When the train passes near the Danube, near the city of Drobeta-Turnu Severin, it’s impossible that the traveler does not see the ruins of the bridge built over the Danube by Apolodor of Damascus.
The construction was started under the command of Emperor Trajan in 103 and is one of the most magnificent Roman buildings, designed to facilitate the passage of the Roman army in the second war for the conquest of Dacia, led at the time by King Decebal.
The bridge was 1,135 meters long and connected the Castro Pontes (now in Serbia), with the Castro Drobeta (Romania). It was high of 18 meters and wide of 12, and at the bridge’s ends were built triumphal arches and monumental gates to show the power of the Roman Empire.
According to a popular legend there is another explanation regarding the construction of the bridge. It is said that the emperor Trajan had only one sister. But she was so beautiful ... So beautiful that the emperor fell in love with her. When she understood the feelings of her brother, she did not accept to be his girlfriend telling the king because this would be a big shame.
He insisted, but she chose to escape. She tried to run away by going in foreign countries, but the king had always found her, wherever she was hiding. When she saw that she could not escape his brother, thought to ask him for things that were above the human power in order to make him to give up.
So she said:
-If you want me to love you do a bridge over the Danube!
-Well, I’ll do it, replied the king.
And Trajan brought the most famous craftsmen who built a very beautiful bridge, so strong, that to this day remained its pillars. It can be seen nowadays at Turnu-Severin.
When she saw the bridge, he was astonished and asked his brother:
-Did you do the bridge?
-I Did it. Do you like it?
-Very much. Let's go over the bridge!
And they both went on the new bridge. But when they arrived at a point where the Danube was more troubled, suddenly, Trajan saw the girl running away from him and threw herself into the Danube. He called his servants and soldiers and commanded to seek her ... Even Trajan threw himself into the river to save her. It seemed that the girl was swallowed even by the earth, not only by the waves. Only after three days her body was fished out from the Danube.
Legendele poporului român, Ediție îngrijită de Octav Păun, București, Editura Albatrso, 1983, p.116.
http://www.mehedinti.djc.ro/ObiectiveDetalii.aspx?ID=2445 https://ro.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drobeta-Turnu_Severin #/media/File:Trajan%27s_Bridge_Across_the_Danube,_Modern_Reconstruction.jpg