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Drobeta-turnu Severin History, Romania

Drobeta-turnu Severin, History – Early Times

Drobeta-turnu Severin is one of the oldest cities in Romania, being a valuable witness to many crucial moments in Romania’s history. Therefore, Drobeta-turnu Severin History will take you on a journey through time, just lay back and enjoy it! Visitors can find here ancient objects, such as tools and weapons used by people in the Paleolithic period, which means 1.800.000-10.000 BC.

Around 400 BC, the Dacians, people that flourished under the reign of Burebista, today inhabited the territory of Romania. When the Roman emperor Trajan started his expeditions to conquer Dacia, Drobeta became really important, being the place where the Romans started building their famous bridge across the Danube. Remnants of this bridge are visible even nowadays, the most impressive detail about it being its rapid construction, in only 3 years. Consequently, Drobeta became the first stone fortress built in Dacia, a Roman castrum to defend the bridge. The latter was destroyed later on by emperor Hadrian to impede the rebellious Dacians to cross over the Danube and threaten his empire.

During the Roman occupation, Drobeta was the third urban centre in Dacia, after Sarmisegetuza and Apullum being declared municipium in 121 and colonia in 193. This meant that its inhabitants had the same rights as Rome’s citizens. After the departure of the Romans, Drobeta was devastated by the many barbarians that crossed its territory.

Drobeta-turnu Severin, History – Middle Ages

The interest in this area rises again with the shaping of the Hungarian kingdom and of the Walachian voivodships that fought against the Ottoman Empire. Due to this threat, they started to rebuild the fortifications along the Danube, including Drobeta. In 1233, over the ruins of ancient Drobeta, Andrew the Second of Hungary organized Banatul de Severin (The Country of Severin) in memory of the last Roman emperor, Septimus Sever that named Drobeta colonia. In 1247, the Ioanit knights were brought to defend this place and they built The Medieval Stronghold of Severin, which is still visible nowadays. This fortification was extremely important from a military viewpoint and it became a strategic point in the many battles that occurred during the sequent centuries with the Ottoman Empire and not only. In 1524, the stronghold was attacked and completely destroyed by the Ottomans lead by Belibeg.

Drobeta-turnu Severin, History – Nowadays

In March 1833, the general Pavel Kiseleff visited the ruins of the old fortification and decided to build there the trade city Turnu Severin. If Trajan used Drobeta to conquer Dacia, in 1866 emperor Carol of Romania used this town as an important military point in Romania’s Independence War. Being inhabited by almost 85 % foreigners (Austrians, Germans, Italians, Bulgarians, Hungarians, French etc) the city benefited from their advanced views and flourished. By 1900, they had built the National Road, the railways, the Carol and Elisabeth avenues, the shipyard (which by 1914 had become the largest in the country), the Municipal Palace, 3 churches, 2 hospitals, 2 German schools, one Greek school and many more Romanian schools. In 1914, the Water Castle was inaugurated, being even today an emblematic monument for this town. In 1972, the authorities added to its name the ancient one of Drobeta.

Drobeta-turnu Severin, History ends here, hoping you enjoyed this journey through the life of a town. You should know that Romania offers a lot more than interesting history and you could find that out just by reading Oradea Travel Guide or Arad Travel Guide.

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