From Classic Encyclopedia 1911
TURNU SEVERIN, the capital of the department of Mehedintzi, Rumania, on the main Walachian railway, and on the left bank of the river Danube, below the Iron Gates cataracts. Pop. (1900), 18,628. It is a modern commercial town, having a school of arts and crafts, several churches, and large government yards for the building of river steamers, lighters and tug-boats. There is a considerable trade in livestock, preserved meat, petroleum and cereals. The town, which was originally called Drobetae by the Romans, took its later name of Turns Severi, or the "Tower of Severus," from a tower which stood on a small hill surrounded by a deep fosse. This was built to commemorate a victory over the Quadi and Marcomanni, by the Roman emperor Severus (A.D. 222-235). Near Turnu Severin are the remains of the celebrated Trajan's bridge, the largest in the Roman Empire, built in A.D. 103 by the architect Apollodorus of Damascus. The river is about 4000 ft. broad at this spot. The bridge was composed of twenty arches supported by stone pillars, several of which are still visible at low water.