kaleh on Șimian Island - During the construction of the Iron Gates dam, and before the rising waters flooded Ada Kaleh, some of the structures that were built on the island were relocated to the nearby Şimian Island, including part of the masonry of the fortress' catacombs, the Mosque, the bazaar, Mahmut Pasha's house, the graveyard and various other objects. However, the Ada Kaleh community decided to emigrate to Turkey after the evacuation of the island, instead of re-settling on Şimian Island. Also, a smaller part went to Dobruja, another Romanian territory with a Turkish minority, so the reconstruction of the New Ada Kaleh was never completed.



New Ada Kaleh
This is a photo of Șimian Island, where part of Ada Kaleh was recreated, at the time the fort was being built in 1968.

Photo: Ada Kaleh CD




Șimian Island Șimian Island
Șimian Island and Drobeta Turnu Severin from Google Earth.

Photo: Google Earth




New Ada Kaleh
The journey to the New Ada Kaleh on Șimian Island is begun on the docks at Drobeta Turnu Severin, on the left bank of the Danube, under the Museum of the Iron Gates, and just near the remains of the celebrated Trajan's bridge, the largest in the Empire, built in 103 by the architect Apollodorus of Damascus during the war against the Dace people, north of the Danube, where Romania is today.

The Danube is about 1 200 metres (4 000 feet) broad at this spot. The bridge was composed of twenty arches supported by stone pillars; only two are still visible at low water.There is no regular transport, so a boat must be hired for the journey.

Dr Adrian Gheorghe and Alina Neagoe are members of the Alexis Project, which is a small group of people interested in preserving the prehistory and history of the Oltenia District of Romania, and increasing knowledge of this area of Romania, as well as other parts of Romania close by.

They are rugged up for the wet, cold and windy crossing in a small steel boat in late winter 2007.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe




New Ada Kaleh
The adventure begins - but Alina seems less than enthusiastic at this point!

The small boat was rocked by choppy wave conditions, which made the crossing difficult.

Drobeta Turnu Severin may be seen in the background.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe




New Ada Kaleh
The specialist Constantin Para, part of the Alexis team, has his hood up in order to protect his head from the spray from the bow of the boat. Șimian Island can be seen at about one kilometre behind him in the background.



Photo: Adrian Gheorghe




New Ada Kaleh
The walls of the fort have been beautifully and competently reconstructed in the same manner as that of the original fort.



Photo: Adrian Gheorghe




From the front to the back, the fortress has two levels:

  1. The first level, partly sunk into the ground.

  2. The second level, above it.


In the old fortress, there were three levels:

  1. One underground

  2. One just on the surface of the ground.

  3. The third above that.



Starting from the outside of the fortress, the wall facing enemies, and looking towards the interior of the island, protected by the fortress, you can see two levels.

New Ada KalehNew Ada Kaleh
The walls are very extensive, and must have taken a long time to build by master craftsmen.



Photo: Adrian Gheorghe




New Ada Kaleh
The walls appear to have wide gates for entry and exit, as well as narrower openings well above ground level to provide light and air to the lower areas when the wooden shutters which normally closed them were opened.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe




New Ada Kaleh
This is an excellent close up view of one of the guard posts at the corners of the walls, designed to hold a single soldier who could keep watch. The stone parts of the walls were mostly salvaged from Ada Kaleh Island before it sank beneath the waves, and incorporated into the new structure which used newly made red brick for most of the construction.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe




Ada Kaleh
Image of someone who appears to be sewing, with a good view of one of the watch towers on the wall of the fort at Old Ada Kaleh, which was the model for these constructions on Șimian Island.

Photograph apparently taken from within one of the "root cellars" which were semicircular strongly constructed arches bermed with earth, under which food such as potatoes and similar goods were stored, to keep them cool (but not frozen) and dry.

