Milestii Mici Wine Run 2020. Official aftermovie

If you are curious to find out how it is possible to practice sports, drink wine, honor traditions and welcome foreign guests, watch the official Milestii Mici Wine Run 2020 aftermovie

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The Nistru banks were united by Maratonul de Craciun

Support to Confidence Building Measures Programme, which is financed by EU and implemented by UNDP on both Nistru banks involves not just conversations, planning and strategy enforcement. It also implies a possibility for the children to participate in different events

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10 Reasons to Visit Moldova and to Stay for a while

From time to time Moldova is included in ratings of the most unvisited destinations, which is actually worth visiting. Statistics show that the
number of tourists who come to visit this country, which is at the crossroads of civilization, increases annually. Moldova attracts by its combination of the uncombined: it represents the easternmost part of the Romanesque linguocultural region; one of the members of the various Balkan family; former USSR Republic. How does it all gets along with the architectural ensemble, traditions and people? You may try to answer this question by visiting this Southern and sunny country. People come to visit this place for wine, of course, which is famous in many countries of the world. We know that there are at least 10 reasons to come to Moldova and even to stay for a while. 

So if you want to discover the small hospitable country from the South-Eastern Europe, which is at the crossroads of cultures and which has absorbed many different traditions, then welcome to Moldova or, as the locals say, “Hai la mine acasă”.

Reason No.1: Wine and wineries

Moldova is famous for its wineries. Tasting the wine, going down into the numerous wine cellars, etc., represents the activities which all tourists have to do if they visit this country for the first time. Milestii Mici wine cellars, for example, are recorded in the Guinness book as the largest wine collection in Europe. The cellars were founded in 1969 and they represent a real underground city with its infrastructure and streets, which are named after the famous wine varieties.

Another important location to visit in Moldova is the Cricova winery. It was founded in 1952; it has became famous due to the unique technology of sparkling wine production and for the underground city, which has branches up to 60 km wide in the limestones. The Cricova underground city is included in the list of the National Culture Heritage.

It is estimated that this winery has about a million of wine bottles, the oldest of which date from 1902. Many years ago, this limestone gallery, in which the Cricova winery is currently located, was the home of the dry Sarmatian Sea. Wander around in this refreshing place. Feel refreshed in the middle of the Southern summer by getting deep down at the Sarmatian Sea, even though only a memory of it has left.

Among the most comfortable private wineries of Moldova the Et cetera winery is listed, which will help you feel the warmth of national hospitality. It belongs to Lukyanov family, who began planting vineyards on this territory back in 2003. Gradually, they managed to create a genuine oasis, which combines Moldovan landscapes, vineyards, peach gardens, lavender thickets, a pool, a small winery and a restaurant. Sometimes great thunderstorms arise here!

Reason No.2: Nature reserves

Moldova is also famous for its nature reserves. One of the most beautiful places in the country, where you may see the especially bright sunrises and sunsets, is the relict Beleu lake. This is the largest body of water, which is located in Southern Cahul region. In 1991, the Prutul de Jos natural reserve was established here, which is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. The lake displays its mesmerizing beauty when the white and yellow water lilies blossom. Rent a boat and sail along the calm waters in order to comprehend the pristine charm of this amazing land. The Beleu lake also represents a great place for bird-watching. This activity will be pleasant for those who enjoy watching birds: here you may see about 168 species. It is especially worth mentioning the Pelicans, who fly to the shores of the lake in order to add to the Moldovan landscape some exotic sight. 

In addition, we recommend visiting the Padurea Domneasca natural reserve, where you can see giant bisons and red deer, walk in the country of herons and go down in the Valley of Hundred Hills. Padurea Domneasca will make you fall in love with it.

Beyond the natural reserves of Moldova, you will be amazed by the view of the Tipova village: many limestone cliffs, which represent the echo of the already mentioned Sarmatian Sea, plateaus, hills and waterfalls. It is a truly amazing place, which you should definitely include in your itinerary. You might also visit Orheiul Vechi, Toltrele de la Edinet.

Reason No.3: Historical monuments

After you have tasted the wines and got familiar with the natural riches of Moldova, it's time to learn more about its historical past. You may visit several medieval fortresses, which were built during the time of the Principality of Moldavia, which was formed in 1353.

The Soroca Fortress is one of the main historical sites of the country, located on the bank of the River Nistru. The first mention of this fortress dates back to 1499. Its walls witnessed the siege of Tatars, Poles and Cossacks. Today, it represents the place of the annual medieval festivals, which are especially popular in Moldova.

The Bender Fortress is also famous and it is considered one of the symbols of Moldova. The Bender Fortress is younger than the Soroca one, because it was built in 1538, when the Principality of Moldovan fell under the vassal authority of the Ottoman Empire. It was designed by the Turkish architect Sinan, and it served as an important strategic point during the Russian-Turkish wars. By the way, we have a very good photoreport of the fortress

Gustave Eiffel, one of the greatest engineers of the 19th century and the author of the famous tower, the symbol of Paris, had left a mark in the history of Moldova. Mr. Eiffel did not build another tower in Moldova but he designed a bridge, which connects the two banks of the river Prut: Moldova and Romania. The Eiffel Bridge was opened on April 21, 1877 and it became one of the architectural masterpieces of the Industrial Era in Moldova. 

The fans of the 20th century history may visit Serpeni Bridgehead. It is one of the most important historical places in Moldova. Here, in 1944, fierce battles took place, during which 12,000 soldiers were killed. In 2004, in the honour of these soldiers, a Memorial Complex was built. See the photos here.

