The island, which has been labeled as a tax haven Romania has had a troubled history due to its strategic position, finding always be under Turkish dominion or under Austrian rule.
Ada-Kaleh, “a small Gibraltar” as they named historians, downstream from the city of Orşova have a height of 48 m, dominated by Alion hill, 317 m high and located north of the Danube, and the Golubinska south of Planina.
In medieval documents island had other names: Carolina, Porizza, Ciughene ADAS (Island Gypsy), Ada-I-Kebir (Ostrovul Mare).Ada-Kaleh name (Castle Island), is generalized after 1788 became official in 1878. Ada-Kaleh was ruled alternately by Turks and Austrians.The first fortifications were made by Iancu de Hunedoara, prince of Transylvania, to stem Turk torrent.The island has had a troubled history due to its strategic position, finding always be under Turkish dominion or under Austrian rule.Between 1718-1739, when the island was under Austrian rule, the city was built by Vauban, star-shaped.The fortress had the shape of a parallelogram and was provided with bastions, casemates and ditches.
Austrian-Turkish wars of the late seventeenth century and the beginning of the eighteenth century, showed that in the Iron Gates was necessary to build cities after a new system to withstand artillery.
In 1689, Veterans General of the Austrian army wants to build a pentagonal fortress in the island.The proposal is supported by Count Marigli and even build ditches and palisades.Between 1716-1718, Eugene of Savoy require future governor of Banat to resume construction of city problems.Preparatory preliminary work started in August 1717 are, when linking the island to the shore by a pontoon bridge for transporting.In 1737 the island was completed fortification.Besides the city itself was still two outer belts of fortifications.Being subject to the configuration of the island, the city had shaped elongated star.
It was endowed with the usual bastions and casemates connected by arched galleries made of brick, which formed a large patio.Access to the city is east and west through a series of gates with stone carvings facing, bearing the imprint of the Baroque style.25 m high walls were brick and worked all provided with narrow embrasures exterior and interior arches, corners are made of polished stone.Over the eastern gate stood a mosque was rebuilt in 1903 on the site of a Franciscan monastery church.
On one side of the east gate is an inscription from 1739 whiVauban citadel, Ada-Kaleh was built by the Austrians after the Peace of Karlowitz (1718).Occupying a large part of the island, the city was one of the most important fortifications of this type in Europe.Soon after its completion the city fell under the rule of the Turks.This was enshrined in the peace of Sistov which stipulated that Ada-Kaleh remain under Turkish dominion and Orsova, nearby, was for the Austrians.
By the Peace of Berlin (1878), Ada-Kaleh remains a Muslim oasis on the Danube, property of the sultan but under Austro-Hungarian administration, with a special status.In the island there is a mayor, a judge and a priest – Muslims and the Turkish flag was hoisted.
Covered by the Danube
After building the hydropower and navigation of the Iron Gates I, Ada-Kaleh came under the Danube and the city was moved Simian Island. ch too great victory Turks.The lack of interest for the revival of the lost paradise, where, according to legend, stopped even Hercules, occurred immediately after the Iron Gates hydroelectric, so anyone not interested in a few vestiges were not even Romanian.What little he moved froze Simian Island, overgrown with vegetation.
Unfortunately, the lack of interest shown by the communists who vandalized the island of everything beautiful and valuable continued after 1989. Throughout the years, many foreign investors have knocked on doors hoping the county administration to seize the island, but everything remained only at the stage of discussion.
Ada-Kaleh or Carolina, as it was called until 1788, the Austrians did not belong only slightly Romanian state.With thick walls up to 20 meters, arranged in two rows, the city was very hard to get in combat, being the only chance of a long siege, intended to starve the locals.But supposedly the island leaving a series of tunnels beneath the waters of the Danube, which responded on the Serbian side.Here they had built schools, a weaver, a tailor, one of the largest factories of shit and halva and also a cigarette factory.
The city stopped even King Carol II, with Nicolae Iorga, the wait in the charming garden of the mayor himself Omer Feyzi island Turhan Ismail.Then, it was a financial paradise, residents are exempted from customs duties, taxes, military service and did not pay anything for firewood brought from Romania.With the coming to power of communists, radical change fate Island.
There were massive expropriations and deportations Bărăgan and the Turks fled here where they The richest man on the island, Ali Kadri, withdraws in Turkey, leaving his fortune impressive hand of destiny, and other large villas as well Aga’s Regep or Maria Antonescu, were occupied by different people in Bucharest, sent here the communists.Turkish public when he wanted to go to Turkey, to take possession of the passport was subject to donate his entire fortune to the Romanian state.
Romania: The Turkish Enclave of Ada Kaleh European Journal - Small Worlds
The island of Ada Kaleh on the River Danube used to be filled with bustling activity. But about 40 years ago the island in southern Romania had to be evacuated ...