RUMANIAN MOTHER AND CHILDREN, ORSOVA, RUMANIA
Orsova is a city in the Transylvanian Alps, on the Danube River just above the famous Iron Gate. The Danube is one of the great rivers of Europe. It rises in the highlands of Germany, flows in a southeasterly direction through Austria and into Hungary, and then turns sharply southward. At Belgrade it turns almost due east and keeps its general direction until it empties into the Black Sea.
Just below Orsova, where the river breaks through the Transylvanian Alps, is the Iron Gate. This is one of the most dangerous river passages in Europe. The Gate is made by a peninsula of rocks extending from the shore, almost across the river. Through these rocks the waters of the Danube rush rapidly. It was formerly impossible to take a vessel of any size through the natural passages, but now the rocks have been blasted away on one side, making a channel. The dangers to navigation, however, have not been entirely overcome.
The persons here shown are Romanys, a group of the gypsies for which Rumania is famed. These people rove over the country, have their own rulers, and live much as the tribal nations of an early day lived.
But Rumania is by no means a gypsy country. It is rich in agriculture and commerce, and its capital city, Bucharest, is known as the little Paris of the Balkans. In the World War, Rumania fought on the side of the Allies, against the Central Powers, and was the scene of much heavy fighting. After the war, by the Treaty of Peace, the boundaries of Rumania were extended to include much territory which had been under Austria, and it was then that Orsova passed from Austrian to Rumanian rule.
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