Iron Gates

The Danube River at the Iron Gates, Serbia. © Djerdap Milos
View of vegetation and rocky formations. © Miloš Popović
View of river and boats. © Djerdap_Miloš Popović

Names in the national language

Porțile de Fier (Romania)

Ɖerdap (Serbia)


Location and short description

The Iron Gates is the 134 km long gorge along the Danube river, and it is part of the border between Romania and Serbia. On the Romanian side lays the Iron Gates Natural Park, and on the Serbian side the Đerdap National Park. The most typical habitats in the area are steep calcareous slopes, where forests cannot thrive. In those, lilac composes thick and impervious shrub formations, which are known as shrubbery. Lilac shrubbery is not only ecologically important, but also an ornament of the entire Ɖerdap Gorge.


Special features

The main feature of this area is the grandiose gorge itself – also known as the Iron Gate – through which the Danube River flows. The specific historical development, very favorable climate, a complex network of gorges, canyons and deep coves, let this area stand out as a unique European refuge for tertiary flora, vegetation and fauna. The flora of the area is not only highly diverse and rich (over 1,100 species), but also has a distinct relict character. Tertiary relics compose 1.28 % of the total number of all species in the area, which is quite significant. The large number of tertiary relics is explained by the role of Ɖerdap Gorge and its steep calcareous slopes as a refuge for plant species. Other important features are numerous archaeological, cultural and historical monuments, such as the settlement Lepenski Vir, archeological sites like Diana, Golubac Castle, the remains of Trajan's bridge table, the Roman Limes and various forts.


Main biotop types

Broadleaf and coniferous forest, lilac shrubbery, meadows, pastures and cliffs



  • Mammals: Grey wolf (Canis lupus), Eurasian otter (Lutra lutra), Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx)
  • Birds: White-tailed eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla), Golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos), Common goldeneye (Bucephala clangula), Velvet scoter (Melanitta fusca)
  • Amphibian: Fire salamander (Salamandra salamandra), Agile frog (Rana dalmatina), European tree frog (Hyla arborea)
  • Reptile: Nose-horned viper (Vipera ammodytes), Hermann’s tortoise (Testudo hermanni)
  • Plants: Lilac (Syringa vulgaris), European barberry (Berberis vulgaris), Mediterranean hackberry (Celtis australis), European smoketree (Cotinus coggygria), European hop-hornbeam (Ostrya carpinifolia), Mouse thorn (Ruscus hypoglossum)


Status of protection

Iron Gates Nature Park, Ramsar sites (Romania)

National Park Ɖerdap, Important Bird Area, Important Plant Area, Prime Butterfly Area (Serbia)

Iron Gates

Iron Gates Nature Park (Romania)
Email: parc(at)

National Park Ɖerdap (Serbia)
Email: office(at)

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