Moldova is a diverse and multi-ethnic country with a great heritage, rich culture and history. During this trip, you will explore the north of our country, considered the melting pot of various nationalities in Moldova. Our first stop will be at the Thanksgiving Candle in Soroca, a monument and chapel, situated on a rock high above the Nistru River bank. It is an important memorial in the modern history of Moldova because it is dedicated to all of the destroyed cultural monuments of Moldova. Being the brain child of the famous Moldavian classical writer Ion Durta, the monument was finished in 2004. To reach it, you will have to climb 600 steps that start at the Nistru River. Once there, you will be rewarded with picturesque and unforgettable views.
Soroca is also known as the country’s Gypsy Capital. After so many centuries of struggle, it is perhaps unsurprising that gypsies who achieve a measure of economic success want to flaunt it. So, on a Soroca hilltop, Gypsy residents build elaborate houses, inspired by and borrowing architectural flourishes from famous buildings in wealthier countries including St Peter’s Basilica, the U.S. Capitol Building and the Bolshoi Theatre.
However, who could express better the gypsy culture than the Gipsy Baron? That is why for lunch, we will meet the king to know gypsy culture in person. Mr. Arthur Cerari is the leader of Moldova Gypsy community and promotes its culture. He is standing on the top of the structure since 1998. In that year his father, who was the king of all Soviet Union Gypsies, died. Arthur has big, white, Santa Claus like bear and very friendly eyes. He speaks 7 languages, likes shooting, playing piano, accordion and collecting porcelain. You will also notice in his yard two old Czajka, the “Soviet Rolls-Royce”, one of them owned in the past by Yuri Andropov, the fourth General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. During the traditional lunch prepared by the baron’s wife, he will share with you the gypsies’ values, traditions and plans, and even sing you.
After the lunch, we will be heading for a tour to one of the most important historical places in Moldova – Soroca Fortress. In the medieval period, the fortress of Soroca was part of a huge defence system. This structure consisted of four fortresses on the Nistru River, two on the Danube, and another three in the northern part of the country. With this “stone belt of fortresses”, the country’s borders were well protected. The historical notes take us back to 1499, when at the order of Stefan cel Mare a square wooden fortress was built on the site of a former Genovesian fortress. It was rebuilt in stone less than 50 years later and given its circular shape, with five bastions. When designing the fortress the builders incorporated the supreme law of harmony “the golden section”, which makes the fortress unique among examples of European defensive architecture. After its renovation, it reopened its doors for visitors in 2015 and is now ready for you to discover its past and present legends.
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