The Iron Gate is a gorge on the Danube River. It forms part of the boundary between Serbia and Romania. In the broad sense it encompasses a route of 134 km (83 mi); in the narrow sense it only encompasses the last barrier on this route, just beyond the Romanian city of Orşova, that contains two hydroelectric dams, with two power stations, Iron Gate I Hydroelectric Power Station and Iron Gate II Hydroelectric Power Station. The gorge lies between Romania in the north and Serbia in the south. At this point, the river separates the southern Carpathian Mountains from the northwestern foothills of the Balkan Mountains. The Romanian, Hungarian, Slovakian, Turkish, German and Bulgarian names literally mean "Iron Gates" and are used to name the entire range of gorges. An alternative Romanian name for the last part of the route is Clisura Dunării, "Danube Gorge". In Serbia, the gorge is known as Đerdap (Ђердап), with the last part named Đerdapska klisura (Ђердапска клисура). The Romanian side of the gorge constitutes the Iron Gates natural park; on the other bank, in Serbia, is the Đerdap national park. Source: Wiki
Europe is generally agreed to be the birthplace of western culture, including such legendary innovations as the democratic nation-state, football and tomato sauce.The word Europe comes from the Greek goddess Europa, who was kidnapped by Zeus and plunked down on the island of Crete. Europa gradually changed from referring to mainland Greece until it extended finally to include Norway and Russia.Don't be confused that Europe is called a continent without looking like an island, the way the other continents do. It's okay. The Ural mountains have steadily been there to divide Europe from Asia for the last 250 million years. Russia technically inhabits "Eurasia".Europe is presently uniting into one political and economic zone with a common currency called the Euro. The European Union originated in 1993 and is now composed of 27 member states. Its headquarters is in Brussels, Belgium.Do not confuse the EU with the Council of Europe, which has 47 member states and dates to 1949. These two bodies share the same flag, national anthem, and mission of integrating Europe. The headquarters of the Council are located in Strasbourg, France, and it is most famous for its European Court of Human Rights. In spite of these two bodies, there is still no single Constitution or set of laws applying to all the countries of Europe. Debate rages over the role of the EU in regards to national sovereignty. As of January 2009, the Lisbon Treaty is the closest thing to a European Constitution, yet it has not been approved by all the EU states. Text by Steve Smith.