30 May 2013

Fish in the tower – The sunken fort of Drencova

We already brought on the sunken Ada kaleh Island as a painful memento of the Iron Gate I. Hydroelectric Power Station, installed exactly 40 years ago. This small Turkish Island is the most renown victim of the 33 meter water level rise. Apart from this island, there were many other islands, castles, ruins, towns, roads which disappeared in 1972. This entry is about a small fort, soon to be disappear. East of the village Berzasca, Romania at the small ship-station of Drencova there is a stream called Suva Recka (Dry stream in Serbian). Here we find the ruins of Fort Drencova.

28 May 2013


The ancient Roman castrum of Lussonium is situated on a long hill over the Danube in Dunakömlőd, Tolna county, Hungary. While watching this animated film on the reconstruction of the old fort, we may recall, that the Roman Danubian Ripa (common: Limes Romanus) is possible to be a next UNESCO World Heritage site. This tender will not be submitted on national level, like Pannonhalma, but will join all the Danubian countries: Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Romania and Bulgaria, from the source to the delta. The reason, we are interested in this matter, is the changes of the river course happened in the last 1600 years. Roman defensive structures, made by one will, at the same time draws the Danube’s course in the ancient times. Many of the watchtowers, legionary camps were partly washed away by floods, sunken in the river bed. By their locations we may conclude the places of old fords, water level and running of the ancient river banks.

24 May 2013

Tunnel under the Danube between Nagymaros and Visegrád

There are many legends in the Hungarian folklore about tunnels under the Danube. Where once a Roman watchtower, a medieval castle, or any kind of bigger ruin stood on the banks of the Danube we can be sure that the locals have the knowledge about a mysterious tunnel leadning to the other side. Most of these tales are just fantasies, in any era it was much cheaper to row, than to dig. I know about only one tunnel under the Danube that exists. And fortunately its owner, The Danube Regional Waterworks Co. opens this tunnel for the public once a year. After short organizing twenty-three of us started our 550 meter (600 yards) journey. 

It is always a great experience to cross the Danube on dry feet. Between Visegrád and Nagymaros this opportunity existed only once, when Emperor Franz Joseph personally lead a combat training exercise, which had a part to construct a pontoon bridge across the river.

18 May 2013

The mysterious disappearance of the Great War Island in 1941

It happened on the same day, when German battleship, Bismarck sunk Hood, the pride of the British fleet at coasts of Greenland. On May 24th, 1941, the Royal Hungarian 1./3. TF flying squadron conducted aerial photography over the recently occupied Serbian capital, Beograd. With these pictures the Hungarian High Command wanted to refresh the outdated sections of the Third Military Survey (made before 1914.) The photographed area overstreched the current borders of Hungary, they flew over Serbia, western Romania and Southern Transylvania. It was very likely that these countries were forgotten to inform about this action.

This is how the Serbian capital looked like from a bird’s eye view on may 24th, 1941. According to the shadows on this picture we can tell that the photos was taken early in the morning, from which the cartographers later joined this 6065/3 section. We still see traces of war, even from this height. The middle of the railway bridge, overarching the Danube towards the Banat is missing. The bridge I. Alexander leading to Zemun is also disappeared, probably sunken in the Sava river.

Fig. 1. Section 6065/3 Beograd. Archives of the Hungarian Military Museum