Photo: Ebay




New Ada Kaleh
Close up view of one of the windows in the fortress. Note that the window extends from one side of the wall to the other, leading me to think that it had uses other than just light and air.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe




New Ada Kaleh
An entry to the fortress.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe




New Ada KalehNew Ada Kaleh
General views of the interior of the walls of the fortress.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe




New Ada KalehNew Ada Kaleh
General views of the interior of the walls of the fortress.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe




New Ada Kaleh
A separate building to the fortress.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe




New Ada Kaleh
A separate building to the fortress. This may be a recreation of one of the original dwellings on Ada Kaleh, one of the aims of the whole project. However there appears to have been no attempt to recreate the original mosque on Ada Kaleh Island. It may be that the project ran out of money.

From Wikipedia:
With the building of the dam, some of the structures built on the islands were moved to nearby Șimian Island, including part of the masonry of the fortress' catacombs, the Mosque, the bazaar, Mahmut Pasha's house, the graveyard and various objects. However, the Ada Kaleh community decided to emigrate to Turkey after the evacuation of the island instead of re-settling on Șimian island. Also, a smaller part went to Dobruja, another Romanian territory with a Turkish minority.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe




New Ada Kaleh




Five photographs in a panorama of the fortress of Ada Kaleh.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe

New Ada KalehNew Ada Kaleh
This stone entry has been carefully reconstructed from stone salvaged from Ada Kaleh. It is part of an isolated single building some 50 metres from the fort.

Note the symbolic stone "minarets" on each side of the gate, indicating that the gate was to the grounds of a mosque.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe




New Ada KalehAda Kaleh public buildingAda Kaleh
The gate is a recreation, using the same stone, of the entry shown in the centre and the right hand photograph, to the grounds of the original mosque on Ada Kaleh.

The proportions of the gates and their general appearance are identical, although the extra, separate construction above the gate forming part of a wall around the Mosque has not been recreated.

The earlier centre photograph shows a ramp from a dry moat to the gate, the later right hand photograph shows the ramp and low stone walls erected on the ramp for safety of pedestrians have been removed, once the gate was restored to a position where the entry was at water level, accessible only by small water craft after the flooding of the moat.

On the earlier centre photograph, the shadows of the stone "minarets" can just be distinguished on the face of the stone entry way.

The Mosque originally had an integral minaret, and later when the separate better designed minaret was constructed, the builders also added a beautifully proportioned pagoda, as well as completing the flooding of the moat around the Mosque grounds. In addition, the Mosque was re-roofed with a better roof which had a larger protective eave over the walls.

It should also be realised that the gate and the wall were there first, the mosque was put up much later than the gate and the wall, which were part of the original fortress erected on Ada Kaleh.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe (L), Ada Kaleh CD (Centre and right)




New Ada KalehNew Ada Kaleh
These are the iron or steel pins or rods fixed to the wall within this isolated building, meant to support the doors of the massive gates which would have been needed to close the entry.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe




New Ada KalehNew Ada Kaleh
Plaque written in Arabic script inside the building above. This plaque was salvaged from either the mosque or the gate to the mosque.

My thanks to Henri Meirov who writes that there is an Ottoman date of 1158 at the bottom of the plaque, which corresponds to 1745 in the modern Gregorian calendar. This means that the plaque was made after the 1739 handover of the island of Ada Kaleh to Turkey.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe




New Ada KalehAda Kaleh
On the left, the rear entry of the single building shown above, which has an entry faced with stone, and which contains a plaque written in arabic script. The construction of this brick arch is similar in most ways to the entry gate shown on the right in the photo of a group of people at Old Ada Kaleh, but lacks the stone inner arch. The new arch appears to be taller than the old, also.

Note the way that the walls on the sides of the gate have been finished off in a zig zag fashion, to indicate that the wall would have continued on, but the builders wanted to show just this single feature.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe (L) Ada Kaleh CD (R)




New Ada KalehNew Ada KalehNew Ada Kaleh




Another single building not far from the fort.

