Clisura Dunării map

The Danube Gorge region, known in Romanian as Clisura Dunării and in Serbian as Banatska Klisura, generally only refers to the northern side of the Danube, with the southern side attributed to other ethnographic regions and histories. Technically, in Romanian, the name is Defileul Dunării, but locally the region is known as Clisura Dunării. The word Clisura, also the Serbian term used in Banatska Klisura, comes from the Latin clausura for “shut” or “closed” which was used throughout the Balkans for mountain passes and gorges.

From the Romanian perspective Clisura Dunării is less clear as a singular ethnographic zone, the main area centred on Sichevița connects northwards to the high pastures that link to the Almăj valley and has a long history of Romanian inhabitation. The eastern villages were, in terms of communication, linked to Mehedinți county and the region of Orșova, however the 1970s flooding of many of the villages to build the hydro-electric plant at Kladovo led to the relocation of much of this population. On the southern side of the Danube, this part of northeastern Serbia, is largely populated by “Vlach” as they are termed in Slavic languages.

During 19th century, under Hapsburg rule, there was an immigration of Oltenians, locally termed “Bufeni”, into the forestry and mining industries at the villages of Moldovița, Padina Marei, Pescari, Dubova, and the village of Boșneag which was later moved near to the Danube to as Coronini village. The comuna of Pojojena had significant immigration/emigration from and to distant cities and countries, whereas the mining industry at Moldova Nouă attracted workers mainly from the Caraș-Severin county.[1]

From the Serbian perspective Banatska Klisura is the northern side of the Danube, which is predominantly Serbian between the village of Divici (Divić) and town of Moldova Veche (Stara Moldava) and sometimes includes the Poljadija zone on the Romanian side of the river Nera (comuna of Socol).


  1. Milcu, St., Nicolaescu-Plopsor, C. S. & Vulcanescu, Romulus (1972) Atlasul Complex Portile de Fier [The Iron Gates Complex Atlas]. Bucuresti: Editura Academiei Republicii Socialiste Romania.
Published on 20th July 2019, last modified on 12th August 2023