RADU ŞTEFAN VERGATTI
Prof. univ. dr., Universitatea Valahia din Târgovişte, Facultatea de Ştiinţe Umaniste
The Severin fortress, lying on the Danube river embankment, very close to the former Roman castrum and Apolodor of Damascus’s bridge, was built by the Romanian voivods. It was meant to control the Danube ford through the Balkan Peninsula, to put an end to the Hungarian monarchy attempts to infiltrate into Oltenia region, and to stem the catholic missionary groups which tried to spread their confession into the Lower Danube region. Inside the small fortress of Severin were built two Orthodox churches. I state they were Orthodox because of their inner division into three ritual rooms – altar, nave, and narthex – imposed by the eastern faith. The churches within the stronghold clearly shows that the fortress have belonged to the Orthodox Romanians according to the precept „Eius regio, cuius religio”. The citadel served as a station exclusively for the Romanian bans of Severin. Charles Robert of Anjou, the Hungary king, conquered the little fortress in September 1330. If it were Hungarian, he would not have had to conquer it. The king Charles Robert, defeated by the Romanian prince Basarab I the Founder in the 9-12 November 1330 battle, lost very soon the Severin Fortress. It came back into the Romanian princes possessions. This situation were acknowledged by the Hungary king Sigismund of Luxemburg in 1349. It was only in 1419, after the death of Mircea the Great (19th of January, 1418), that Sigismund of Luxemburg took the Severin Fortress. From then on it started to decay. In 1524 the Ottoman army of the sultan Soliman the Magnificent conquered the fortress which has retained its historical role.
Severin, Ban, fortress, Orthodox church, altar, nave, narthex.