This appears to be a recreation of one of the main entrances to the fort. It is almost identical to old images of one of the main entrances, though with subtle but important differences, see the comparisons below.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe

New Ada KalehAda KalehAda Kaleh
Note the similarity to the images of what was called the main entrance to the fort at Ada Kaleh. The originals show that the infill above the gate was of brick, but the recreation, while preserving all the proportions, has the infill above the gate of stone. Note also that the decoration immediately above the keystone is different - on the old photos, there is a ledge which projects out from the gate, protecting it from the elements, whereas the recreation has instead a decorative stone feature not nearly so projecting in nature.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe (L) Ada Kaleh CD (centre and right)




New Ada KalehNew Ada Kaleh
General views of the structures.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe




New Ada KalehNew Ada KalehNew Ada Kaleh


New Ada KalehNew Ada Kaleh
A recreation of the Islamic cemetery from Ada Kaleh, with the original tomb stones. There are even some remains buried here of those originally buried on Ada Kaleh which were removed to this site.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe




New Ada KalehNew Ada Kaleh
Another single building, again about 50 metres from the walls of the fort, on the western side.

With its flat roof, it may be a recreation of one of the Turkish style buildings on Ada Kaleh.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe




New Ada KalehNew Ada Kaleh




New Ada Kaleh
The building shown in these three photographs has a chimney and fireplace, meant for a large oven. The building was possibly a bakery. Part of the walls have been stuccoed.

In contrast to the workmanship on the fort, the brickwork and finish on this structure is very rough and ready, possibly reflecting the reality of the original structure on Ada Kaleh, which would have been made without plans or planning permission and possibly by the baker himself.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe




New Ada Kaleh
This structure seems to be little more than a small section of a wall, with wooden supports for an elevated floor, should the building be completed.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe




New Ada KalehNew Ada Kaleh




New Ada KalehNew Ada Kaleh




New Ada KalehNew Ada Kaleh

General views of the fort from various vantage points.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe




New Ada Kaleh

On the inside of the walls of the fort, there were many entrances such as these to facilitate movement in and out of the fort walls, which are really vast storage areas.

Some parts of the wall seem to have suffered damage from the effects of weathering over the forty years since they were built, as can be seen here.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe




New Ada KalehNew Ada Kaleh

Inside the first level of the fort, above the underground section. This is a large tunnel, six metres across and three metres high which runs throughout the walls of the fortress.

Some idea of the huge scale of this structure can be gained by looking at the right hand photograph of these two pictures.

It may also be seen that parts of the brickwork have collapsed, apparently from seepage of water from above or, most likely, below. This may also be seen in the efflorescence of salts from the seeping water, shown here by white stains on the brickwork.

The effect is common when attention has not been given to a moisture barrier below the structure. The water comes up from the ground by capillary action, evaporates on the porous brickwork, and leaves behind salts which although dilute in the invading moisture, become concentrated as the water evaporates, and the resulting crystals break apart the surface and the subsurface of the bricks and the mortar.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe




New Ada Kaleh
The stone surrounds of a window formerly closed with iron bars to repel entry by invaders, showing the scars left by the iron bars.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe




New Ada KalehNew Ada Kaleh
Detail of the roof of the first level tunnel, and a photo to give an idea of the huge extent of these tunnels.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe




New Ada Kaleh
Looking from the first level, there is a second huge wall which protects the fortress.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe




New Ada Kaleh
Above each window in the walls, there is a hole in the roof to the second level. This may have originally provided access between the levels via a ladder.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe




New Ada Kaleh
Stone steps to the second level.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe




New Ada Kaleh
Stone pieces in disarray on the floor of the tunnel. It is not known if they had specific uses and were to be fitted to the structure, or if they were simply stored there for later use as necessary.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe




New Ada Kaleh
This photograph allows a much better idea to be gained of the construction of the arches. All the arches seem to be semi-circular, but because they extend along the arched roof, and the pillars are thicker at the top than at the base, the impression is gained that the arches are close to a catenary shape. Here, where the arches butt against a vertical, obviously semi-circular arch, this optical illusion is shown to be a false one.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe




New Ada Kaleh
Going up to the second level, looking down the staircase.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe




New Ada Kaleh
The apertures in the ceiling above the windows in the first level, put there possibly to provide ventilation to the lower levels when the windows were stopped by solid doors, or possibly to allow access by ladder to the second level.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe




New Ada Kaleh New Ada Kaleh New Ada Kaleh
Images taken from the second level of the fort.

