A mountain-chain,pierced through from base to summit—a gorge four miles in length, walled inby lofty precipices; between their dizzy heights the giant stream of the OldWorld, the Danube.
Did the pressure of this mass of waterforce a passage for itself, or was the rock riven by subterranean fire? DidNeptune or Vulcan, or both together, execute this supernatural work, whichthe iron-clad hand of man scarce can emulate in these days of competitionwith divine achievements?
Of the rule of the one deity tracesare visible on the heights of Fruska Gora in the fossil sea-shells strewnaround, and in Veterani's cave with its petrified relics of saurian monstersof the deep; of the other god, the basalt of Piatra Detonata bears witness.While the man of the iron hand is revealed by long galleries hewn in therock, a vaulted road, the ruined piers of an immense bridge, the tabletssculptured in bas-relief on the face of the cliff, and by a channel twohundred feet wide, hollowed in the bed of the river, through which thelargest ships may pass.
The Iron Gate has a history of twothousand years. Four nations—Romans, Turks, Roumanians and Hungarians, haveeach in turn given it a different name.
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