Soroca (Moldova)

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Soroca (Russian: Сороки SorokiUkrainian: Сороки SorokyPolishSoroki) is a Moldovan city situated on the Nistru River about 160 km north of Chişinău. It is the administrative center of Soroca District.

The city has its origin in the medieval Genoese trade post of Olchionia, or Alchona. It is known for its well-preserved stronghold, established by theMoldavian Prince Stephen the Great (Ştefan cel Mare in Romanian) in 1499. Its name is derived from the Slavic word for magpie.

The original wooden fort, which defended a ford over the Dniester/Nistru, was an important link in the chain of fortifications which comprised four forts (e.g. Akkerman and Khotin) on the Dniester, two forts on the Danube and three forts on the north border of medieval Moldova. Between 1543 and 1546 under the rule of Petru Rareş, the fortress was rebuilt in stone as a perfect circle with five bastions situated at equal distances.

During the Great Turkish WarJohn Sobieski‘s forces successfully defended the fortress against the Ottomans. It was of vital military importance during the Pruth Campaign of Peter the Great in 1711. The stronghold was sacked by the Russians in the Russo-Turkish War (1735–1739). The Soroca fortress is an important attraction in Soroca, having preserved cultures and kept the old Soroca in the present day.

The locality was greatly extended in the 19th century, during a period of relative prosperity. Soroca became a regional center featuring large squares, modernized streets, hospitals, grammar schools and conventionalized churches. In the Soviet period the town became an important industrial center for northern Moldova.

Source: Wikipedia

Travel journal

After a cold, long winter, without travelling and having new experiences, came the most wanted time for tripping under a big, hot spring sun.

We decided very quickly the new destination of the day: Soroca, a small Moldavian town where is the famous fortress of Stephen the Great of Moldavia- one of the most visited place in Moldova. The morning was sunny and pretty nice, so we had the necessary mood to travel.

We took the bus (in fact, it was a minibus, a very common transport inMoldova) Chișinău-Soroca from the North bus station; the ticket cost 60 lei (4 Euros) and we gave the money directly to the driver. During the itinerary, the driver allowed persons to travel without seats and it was a bit uncomfortable for us (even if we had places to stay) because of the heat form the bus. We traveled almost 2.5 hours by bus; it wasn’t as boring as we thought it would be! Holding hands, we saw beautiful landscapes, nice, Romanian villages with nice people who were carrying for their households. We saw the village of my grandparents and we remembered our childhood when we were staying during our vacations at our grandparents, looking for new adventures.

After we traveled through Telenești County, the road became very bad, in Florești County, it was impossible not to pay attention on it. Finally, after 2.5 hours, we arrived in Soroca and we stopped near to the final station of the buses from the city.

As we were very hungry, we started to look for a restaurant or place to eat. We found one were we ate some tasty Colțunași (пельмени-pelmeni) with cheese which cost 13.5 lei (almost 1 Euro). The next thing we did was to take the bus nr.1 (we paid for 2 tickets 4 lei which means 1 Romanian Leu, almost quarter Euro) which took us in Soroca Nouă (New Soroca)-the part of the city where is situated the Fortress.

After some minutes, we were near the fortress. We were so excited! As we were approaching to it, we noticed a lot of cars and people in front of the fortress. When we entered, we saw a lot of children, women, men and priests present at an Easter challenge, where the participants should sing. It was interesting to watch the show and to see the people’s faces, but we came at Soroca to see the fortress, so we paid more attention on it.

We made a lot of photos, we noticed the well-kept fortress and we tried to imagine how our ancestors were defending this building. Soroca is placed on the shore of river Nistru (on the other side beginsUkraine), so the landscape is fabulous! It’s a bit cold in the region of the fortress because of the water, but this sensation gives you a feeling of power and lordliness.

We had a nice, sweet walk, trying to find the road which takes us to the center of the city. During the stroll, we found a fountain and I asked him to take water out. After killing our thirst, we continued our way, straight to a big monument – Lumânarea Recunoștinței. In the city we saw some restaurants and shops-nothing special, just some places where you can pass the free time in a small city fromMoldova.

Well, if you want to see Lumânarea Recunoștinței’s monument, you may need a car, but if you don’t have it, you can do like us: walk almost 2 Km. We took the direction towards the entrance of the city, and we passed out Soroca. We had a short stoppage on the shore of Nistru, we saw some active fishes in the water, we talked, we made some photos and admired the beautiful landscape. We noticed also the border Moldova-Ukraine which was accessible only for the citizens of Ukraine and Moldova.

         The monument we are talking about is situated at 1 Km from Soroca, at a high of  656 stairs (i counted them!). While climbing the stairs, appears a fantastic view of the Nature: the beautiful forests with the multitude of green nuances of the trees, the road made by Nistru, the multi-millennial rocks. There,at the alttitude, you have the feeling that you’re untouchable, strong and free to do whatever you want. Here you can do an oath, near your love, even it doesn’t have a spiritual ancestral value..

