I arrived early in the morning to Moldova, with no special expectations. I knew it is the poorest country in Europe and that the visit to the capital of Chisinau can be done in one day.

Landing with Air Moldova looked like this:

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Landing to Moldova with Air Moldova

Btw, apparently in Air Moldova you are not allowed to take more than one glass of wine. How sad, especially as the country is famous for vineyards and it is its biggest export product. Even more, Moldavia used to be the vineyards garden of former USSR.

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Chișinău International Airport

Chişinău is very wealthy compared to the rest of the country, as Moldova is not a very rich country. Whatever was that suppose to mean as the suburbs of Chisinau looked really poor.

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However, the center was nice. People very hospitable and kind so I really can not say anything against this city.

As I started my first walk in the city center, I realized the facades had the ornaments from previous USSR – with both the good and bad qualities associated with it:

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The Cathedral Park – better known as Central Park, is in the very centre of the city. With a regular guest in it:

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Gypsy woman in Central Park

The centre is adorned with the Nativity Cathedral, the main church for the city.  The cathedral was built in the 1830s to a Neoclassical design and it is clearly an orthodox christian church.

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Actually, the cathedral is placed at the Great National Assembly Square where you can find the Triumph arch constructed in 1841 which is the center piece of this square. The Arch is really beautiful holding proudly the national flag.

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Triumph Arch

This square was formerly known as Victory Square since many events used to happen here like the demonstrations and protest during the celebrations of the October Revolution in Chisinau in 1989. Hence the monuments:

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Across is the Stefan Cel Mare Monument or Stephen III (The Great) and his monument – witnessing that he achieved European fame by resisting the Turkish advances in the 15th century. The monument is the gateway to the beautiful park of the same name.

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Stephen III The Great

Funny thing I noticed – and I do not know the reason why, but seems like in the horticulture of Chisinau is cabbage included. I noticed the cabbage heads in parks:

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After 2 hours of site-seeing, I decided to sit in the park at some local restaurant and order the local beer. I know that wine is the main beverage here, but it was such a hot and sunny day so I couldn’t resist. 🙂

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With the great view at the fountains in the park:

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Later that day I visited the National Archaeology & History Museum. Not sure who what I expected, but I was disappointed there was not a single item described in english. Luckily, I can get some Romanian (official language in Moldova) from my Italian knowledge.

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The map of Romanian regions which includes Bessarabia – nowadays Moldavia

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Peace signed with Ottomans

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The day finished with the most famous thing for Moldovans: the wine.  As mentioned, Moldova has a well-established wine industry. Fossils of Vitis teutonica vine leaves near the Naslavcia village in the north of Moldova indicate that grapes grew here approximately 6 to 25 million years ago. Unfortunately, I had no time to visit this places… next time Moldova 🙂

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