Tourism represents a sector with high potential for the development of Drobeta Turnu Severin city. Reasoning behind this statement is the existence of many touristic attractions with special historical valences, like in our case is the Water Castle.
The Water Castle was built in 1910, when, at that time it supplied the city of Drobeta Turnu Severin with water. The tower was inaugurated in 1914 and until 1980 has fueled the city with water from the Danube when the basins were emptied and the tower building was used for offices and workshops of the company that administered the water supply at that time.
The Water Castle is placed in the center of the municipality and is a monument that belongs to the cultural patrimony, so every citizen of the Romanian community may benefit of its rehabilitation. The tourists that come to the city may be attracted because the Water Castle is a symbol for Drobeta Turnu Severin and it gives identity to the municipality, being considered the principal axe of the place. The tallest building in Drobeta Turnu Severin, it can offer tourists a panorama of the whole area and is nowadays opened for exhibition spaces, museum and recreation area that includes a café and a lookout point. Because of its importance in the community, a central location and outstanding architectural features, local community adopted the tower of water as the most important symbol of the city.
After a century of life, through a European Union financed project, the Water Castle reborn from the ashes and the local community received new tasks that helped the city promote tourism through Info-center at a European level. Moreover, from 2012 Water Castle quenches a thirst for culture of the inhabitants by adapting, modernizing and transforming technological spaces into cultural spaces. Today, however, when the water distribution is provided to the capabilities required by another system, the Water Castle can get a new feature: a sui generis Eiffel Tower of the city.
“Modernization and preservation of Water Castle” was a project implemented in partnership by Drobeta Turnu Severin City Hall (Romania) and Negotin City Hall (Republic of Serbia), financed by the European Union through Romania – Republic of Serbia IPA Cross Border Cooperation Programme. The period of implementation was 15.12.2010-15.06.2012 and the value of the project was 955.681 euro, including VAT.
Through this project, we rehabilitated the building of the Water Castle and improved the quality of life for the communities of the border area. The restoration of the cultural patrimony, the creation and the modernization of the castle had the objective to increase the number of tourists.
At the end of the project, the building of Water Castle has now multiple functions designed as a vertical sequence of spaces. Inside exhibition spaces and room for literary circles have been arranged. At the top, it has a panoramic view over the city space, the access to it being achieved with an inside elevator.
This project represented an investment according to the European standards, from the point of view of its originality and the implementation method.
Thus, the general objective of the project was to achieve on the basis of joint cross-border projects and common actions by Romanian and Serbian stakeholders a more balanced and sustainable socio-economic development of the Romanian-Serbian border area in order to obtain a new created cultural space for the local community and an increased tourism potential, which benefits from the existence of several historical attractions with special meanings.
The specific objectives of the project were:
– Increasing the overall competitiveness of the economy in the border area;
– Improvement of the quality of life for the communities of the border area.
The results of these project activities were:
– The realization of feasibility study;
– The meeting of the implementation team in order to establish the responsibilities;
– Organization of two seminars for the opening of the project (one in Drobeta Turnu Severin and the other one in Negotin);
– Activity regarding the realization of the technique project (including the advices and authorization costs);
– Work acquisition (including the realization of the work and the equipments);
– Acquisition for administrative costs (supplies + phone costs);
– Realization of information and publicity materials;
– Organization of art gallery, exhibition with the Serbian partners participation;
– Seminar in Drobeta Turnu Severin for the end of the project.
This project contributed to the business and tourism development in the cross-border region and many investments have been attracted. The project was promoted in Serbia and that thing contributed also to the tourism development. Since then, the two cities, Drobeta Turnu Severin and Negotin, continued to cooperate for other projects in the Romanian and Serbian regions in order to develop the touristic system in both regions, taking into account that their successful collaboration began in 2005 and has implemented numerous projects until now.
The touristic potential represents the essential condition of the tourism development and this is the reason why Drobeta Turnu Severin may be defined as the total of elements that constitute a touristic attraction.
The Water Castle, located on the coat of arms of Drobeta Turnu Severin, a sentimental landmark for generations of Severin people, has been introduced into the touristic circuit of Mehedinti County.
The 27-meter high Water Castle is now structured on several levels that house art exhibitions, a gallery, a tourist information point and offers a unique view of the city. Tourists have two variants of reaching the top of the Water Castle, either shorter, with the help of an elevator, or climbing a few hundred steps, an effort that will be worth it.