In the interior of the monument, which looks like a candle, you will fiind a little „church” without altar where is possible to keep the marriage ceremony.

After we made some photos, we went back to the city, at the bus station and we took the bus at 6:00 PM (we bought the tickets earlier, when we arrived in the city-just to be sure we’ll have good seats). The driver took persons without tickes, but we weren’t disturbed by that.

 During the way back home (did you see this movie? J) we fell asleep, we talked, or we just were watching through the window and thinking at the day has just passed. In 2.5 hours we were in Chișinău, we stopped at a troleybus station, took the bus and came home tired and hungry.

We went together to bed thinking  the day was nice , the trip was interesting & exciting and we should fiind the next destination of our trip. However, wish we could do more to improve our sensation of good…

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Bălţi (Moldova)

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Bălţi (Polish: Bielce, Russian: Бельцы [Bel’tsy] and Бэлць [Bėlts’], Ukrainian: Бєльці [Byel’tsi], Yiddish: בעלץ [Belts]) is a city in Moldova. It is the second largest in terms of area and economic importance after Chişinău, and the third largest in terms of population after Chişinău and Tiraspol. The city is one of the five Moldovan municipalities. Bălţi, sometimes also called „the northern capital”, is a major industrial, cultural and commercial centre and transportation hub in the north of the country. It is situated 127 kilometres (79 mi) north of the capital Chişinău, and is located on the river Răut, a tributary of the Dniester, on a hilly landscape in the Bălţi steppe.

The word „bălţi” (pl. of Romanian sing. „baltă„) means „swamps”, „puddles”, or „pools”. It is believed that the city had been named thus because it was founded on a hill dominating the wetland formed where the creek Răuţel („Little Răut”) falls into the river Răut.

In addition to the official name Bălţi and the Russian name Бельцы (Beltsy), between 1940-1989 in Moldovan Cyrillic alphabet, and after 1989 in Russian, the name was/is also rendered in Cyrillic as Бэлць.

Theaters:

  • Vasile Alecsandri theatre
  • „Eugene Ionesco” Theatre
  • „Licurici” Republican Puppet Theatre
  • „B.P.Hajdeu” Republican Drama-Muzical Theatre
  • „Mihai Eminescu” National Theatre
  • „Luceafarul” Republican Theatre
  • Municipal Theatre „Satiricus I.L. Caragiale”

Museums and art galleries

  • „Exhibition of the Union of painters „Constantin Brâncuşi”
  • Artum Art Gallery

According to the 2004 Moldovan Census, data submitted by the Department of Statistics and Sociology of the Republic of Moldova, the population of municipality of Bălţi was 127,561, of which the population of the city itself was 122,669, and that of the suburban villages of Elizaveta and Sadovoe was of 3,523, respectively 1,369. Of these, 58,418 were men and 69,143 were women.

Ethnic Groups, 2004:

Ethnicity Number %
Moldovan 66,877 52.4 %
Ukrainian 30,288 23.7 %
Russian 24,526 19.2 %
Romanian 2,258 1.8 %
Pole 862 0.7 %
Jewish 411 0.3 %
Bulgarian 297 0.2 %
Roma 272 0.2 %
Gagauz 243 0.2 %
other 1,527 1.2 %
not declared 183 0.1 %

A info panel with international routes in the bus station of Bălţi

Bus station (Autogară)

A soviet scales 😀

This nice dog diddn't want to eat our plăcinta 😦

The main street near the bus station.We take the bus from here, which goes to the city center

An old soviet trolley

The mayor prepare the city for the date of May 9, when Germany lost the war and sign the surrender act before soviets at Berlin

A street near to the center

Memorial for soviet soldiers from WWII

Mishka (Мишка) mascot from 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow, Soviet Union

Bălţi-City Station at Moldovan Railway

On the platform of Bălţi-City Station

A guide panel in the center

Decebal street (Decebal was the king of Dacia in the time of wars against romans 101-102,105-106)

We pass on this street when we come from railway station to city center

Theoretical Highschool Mihai Eminescu

In left it was nr 3 🙂

Now it is 589...

A nice XIX century building in the center (i think this is matrimonial palace)

A wedding in the city center

Vasile Alecsandri theatre in the square from the city center with the same name

Cinema Patria (the subtitle is in russian)

A panel with some great citizens from the city

A monument for the holocaust

It says "for the jewish victims killed by fascists in the second world war"

Gogol Theoretical Highschool-School nr. 6 (you can notice the soviet coat of arms up)

A soviet medium tank T-34

A banner with the message "the victory day for the soviet people in the great war for defending the homeland"

A monument of Stefan the Great (2003)

An old Lada car for the Police (Poliţia)

A panel with the train routes in the Bălţi-City Station

Inside the train Moscow-Chişinău (you can notice the curtains with Moldova)

We buy a ticket on platzcart on the route Bălţi-Chişinău with the international train from Moscow. The price for the ticket is 31 moldavian lei, which means 8 romanian lei or 2 euro. (the time of travel is about 3.20 hours because train pass through Ungheni)

Tighina (Moldova)

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Click on the map for more informations

Bender, also known as Tighina (Romanian; Russian: Бендеры, Bendery; Ukrainian: Бендери, Bendery) is a city within the internationally recognized borders of Moldova under de facto control of the unrecognized PMR since 1992. Located on the right (western) bank of the river Dniester, together with its suburb Proteagailovca, the city forms a municipality, which is separate from Transnistria according to the Moldovan law. Bender is located in the buffer zone established at the end of the 1992 War of Transnistria.

