Chisinau, pronounced “kee-shee-now” is Europe’s least visited capital city. Or at least the one most of us are likely to get wrong in the pub quiz! Few people venture into the mysterious corner of the far east of Europe in which Moldova sits. And even fewer know what's on display there.
In all honesty Moldova isn’t a country that thrills the regular traveler looking for unforgettable beauty and amazement. But instead it gives a fascinating insight into an often overlooked authentic culture and a world many of us never get to see.
St. Theodor Tiron Convent
Anastasie Ciufli financed the St. Theodor Tiron Convent to respect the last will of his brother Teodor Ciufli. The brothers were Aromenian merchants who emigrated from Macedonia in 1821.
Anastasie received permission to start constructing the church for his brother in 1854, it was finally consecrated on June 6, 1858. Teodor's remains are in the south wing of the building. His brother joined him in their final resting place after his own death 11 years later.
Victory Memorial and Eternal Flame
The Victory Memorial and Eternal Flame is one of the favorite sites to visit in Chisinau. It's a 20 minute walk from the center of the city. For those who have visited other ex-Soviet countries, you'll be familiar with this type of landmark.
The Victory Memorial and Eternal Flame is an expansive, well-kept area that honors those lost during World War II.
|Address||Strada Pantelimon Halippa 5, Chisinau|
Afghan War Memorial To Sons of Motherland
The Memorial Complex „To Motherland's Sons - Eternal Remembrance" is in the Rîșcanovca district. A monument of burden remembers servicemen killed in international wars and conflicts. A cascade of fountains represent a part of the complex. It's a sign of mercy and immense gratitude for those who died on a foreign land because of an injury or thirst.
The Afghanistan war is a tragedy that affected Moldovan people as well. This war killed more than 15,000 lives between 1979 and 1989. Engraved on the granite gravestones are the names of 301 servicemen who died in this time. The 15th of February is the commemoration day of these people.
|Address||Mirona Kostina Blvd, Chisinau|
National Museum of Ethnography and Natural History
It is the oldest museum in Moldova. It opened in October 1889 with the occasion of the first agricultural exhibition in Bessarabia.
Currently has an endowment of about 135 thousand pieces. It holds an important collection of exhibits about the natural history of the Republic of Moldova.
|Address||Mihail Kogalniceanu St 82, Chisinau|
|Telephone||+373 22 238 848|
The architectural centerpiece of Chisinau, the Metropolitan Cathedral is from 1836 built on at the initiative of Prince Mikhail Semyonovich Vorontsov.
Avraam Melnikov designed the Cathedral. It is one of the best examples of Russian architecture in Chisinau. The city’s urban plan from 1817 was the first to display the Cathedral’s location and its basic architecture in the cruciform plan.
Considering the importance of the structure, the building became elegant, regal, and timeless. Today's cathedral boasts an eclectic style, with a combination of Byzantine touched with a hint of Renaissance on a Greek cross, a perfect Neo-Classic structure.
Inside, the cathedral has three altars dedicated to three saints. The cathedral suffered serious damage during World War II and has since undergone several reconstructions.
The Cathedral's Belfry
In front of the cathedral stands a beautiful belfry built in 1998. It's an exact replica of the original belfry built in 1830. The original belfry disappeared in the 1960's. It represents an important religious and historic site. The belfry comprises four levels with a small chapel on the ground level and several bells at the top.
The Cathedral complex, including the bell tower, is in the heart of Chisinau, in front of the main Government building.
The Alexander Pushkin House and Museum is an important cultural monument in Chisinau. It's several blocks northeast of the central parks, housed in a cottage where Russian poet Alexander Pushkin spent three years in exile between 1820 and 1823.
It was here that he wrote The Prisoner of the Caucasus and other classics. The complex has a total of four buildings. The one with the A.S. Pushkin museum is the oldest.
Parliament Building and Presidential Palace
Further down Stefan Cel Mare Boulevard is the Parliament Building and the Presidential Tower. The Parliament in Moldova has 101 members, elected every 4 years. The parliament elects a president who functions as a head of state. The prime minister then appoints a prime minister, who functions as the head of government.
Chisinau Railway Station
Piata Centrala is like an open-air village market, one street away from Stefan Cel Mare Boulevard. Watch the locals barter; items range from fresh fruits to clothes. A highlight for me was the fresh, homemade donuts that only cost 15 cents each. Tough if you are on a diet.
Moldava produces wine by the bucket-load and plenty of vineyards cater to the quaffing whims of wandering tourists. By contract, beer tours are a rare thing. Yet no visit to the republic's lively capital is complete without a trip to the Chisinau Brewery.
Tastings of their brews, including a thirst-quenching red ale - are part of the deal, and the tours are free. You need to write an email to email@example.com to book ahead. The brewery is now owned by Turkish beer giant Efes.
St. Theotokos Church Chisinau
The St. Theotokos Church dates back to 1802. This church nestles between apartment buildings in a residential area of Chisinau. The Armenian community dates back hundreds of years in Moldova with a reputation as a merchant class.
National Museum of History of Moldova
The National Museum of History of Moldova is among the most important museum institutions of the Republic of Moldova, because of its collection and scientific prestige.
The Museum opened in 1983. In 1991, the State Museum of History of MSSR changed its name into the National Museum of History of Moldova. In 2006 the museum reorganized into the National Museum of Archaeology and History of Moldova through absorption of the Museum of Archaeology of the Academy of Sciences of Moldova.
The National Museum of Archaeology and History of Moldova changed its name into the National Museum of History of Moldova in 2013. Today the museum is apart of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Moldova, its scientific activity coordinated by the Academy of Sciences of Moldova.
Collection of the National Museum
The museum's collections, which consisted of the collections of the Republican Museum of Military Glory and the State Museum of History and Regional Studies, enriched every year with items of scientific value through research, donations and acquisitions. Besides, in 1989 – 1995 and 2006 – 2007, large transfers of collections from some broken up museums also contributed to the growth and diversity of the Museum property.
Today the National Museum of History of Moldova owns 348,619 items, covering the history of Moldova over the centuries, from prehistoric times to the present, telling about the land, facts, events, and outstanding people.
In 1991 the first permanent historical exhibition “Pages of Centuries-old History of Moldova”, covering the period from the oldest times to 1940, opened to the public. It occupied three rooms of the 1st floor, with an area of 645 sq. m., containing about 900 items on show. The exhibition illustrated the features of the area between the Prut and Dniester in the context of the history of medieval Moldavian state. For the period after Moldova's dismemberment in 1812, the exhibition only presented the history of Bessarabia.
Modernizing the collection
In 1997 the permanent historical exhibition changed in content and by method of presentation. It expanded to the entire first floor, occupying six rooms with an area of 1,400 sq. m. Chronological framework of the exhibition includes the period from the Paleolithic to the end of the fifth decade of the twentieth century.
In 2006 – 2007 the museum rebuild the permanent exhibition, intending to make radical changes in vision and the content of exhibits, representing a prehistory and ancient history section. Underlying these changes are the collections transferred from the former Museum of Archaeology of the Academy of Sciences of Moldova. The current formula of the permanent exhibition is an intermediate. A conceptual and thematic vision is developing.
The Museum also offers the public diverse temporary exhibitions. They complement the permanent exhibition and add to the promotion of the Museum cultural and historical property.