Orşova is a port city on the Danube river in southwestern Romania's Mehedinţi County (part of the Oltenia historical region). It is situated just above the Iron Gates, on the spot where the Cerna River meets the Danube.
The first documented mention of its name was in 1150 under the Latin name Ursova. The name possibly comes from the Hungarian name Uros + the Slavic -ova.
The locality was the site of a Roman port in Dacia Malvensis Orşova, and the site of a castrum named Dierna.
An important Magyar burial site discovered in the region shows the presence of the Magyars since the early 10th century.
King Ladislaus I of Hungary decisively defeated the Cumans near Orşova in 1091.
It was a major border fortification in the Middle Ages.
The city was captured by Suleiman the Magnificent in 1522.
Orşova became part of the Habsburg Monarchy in 1687 at the start of an Ottoman-Habsburg War, but Ottoman forces recaptured it in 1690. The Treaty of Passarowitz gave the city back to the Kingdom of Hungary, who was a part of Austrian Empire in 1718. Treaty of Belgrade gave the city back to the Ottoman Empire in 1739. Finally, The Treaty of Sistova gave the city back to the Kingdom of Hungary in 1791. The city remained in Hungary until the end of World War I, when it became part of Romania. It was included in the Mehedinţi county during the administrative reform of 1968.
The Hungarian Crown of Saint Stephen was buried near Orşova from 1848 till 1853.
During the works at the Iron Gates, the old center of the town was flooded and Orşova was developed (1966–1971) on higher ground, including the southern side of the Almăj Mountains and the villages of Jupalnic, Tufari, and Coramnic.