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Cetatea Severinului

Click on the photos to see an enlarged version

Severus


Cetatea Severinului could be translated as the Fortress of Severus, or the fortress of the 2nd- and 3rd-century Roman Emperor Septimius Severus, who was at one time the commander of the largest army on the Danube River. However the fortress was built in the 13th Century AD, so probably the Severin comes from the fact that the Fortress is in the town Drobeta Turnu-Severin.

An alternative version from Wikipedia is that the city of Drobeta was originally called Drobetae by the Romans, and took its later name of Turnu Severin, or the Northern Tower, from a tower on the north bank of the Danube built by the Byzantines, which stood on a small hill surrounded by a deep moat. This was built to commemorate a victory over the Gauls and Marcomanni by the Roman emperor Septimius Severus (222-235).

Photo: Encyclopaedia Brittanica




Cetatea Severinului is about one kilometre from the Iron Gates Museum, and from the Roman Castle of Drobeta, on the left bank of the Danube.

It has been rebuilt recently as a museum in a small park, with a few walls around, and a central tower.

Severinului Severinului Severinului




Cetatea Severinului is a fortress built in the 13th Century.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe



Severinului Severinului Severinului Severinului




These photographs show the commanding position overlooking traffic on the Danube enjoyed by watchers on the walls. Now the only things to be seen are freighters, long barges and huge pleasure craft taking tourists on a cruise down the Danube.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe



Severinului Severinului Severinului Severinului


Severinului Severinului Severinului Severinului




This huge wall stands like a sentinel over the ruins of the mediaeval castle.

Note the classic Roman bricks in the wall in the photos on the right, which are much thinner for their size than modern bricks, and look more like tiles than bricks. Either they were salvaged from a much earlier structure built by the Romans, or they were part of the tradition in the area.

The Romans entered the space of what is now Romania from the south at the beginning of the 2nd century (101 and 105 A.D.) and left at the end of the 3rd century (about 271 or 275 A.D.) to go back south of the Danube River. After that, their political influence north of the river was limited and only 2 emperors managed to bring territories north of the river back under Roman occupation – Constantin the Great (at the beginning of the 4th century) and Justinian (at the middle of the 6th century). That means that in the 13th century there were no Romans on the space of nowadays Romania. All that was then left from the Roman Empire were the territories around Constantinopole (modern day Istanbul in Turkey), known as The Eastern Roman Empire.

This mediaeveal fortress is from the 13th century. Nearby can also be seen the foundations of a Roman castle, possibly from the 2nd century, built near Trajan's bridge, also called the Bridge of Apolodor from Damasc after the name of its architect ( in Romanian, Podul lui Apolodor din Damasc).

Text above: Alex Gheorghe

The engineer of Trajan's Bridge, Apollodorus of Damascus, used wooden arches set on twenty masonry pillars (made with bricks, mortar and pozzolana cement) that spanned 38 metres each. Nevertheless, it was built over an unusually short period of time (between 103 and 105 AD) — one possible explanation is that the river was diverted during the bridge's construction.

Text above: Wikipedia

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe



Severinului Severinului Severinului Severinului Severinului




In the nooks and crannies of the ruins, many plants find conditions ideal for growth.

Note the use of the Roman bricks as vertical elements in the stone wall on the far left photograph, as well as (again in this photo) the difference between the workmanlike integrity of the medieval wall, where every stone is laid, and the poor modern "workmanship" of the stones and mortar using portland cement laid on top to protect the ancient ruins, which will need replacement on a regular basis if this is the standard which is used.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe




Severinului Severinului


Severinului Severinului




These low, narrow walls are probably for gardens to protect them from animals and to provide shelter from cold winds rather than for protection from enemies.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe




Severinului Severinului Severinului




These are the main ramparts of the fortress.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe





From: http://www.mnir.ro/ro/publicatii/periodice/cercetari-numismatice/1996/numismatica/ioan-stanga.html

Ioan STANGA

The monetary circulation at Cetatea Severinului during the 13th - 16th Centuries.



The paper deals with 241 coins discovered at the Cetatea Severinului during the archaeological excavations from 1965-1988.

The coins were all listed beginning with those issued in Wallachia by Vlaicu (1364-1418), Radu I (1337-1383), Dan I (1383-1386), Mircea the Old (1386-1418), Radu the Handsome (about 1462-1475).

Among them there are some rare pieces as: bani (obols), issued by Dan I and Vlad the Devil and the ducat issued by Radu the Handsome.

The other coins discovered there were struck in Bulgaria, Serbia, the Ottoman Empire, Hungary and Bohemia.

The coins found at Cetatea Severinului allow some economical, political and military conclusions to be drawn.

















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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 Monday, 24th January, 2011 02:17am


Webmaster: Don Hitchcock

Email: don@donsmaps.com


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