While the Joint Control Commission has overriding powers in the city, Transnistria has de facto administrative control.

First mentioned in 1408 as Тягянякяча (Tyagyanyakyacha) in a document in Old Slavonic, the town was known in the Middle Ages as Tighina in Moldavian sources and Bender in Ottoman sources. The fortress and the city were called Bender for the most part of the time they were a rayah of the Ottomans (1538-1812), and during most of the time they belonged to the Russian Empires (1828-1917).

They were known as Tighina in the Principality of Moldavia, in the early part of the Russian Empire period (1812-1828), and during the time the city belonged to Romania (1918-1940).

The city is part of the historical region of Bessarabia. During the Soviet period the city was known in the Moldavian SSR as Бендер (Bender) in Moldovan (Romanian) written then with the Cyrillic alphabet, and as Бендéры (Bendery) in Russian. In the independent Moldova, officially it is known as Bender, but otherwise both names Bender and Tighina are used.

Tighina was part of the Moldavian Democratic Republic in 1917-1918, and after 1918, as part of Bessarabia, the city belonged to Romania, where it was the seat of Tighina County.

Along with Bessarabia, the city was occupied by the Soviet Union on June 28, 1940, following an ultimatum. In the course of World War II, it was retaken by Romania in July 1941, and again by the USSR in August 1944.

In 1940-41, and 1941-1991 it was one of the four „republican cities” (i.e. not subordinated to a district) of the Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic, one of the 15 republics of the Soviet Union. Since 1991, the city is part of the independent Republic of Moldova.

Famous people born in the city include:

Soure: Wikipedia

The train which take us from Chisinau to Tighina (2 hours; 5.60 Moldavian lei is the ticket, almost 0.33 euro)

The train which take us from Chisinau to Tighina (2 hours; 5.60 Moldavian lei is the ticket, almost 0.33 euro)

The train...in Tighina

The train...in Tighina

Inside the train; with old Soviet wooden seats :P

Inside the train; with old Soviet wooden seats 😛

The platform from Tighina railway station (second station in the city)

The platform from Tighina railway station (second station in the city)

1,520 mm (4 ft 11+7⁄8 in) broad gauge or Russian gauge

1,520 mm (4 ft 11+7⁄8 in) broad gauge or Russian gauge

The moldavian cat was not for sale :)

The moldavian cat was not for sale 🙂

Kvass (квас) on the street

Kvass (квас) on the street

YOu can observe the difference between cars :)

You can observe the difference between cars 🙂

Just Lada :P

Just Lada 😛

Last year, Tighina celebrate 600 years of history (1408-2008)

Last year, Tighina celebrate 600 years of history (1408-2008)

Some nice flowers...

Some nice flowers...

Sheriff supermarket

Sheriff supermarket

The intersection from Sheriff supermarket

The intersection from Sheriff supermarket

A bus and trolley

A bus and trolley

An exchange currency panel

An exchange currency panel (26.09.2009)

Commercial centre

Commercial centre

The bazaar

The bazaar

On a walk to the Dniester

On a walk to the Dniester

Some communist blocks with 4 floors

Some communist blocks with 4 floors

A panel with the year of the foundation of Tighina

A panel with the year of the foundation of Tighina

Other communist blocks...

Other communist blocks...

A monument of an Infantry fighting vehicle of the breakaway Transnistrian "army"

A monument of an Infantry fighting vehicle of the breakaway Transnistrian "army"

Other monument

Other monument

A campaign against drugs

A campaign against drugs

The entrance into the city after you cross the bridge from Transnistria

The entrance into the city after you cross the bridge from Transnistria

Joint Control Commission Russian post near to the bridge, in Moldovan side.

Joint Control Commission post near to the bridge, in Moldovan side. Russian troops and vehicle

The railway bridge over the Dniester

The railway bridge over the Dniester

The walls of the fortress build by Stephen the Great and reconstructed by Suleiman the Magnificent

The walls of the fortress build by Stephen the Great and reconstructed by Suleiman the Magnificent

Other photo with the wall...

Other photo with the wall...

Old ship on the Dniester

Old rusty ship on the Dniester

The Dniester (Nistru, Дністер)

The Dniester (Nistru, Дністер)

The bridge over Dniester (just for cars)

The bridge over Dniester (just for cars and tanks)

A sweet cat :P

A sweet cat 😛