The centre photograph shows the entrance to the staircase leading down to the first level. Note the arched roof of this staircase.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe




New Ada KalehNew Ada Kaleh
Images of the fortress, taken from the roof of the first level.

Looking at the photo on the left, one can see a round, tunnel like structure on the right of the photograph, extending through the wall. Notice that it descends through the roof, just as a staircase would.




This is the outside of the staircase to the first level. There is a similar structure at the back of the photograph, towards the left of the photo, another staircase to the lower level.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe

New Ada Kaleh
Image taken from the second level of the fort. The arched tunnels and the carefully made gate are interesting objects, I wish I knew more about their function in the original structure. I suspect that the arched tunnels may have been used for storing food, especially root crops such as potatoes, turnips and the like.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe




New Ada Kaleh




New Ada Kaleh New Ada Kaleh
Looking towards Turnu Severin from the second level of the fort.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe




New Ada Kaleh
Walking on the roof of the first level of the fort.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe




New Ada Kaleh
The walls of the second level, built on the roof of the first level of the fort.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe




New Ada Kaleh
Looking out from the second level of another section of the fort.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe




New Ada KalehNew Ada Kaleh
The guide on this exploration told Dr Gheorghe that this huge area which is inside the walls of the second level was used for storing food.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe




New Ada KalehNew Ada Kaleh
This broken wall in the photo on the left allows us to see more clearly the space inside the walls of the second level for the purpose of storing food, shown in the right hand photograph. The right hand photograph was taken by taking a photograph through the hole in the wall shown in the left hand photograph.

This is a very good photograph of the area which the guide said was for food. Note the structures in arched shape, which I believe are the roofs of storage areas for food. I do not think that the food was stored above these arches, I believe the food would have been stored below them, as a kind of root cellar.

I notice that the arches stop before the back wall, but meet the front wall, and there is a small hole at the back, perhaps for ventilation.

I believe the food (wheat? potatoes? carrots? turnips?) was stored under these arches, with access to the area beneath the arch from the left hand side of the wall, as we look at this photograph. In english, we would call these things "root cellars". They provided a way of storing food during winter. The food did not freeze, but was kept cool and dry in these root cellars.

However root cellars use the "heat bank" effect of large amounts of earth over them. Normally they are dug into hillsides so that access is easy. In this case, they are constructed of bricks. The bricks are in an arch so that they can withstand the weight of earth heaped above them. In this reconstruction, although the arches have been plastered over with cement, to protect the bricks, the earth has not been shovelled over them.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe




New Ada Kaleh
Walking on the roof of the first level.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe




New Ada Kaleh New Ada Kaleh New Ada Kaleh




New Ada Kaleh New Ada Kaleh




New Ada Kaleh New Ada Kaleh




New Ada Kaleh New Ada Kaleh




New Ada Kaleh New Ada Kaleh
Views from the roof of the second level to other parts of the fortress and the southern part of the island.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe




New Ada KalehNew Ada KalehNew Ada Kaleh
Going down from the second level to the first level.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe




New Ada Kaleh New Ada Kaleh


New Ada Kaleh New Ada Kaleh
Stones in disarray on the first level, presumably stored safely for future use, and having been salvaged from the old island of Ada Kaleh.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe




New Ada Kaleh
This is a good photo of one of the windows in the outside walls of the fortress. In the middle can be seen the main window framed in stone, and to the left and right small windows for guns to fire on enemies.

