374 Route 69. KASAN. The Danube from
Below Moldova the Danube enters a defile. In the middle of
the stream rises the pointed Babakaj rock. On a pinnacle on the
right bank stand the picturesque ruins of the fortress of Qolubdc,
opposite the ruin of Ldszldvdr. The rocks here contain numerous
caverns. One of these is the Golubdc Cavern, from which, accord¬
ing to the popular belief, come the swarms of poisonous stinging
flies which often prove so destructive to cattle in summer. To the
right are the remains of one of the Roman forts (Gradisca) which
once defended the Via Trajana (see below). At —
L. (1.10 p.m.) Drenkova begin the rapids of the Danube, which
between this and Skela-Gladova falls over six ledges of rock, covered
at times with barely 20 inches of water. When the river is low,
passengers and goods are transferred to a smaller steamer at Drenkova.
The scenery is now grand and severe. The vessel passes the
ridges of Izlas and Tachtalia, and the prominent rock of Greben
(627 ft.; partly blasted away), and suddenly enters a broad lake¬
like basin, enclosed by wooded heights. On the right is the Servian
town of Milanovac. On a hill to the left, farther on, are the ruins
of three towers, called Trikule, said to be of Roman origin, beyond
which are the villages of (1.) Tiszovica, (r.) Golubinje, and (1.)
The *Defile of Kasan, the grandest part of the passage, now
begins. The Danube, here 200 ft. in depth, is confined to a width
of 180 yds. by huge perpendicular cliffs. Before the construction
of Count Szechenyi's road from Moldova, the defile was impass¬
able on either bank. On the right bank traces of the Roman Road
constructed by Trajan, A. D. 103, from Orsova to Golubac are
distinctly visible. It consisted of a path, 5-7 ft. in width, a little
above the highest level of the water, carried at places round perpen¬
dicular rocks by means of covered wooden galleries. The holes in
which the beams were inserted are frequently observable. The road
was used by foot-passengers and cattle, as well as for towing vessels.
High above the road on the left bank, 1/4 hr. farther on, is the
Veterani Cavern in the Sukaru mountain, which was gallantly defend¬
ed by the Austrian general Veterani with 400 men against a greatly
superior Turkish force in 1682. The cavern, which is spacious in
the interior, but almost inaccessible, completely commands the
Danube, here 285 yds. in width. At —
L. Dubova the Danube reaches its narrowest point (120 yds.).
Opposite 6 Gradina, at the end of the defile, the celebrated time-
worn, now barely legible Inscription of Trajan (Tabula Trajana)
is seen on the perpendicular cliff:
IMP. CAESAR DIVI. NERVAE F. NERVA TRAIANVS. AVG.
GERM. PONT. MAXIMVS. . . .
It was probably intended to commemorate Trajan's first Dacian
campaign and the construction of the road.