Moldova, an Eastern European country and former Soviet republic, has varied terrain including forests, rocky hills and vineyards. Its wine regions include Nistreana, known for reds, and Codru, home to some of the world’s largest cellars. Capital Chișinău has Soviet-style architecture and the National Museum of History, exhibiting art and ethnographic collections that reflect cultural links with neighboring Romania.
Moldova is hilly with a subtle slope south toward the Black Sea. Moldova has a relatively rugged topography; however, elevations never reach beyond 430 m (1,411 ft) – which is the country’s highest point, Balanesti Hill. These hilly regions are part of the Moldavian Plateau, a part of the Carpathian Mountains. Accounting for much of the terrain along that plateau are steep forested slopes interlaced by valleys and ravines. While the Dniester river forms only a small part of Moldova’s border with the Ukraine, the Prut completely makes up the entire western border with Romania. Other important rivers of note include the Nistru and Byk.
Key cities in Moldova include: Chisinau, Tiraspol, and Balti.
Historical, Cultural facts & Religion
The history of Moldova can be traced to the 1350s, when the Principality of Moldavia, the medieval precursor of modern Moldova and Romania, was founded. The principality was a vassal of the Ottoman Empire from 1538 until the 19th century. In 1991 the country declared independence as the Republic of Moldova.
The culture of Moldova is influenced primarily by the Romanian origins of its majority population, while also being heavily indebted to the Slavic and minority Gagauz populations. The traditional Latin origins of Romanian culture reach back to the 2nd century, the period of Roman colonization in Dacia. The primary religion is Christianity, 90.1% of the population nominally being Eastern Orthodox pursuant to data of the 2014 census. Administratively, there are two autonomous churches belonging to two autocephalous churches (Russian and Romanian) within the Eastern Orthodox communion.
Brief Country History
The region has been populated by humans since the Neolithic period. For thousands of years, people settled in present-day Moldova. The Dacian tribes were the first known inhabitants. Later, a succession of empires and people invaded and settled in the region.
In the year 1359, the Principality of Moldavia was born, and by 1859 it became part of the Russian empire. By 1917 some parts joined with Romania while the rest were taken over by the Soviet Union. During the Second World War, the divided population fought one another as they take sides between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union.
After the war, the population suffered from drought, famine as well as government repression. Later on, citizens from other the other Soviet republics settled in. In the 70s and 80s, the republic was receiving generous financial backing from the Soviet government which helped finance the country’s industrial and scientific infrastructures. However, the Soviet authorities dealt harshly with members of the independence movement.
In 1989, Soviet leader Gorbachev’s policy of glasnost and perestroika allowed the revival of independence movements. It did not take long for pro-independence demonstrations to take place in the capital. After the failed coup attempt in Moscow, the country declared its independence on August 27, 1991. Moldova joined the other former republics to form the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). In March 1992 the independent republic gained admission to the United Nations.
Despite losing control of Transnistria, the international community recognizes the country’s sovereignty over the territory. The country is a democratic republic and amazingly the communist party has won substantial parliamentary seats.
Language (s) Written & Spoken
The state language of Moldova is Romanian (locally also called Moldovan) which is the native language of 80.2% of the population; it is also spoken as a primary language by other ethnic minorities. Gagauz, Russian and Ukrainian languages are granted official regional status in Gagauzia and/or Transnistria.
Important Types of Commerce in Moldova
Food processing (including sugar and vegetable oil) is the largest domestic industry, followed by power generation, engineering (mostly agricultural machinery, foundry equipment, refrigerators, freezers, and washing machines), hosiery, shoes, and textiles.
Language Services US and others will provide working with Moldova
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