Above the window may be seen an opening to the roof of the first level, probably for fresh air to the tunnel, and to provide emergency access to the roof via a wooden ladder when necessary.

It may also be seen that there is an extra arch in the brickwork above the the main window, providing strength against compressive strain, to relieve pressure on the stone lintel which might otherwise break from the weight of masonry above it.

The stone window originally had iron bars set into the stone so that air could come in, but invaders could not climb through, and the scars where these iron bars had been may be seen in the vertical stones.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe




New Ada Kaleh New Ada Kaleh
Exit from the first level of the fortress and passing into the back yard of the fortress. Note that there are two entrances/exits side by side at this point. Perhaps each was meant for one direction, so that in an emergency there would be less confusion, and movement would be faster and less congested.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe




New Ada Kaleh New Ada Kaleh
Photographs showing the back yard of the fortress, near the two entrances/exits shown above. The two last photographs show clearly the dual nature of the construction, with the first level constructed with many wide windows, originally closed by wooden gates, and with vertical narrow windows facing inside the fortress, so that defenders could also fire on any invaders who managed to scale the walls and occupy the central area.

This photograph shows clearly the way that the first level was constructed much wider than the second level, which at this point consisted of not much more than the roof of the first level, and a high wall on top of that, with occasional windows from which guns could be aimed and fired.

This photograph also shows clearly the arches supporting the roof of the first level, projecting into the floor of the second level. Presumably this was meant to be infilled with rubble and a brick paving to provide a level area to walk on, but this seems not to have been completed.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe




New Ada Kaleh New Ada Kaleh
Stone steps to the second level of the fortress. Notice in particular the heavily constructed brick arch below the steps, giving access to the first level. However the original ground level floor seems to have been bricked up at a later stage of the construction, leaving just a window rather than an entrance below the stone steps.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe




New Ada Kaleh
This is a very important photograph. It shows the original main gate to Ada Kaleh, as shown in early photographs and postcards.

Note in particular the identification numerals on the stones. Before the gate was dismantled, and during the process of dismantling, each stone was numbered, and its position recorded on detailed drawings and photographs. This process was a difficult and time consuming one for master craftsmen, who have done a wonderful job of the recreation of this important structure.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe




Ada KalehAda Kaleh
The photograph above may be compared to these photographs of the gate in its original position on the island of Ada Kaleh.

It may be seen that the recreation appears to be taller and narrower than that in the original photographs. This illusion is created by the removal (in the restoration) of rubble, dirt, perhaps bitumen which had either built up over the years or had been deliberately added to the path beneath the gate on the island of Ada Kaleh, perhaps to provide easier movement from the outside of the fort to the Bazaar.

Photo: Ada Kaleh CD




New Ada Kaleh New Ada Kaleh
Further views of the main gate to Ada Kaleh.

From these images we may conjecture that there was an obscured bridge over the moat in the original photos of this gate in old Ada Kaleh. Here it can be seen that there is a stone and earth filled area in front of the gate, with a gap for the passage of water. If a bridge was constructed on top of this to the gate, then filled with bitumen or gravel, it would account for the difference between the original height of the gate and that shown in the photos of the gate when installed at old Ada Kaleh.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe




New Ada Kaleh
Looking out of the fortress through the main gate.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe




New Ada Kaleh
These stone linteled windows have been bricked up, possibly mirroring what had been done in the original Ada Kaleh fortress.

Note here also that the brickwork has been damaged by rising damp.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe




New Ada Kaleh
This is a beautiful image, showing the marked contrast between the bright light outside and the dark inside of the fortress.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe




New Ada Kaleh
This well composed image illustrates the arched areas which I feel may have been meant as root cellars, places where root crops such as potatoes, beets, turnips and carrots may have been stored to be used over winter.

