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Iron Gate,Rom. Porţile de Fier, Serbian Gvozdena Vrata, gorge of the Danube River, c.2 mi (3.2 km) long and c.550 ft (170 m) wide, on the Serbia-Romania border between Orşova and Drobeta-Turnu Severin. There the river narrows and swiftly flows through a gap between the Carpathian and Balkan mts. Iron Gate, formerly an obstacle to shipping, was cleared of rock obstructions in the 1860s; the Sip Canal (opened 1896) permits large river craft to get past the gorge. Iron Gate is the site of one of Europe's largest hydroelectric power dams. The joint Serbian-Montenegrin-Romanian project (opened 1971) improved river navigation by impounding a large lake and has a substantial electricity generating capacity.
(in Rumanian, Portile de Fier), a gorge of the Danube River Valley on the Yugoslav-Rumanian border, below the city of Orsova. The Iron Gate is a part of the Djerdap. It is 15 km long. There are rapids in the channel, making navigation difficult; in 1898 a by-pass canal 2.5 km long was built. From 1964 to 1972, Yugoslavia and Rumania, with the scientific and technical assistance of the USSR, constructed a navigation system and a hydroelectric power plant with an output of 2.1 million kW.