Moldova ( (listen), sometimes UK: ), officially the Republic of Moldova (Romanian: Republica Moldova), is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe, bordered by Romania to the west and Ukraine to the north, east, and south. The capital city is Chișinău.
Most of the Moldovan territory was a part of the Principality of Moldavia from the 14th century until 1812, when it was ceded to the Russian Empire by the Ottoman Empire (to which Moldavia was a vassal state) and became known as Bessarabia. In 1856, southern Bessarabia was returned to Moldavia, which three years later united with Wallachia to form Romania, but Russian rule was restored over the whole of the region in 1878. During the 1917 Russian Revolution, Bessarabia briefly became autonomous and then the independent Moldavian Democratic Republic until it was integrated into Romania in 1918 following a vote of its assembly. The decision was disputed by Soviet Russia, which in 1924 decided the establishment, within the Ukrainian SSR, of a Moldavian autonomous republic (MASSR) on partial Moldovan-inhabited territories to the east of the Dniester. In 1940, as a consequence of the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, Romania was compelled to cede Bessarabia to the Soviet Union, leading to the creation of the Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic (Moldavian SSR), which included the greater part of Bessarabia and the westernmost strip of the former MASSR.
Stephen the Great – detail of a dedication miniature in the 1473 Gospel
at Humor Monastery
Stephen III of Moldavia or Stephen Muşat III (1433 – July 2, 1504), also known as Stephen the Great (Romanian: Ştefan cel Mare; Ştefan cel Mare şi Sfânt, "Stephen the Great and Holy" in more modern versions) was Prince of Moldavia between 1457 and 1504.
During his reign, he turned Moldavia into a strong state and maintained her independence against the ambitions of Hungary, Poland, and the Ottoman Empire, which all sought to subdue the land. Stephen achieved fame in Europe for his long resistance against the Ottomans. He was victorious in 34 of his 36 battles, and was the first to inflict a decisive victory against the Ottomans at the Battle of Vaslui, after which Pope Sixtus IV deemed him Athleta Christi (Champion of Christ) — a title previously awarded to Skanderbeg and John Hunyadi. He was a man of religion and displayed his piousness when he paid the debt of Mount Athos to the Porte, ensuring the continuity of Athos as an independent state.
Cricova is an underground wine city in Moldova. It is located 15 km north of Chişinău, the capital of Moldova, and is one of the major attractions for tourists.
Cricova's natural underground labyrinth with 120 km (74 miles) long roadways is one of the biggest in the world. Half of the roadways are used for wine storage. The roads are named by the wines they store...
Maria Cebotari (10 February 1910, Chişinău, now Republic of Moldova – 9 June 1949, Vienna), Moldovan-born Austrian soprano and actress. Born as Maria Cebutaru, she studied singing at the Chişinău Conservatory and in 1929 joined the Moscow Art Theater Company as an actress. Moving to Berlin with the company, she studied singing more with Oskar Daniel for three months and made her debut as an operatic singer by singing Mimi in Puccini's opera La Boheme at Dresden Semper Opera House on 15th March 1931...
Did you know...
... that The "Golden Collection" from the State Enterprise Quality Wines Industrial Complex "Mileştii Mici" was recognized by the Guinness World Records as "the biggest wine collection in the world" on the 19th of August 2005. It contains over 1,5 million bottles of different types of wine – dry wines, dessert and sparkling wines.
...that according to the legend, voivode Dragoş founded Moldova as the result of an aurochs hunt. This is the popular explanation of aurochs head depicted on the coat of arms of Moldova.
...that only five of twelve stanzas of the original poem by Alexei Mateevici are included in the national anthem of Moldova.
...that Moldavian SSR had population density 128.2 people/km² and was the most densely populated republic of the Soviet Union.
...that Christian Orthodox is the predominant religion in Moldova. 98% of believers belong to the Orthodox Church, and its traditions are tightly entwined with the culture and patrimony of the country.