The bricks have been laid in arches so that they can support the huge weight of earth which would normally have been heaped above them to form a "heat bank" effect, so that they do not freeze in winter, and remain cool in summer. The earth has not been piled on top in this reconstruction, although the tops of the arches have been plastered with cement to protect them should this be done.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe




New Ada Kaleh New Ada KalehNew Ada Kaleh
Yet another important stone gate rescued and restored on the island.

Note the massive keystone at the top of the arch, surmounted by a carved sphere, and the decorative half round frieze of stone all the way along the wall.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe




New Ada Kaleh
A series of brick arches on the first level in quite reasonable condition, apparently undamaged by rising damp.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe




New Ada Kaleh
This appears to be the chimney of a fireplace, possibly on the other side of the wall, which became damaged and has left soot on the roof above.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe




New Ada Kaleh
Another section of the west part of the fortress.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe




New Ada Kaleh New Ada Kaleh
It is sad to see the fortress crumbling to dust, when so much effort, love and money went into its creation.

These shots show the "well" on the second floor described below.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe




New Ada Kaleh New Ada Kaleh New Ada Kaleh New Ada Kaleh
Views from the first level of one of the wells which supplied water to the fortress.


New Ada Kaleh New Ada Kaleh New Ada Kaleh
Views from the second level of the access to the well on the first level, showing both the hexagonal "well" on the second level, and views down the hole through the roof of the first level to the well on the first level.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe




New Ada Kaleh







Diagram of the well inside the fortress.

This is a very clever construction, which allows people on either the first or the second level to draw water from the well. The circular hole in the roof of the first level allows a bucket to be lowered to the well not just from the first, but even from the second level, and drawn back up full of water.

It should also be realised that in this recreation on Șimian Island, there are just two levels, as shown, and the first level is partly below ground level.

Photos (above): Adrian Gheorghe

Digital Mischief (left): Don Hitchcock




New Ada Kaleh New Ada Kaleh New Ada Kaleh New Ada Kaleh
Images from the first level of the west part of the fortress.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe




New Ada Kaleh
An interesting photo of the corner of the walls of the fortress, protected by one large window, with a large angle of fire, and a small window with a very narrow angle of fire, but together leaving no area of the approach to this section of the fortress undefended.

Note the solid corner stones, and the decorative half round stone running right along the wall at the level of the floor of the second level.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe




New Ada Kaleh
In the "back yard" of the fortress. This photo shows clearly the way that the long arched constructions I have called root cellars have been covered with cement, and have had earth heaped on them to provide a tempering effect on temperature, both in summer and winter.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe




New Ada Kaleh New Ada Kaleh
Close ups of the area above.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe




New Ada Kaleh New Ada Kaleh
Tunnel inside the walls of the first level of the south part of the fortress.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe




New Ada Kaleh New Ada Kaleh New Ada Kaleh New Ada Kaleh
Walking on the wall, at the height of the second level of the fortress.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe




New Ada Kaleh New Ada Kaleh New Ada Kaleh
Lookout on the corner of the upper wall of the fortress. Normally the sentries would be out patrolling the walkway behind the parapet where vision was better, but in inclement weather, this small room provided shelter from the elements while still allowing a clear view of the outside of the fortress.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe




New Ada Kaleh New Ada Kaleh
Images taken from the second level of the fortress, looking from west to east.

It is interesting to see the roof covered with stone pebbles.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe




New Ada Kaleh New Ada Kaleh


New Ada Kaleh New Ada KalehNew Ada Kaleh



Photographs of the north part of the castle, on the way back to the boat.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe



New Ada Kaleh

Pieces of ancient pottery, from the Coțofeni culture, bronze age, over 3 500 years ago, discovered on Șimian Island, on the eastern side, far away from the recreation of the fortress.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe




New Ada Kaleh

On the boat. Note the large number of birds flying across in front of the moored ship in the background.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe




New Ada Kaleh New Ada Kaleh


New Ada Kaleh New Ada Kaleh

These are "ghost" ships, moored in the Danube and abandoned.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe





New Ada Kaleh New Ada Kaleh New Ada Kaleh



These are wooden posts used by the Romans to build Trajan's bridge, the largest in the Empire, built in 103 AD by the architect Apollodorus of Damascus during the war against the Dace people, north of the Danube, where Romania is today.