Reason No.4: Palaces and castles

Moldova is also famous for its palaces and castles, among which we should mention the Mimi Castle and the Manuc-Bei Palace. Both of these architectural buildings were renovated by 2015 and now are open to visitors.

The Mimi Castle, which is situated close to the Bulboaca Village and which is about 30 km away from the capital, brings some “French Chateau sight” to the Moldovan landscapes. This castle is sometimes called the “Moldovan Versailles”. It was built in the beginning of the 20th century (in 1901) by Constantin Mimi, who was the last Governor of Bessarabia. The architectural appearance of the chateau is designed in the style of the old French wineries.

Another object of cultural heritage, which competes with the Mimi Castle for the title of the “Moldovan Versailles”, is the Manuc-Bei Palace. This is the only noble estate of the19th century preserved in Moldova. It was built in 1817 by Alexander Bernardazzi for the statesman Manuc-Bei Mirzoian in the style of French classicism. The historians say that during the time of prosperity, this estate amazed with its elegance and luxury. The ceiling of the palace was painted by the master of Marine Art, Ivan Aivazovsky. Besides the palace, the estate complex includes that hunters’ castle, the library and the watchtower. You might see a deer or a roe deer coming out of the dense forest, which surrounds the buildings. In addition to all mentioned above about the Manuc-Bei Palace, there is another reason why you should visit this place: the underground galleries and a series of catacombs. Who knows, maybe you will be able to find a secret passage to them.

Reason No.5: Soviet heritage

Chisinau is the heart of the country, the largest city of Moldova, in which the old and the new live side-by-side. Foreigners who come visiting say that the architecture is similar to the very spirit of the capital: old soviet-era buildings are neighbouring the ultramodern buildings. This phenomenon shows the coexistence of the past and the future: it’s one of the most specific features of Chisinau and its life. You may also notice that this characteristic is transferred to people as well: to their clothing style and mentality. 

For those who love the past, Chisinau has preserved a lot of 20th century mosaics, which amaze with their level of craftsmanship. Recently, we published a large article on soviet modernism in Chisinau.

Foreign visitors also like to visit Tiraspol, the capital of the unrecognized republic of Transnistria, which stopped developing in the Solviet era. 

In addition, another interesting location, which should be included on your route, is the bunker in Soldanesti: it represents a 13-floor underground building, which is located in the forest of Oliscani. The bunker in Soldanesti is among the largest bunkers on the territory of the former USSR. This should have been an alternate command post of the general staff of the Warsaw Pact Armed Forces. 

Reason No.6: Creative communities of Chisinau

You should stay in the capital a little longer if you want to see its modern aspect: the fashion boutiques, business centers, pedestrian streets and green alleys. For the young people, it will be especially interesting to discover the life of the creative social group of the capital. So, you should visit the creative hub ARTCOR. It was open in the beginning of the summer of 2019 and it is one of the most amazing buildings of the Moldovan capital. The two-floor building is surrounded by a comfortable public area, a courtyard with birches and sophoras. The building has an unusual roof, which will turn into a green public space overtime. ARTCOR has already entered the list of nominees of the ArchDaily & Strelka Award and it is becoming the attraction for the creative youth of Chisinau. 

Reason No.7: Agricultural resorts

You should not forget that Moldova is a country where the majority of population lives in villages. The village culture is an integral part of the common heritage of Moldova. You can get acquainted with it by visiting the agricultural resorts, which represent small centers of the ethnic tourism. Once you get in the resort, you will feel as an original inhabitant of Moldovan villages. The country has about 20 functioning agricultural resorts, which receive hundreds of tourists from different countries every year. Here are just a few of the most famous agricultural resorts, which we recommend visiting: Eco-resort Butuceni (link), Casa din Lunca (link), Casa Verde (link) and Vila Roz (link) (all four are located in the Orheiul Vechi area), Hanul lui Hanganu (link) (Rezina region), Fata Morgana (link) (Dubasari).

Reason No.8: Festivals

Moldova is also a country of festivals. Its inhabitants love colorful, fun and crowded parties. We will list only a few of those you should visit: the spring (or summer) “Mai Dulce” sweets festival, recognized as the largest in Europe (here are some photos from the festival); summer fruit festivals; pottery festivals; summer festival of folk traditions “la mania” (click on the link to see the photos); “Bostaniada” autumn pumpkin festival (link). Let’s not forget about the Wine Day, which is celebrated in October. It is one of the main holidays of the country, which is included in the top 3 most popular fall events of the CIS.

Reason No.9: Food

Getting familiar with Moldovan cuisine is another important point in your tourist plan, because it has absorbed all the diversity of the cultural influences. The Moldovan cuisine has borrowed a lot from the Balkan region: Romania, Greece and Turkey. So, in order to pass from theory to practice, we invite you to the most popular network of national restaurants ‘La placinte”. And as the locals say “Pofta buna!”

Reason No.10: People

And finally Moldova means people, people who are open, friendly and hospitable. You should absolutely befriend with some locals. It is not just an opportunity to make more friends, but it’s also a possibility to get to know the country better, to understand people's mentality and their habits. We assure you that these friends are for life. So come to Moldova! “Hai la mine acasa!”.

Photo: Roberto Gabriele, Volker Kreidler, Anatolie Poiata, Elena Mocrii, Stela Dontu.

This article was written with the support of the Moldova Competitiveness Project, funded by USAID and the Government of Sweden, with the partnership of the National Office of Grape and Wine and the National Inbound Tourism Association of Moldova.

source link locals.md
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