People who find these wooden posts use them for firewood.

It is one of the aims of the Alexis Project to protect artefacts like these, and preserve Romania's heritage for generations to come.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe

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New Ada Kaleh New Ada Kaleh


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The reconstruction of an Islamic room from Ada Kaleh at the Drobeta Museum.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe











Construction of the New Ada Kaleh

There are very few available photographs of the actual construction of New Ada Kaleh, begun as a rescue operation in 1967 with the threat of Ada Kaleh being inundated by the waters of the new dam on the Danube.

These are all I have been able to find of the actual design and construction process, from http://archnet.org/library/images/thumbnails.tcl?location_id=2654

If any reader has more photos of this construction period, I would be glad to have them.

New Ada Kaleh
This shows the scaffolding and shoring up of the walls of the New Ada Kaleh. Foundations for another part of the fort are in the foreground.

Photo: Paul Adrian, 1968, from:
http://archnet.org/library/images/thumbnails.tcl?location_id=2654
© Aga Khan Award for Architecture




New Ada Kaleh
Close up of the walls under construction. The stones for the corners of the walls were salvaged from the original fort. Every effort was made to have the new construction match the old in all particulars.

Photo: Paul Adrian, 1968, from:
http://archnet.org/library/images/thumbnails.tcl?location_id=2654
© Aga Khan Award for Architecture




New Ada Kaleh
This shows one of the minor gates to the fort under construction, and shows the wooden formwork necessary for the bricklayers to obtain a semicircular arch.

Photo: Paul Adrian, 1968, from:
http://archnet.org/library/images/thumbnails.tcl?location_id=2654
© Aga Khan Award for Architecture




New Ada Kaleh
The new construction was meticulously planned to match the original. This shows a detail of one of the sharp corners of the fort, so made in order to be easily defended in case of attack.

Photo: Paul Adrian, 1968, from:
http://archnet.org/library/images/thumbnails.tcl?location_id=2654
© Aga Khan Award for Architecture




New Ada Kaleh
Plan of part of the new fortress, modelled on the old.

Photo: Paul Adrian, 1968, from:
http://archnet.org/library/images/thumbnails.tcl?location_id=2654
© Aga Khan Award for Architecture




New Ada Kaleh
This appears to be the plan for the catacombs beneath the fortress, which had semicircular passageways at intervals supporting the heavy structures above.

Photo: Paul Adrian, 1968, from:
http://archnet.org/library/images/thumbnails.tcl?location_id=2654
© Aga Khan Award for Architecture




New Ada Kaleh
Sectional drawing showing the wall and arches in part of the new fortress.

Photo: Paul Adrian, 1968, from:
http://archnet.org/library/images/thumbnails.tcl?location_id=2654
© Aga Khan Award for Architecture




New Ada Kaleh
This sectional drawing shows the sloping outside wall of the fortress.

Photo: Paul Adrian, 1968, from:
http://archnet.org/library/images/thumbnails.tcl?location_id=2654
© Aga Khan Award for Architecture








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This site is to publicise the history and culture of Romania, and displays information from the Alexis Project Association

Alexis Project Filiasi/Romania
RC J/263/230/2007 CIF 21464151
Email: alexis_project@yahoo.com

in a partnership and contract with the Oltenia Museum:
Oltenia Museum Craiova/Romania
CF 4417192
Email: muzeulolteniei@yahoo.com

Because Oltenia Museum has the ability to verify the scientific importance of this information and because the specialists of Oltenia Museum have made contributions to this site, the copyrights to it are part of Oltenia Museum property.



If you have any photographs or information which would be useful for this site please contact Don Hitchcock


This page last modified Wednesday, 13th February, 2013 07:41pm


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