MOLDAVIA

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Introduction | Data in brief | History | Economy | Environmental factors | Attractions | Activities | Transportation | Accommodation

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Introduction

The historical province Moldavia, formerly Principate of Moldavia between 14th and 18th century, and which included Basarabia and Bucovina in the past, is situated in the north-west part of Romania. It borders on Ukraine and the Republic of Moldavia in the north and north-east, Transilvania in the west and Walachia in the south. Moldavia’s most important cities are Suceava, Iasi and Vaslui, former capitals of the region.

Data in brief

  • Name: Moldavia
  • Area: 38100 square km / 14700 square miles
  • Population: aprox 4.9 mil
  • Important cities: Iasi (330,000 inhabitants), Suceava (105,000 inhabitants), Bacau, Galati, Piatra Neamt.
  • Official language: Romanian; spoken languages: English, French (especially in the cities), Russian (near the frontier with Ukraine and the Republic of Moldavia).
  • Religion: mostly spread Orthodox. Other religions present: neo-Protestant, Jewish

History

In the 14th century Voivode Bogdan I (1365-1395) founded The Principate of Moldavia, which included in those times Bucovina and Basarabia.

The period of Moldavia’s maximum development and prosperity was during the reign of Stephen the Great (1457-1504), who through the battles he fought against the Ottoman Empire, but not only, managed to keep Moldavia’s statute of independence.

In the 16th century Moldavia and Walachia were forced to accept the control of the Ottoman Empire, which meant they had to pay an annual tribute to the Turks in order to keep their identity, own laws, administrative, political and military structures.

In 1600 Michael the Brave managed to unite for the first time (although for a short period) the three Romanian states: Moldavia, Walachia and Transilvania.

The 18th century marked the decline of the Ottoman Empire and the ascension of the Habsburg and Russian Empires.

Around 1711 the Ottomans put in place the Regime of the Fanariots, replacing the rule of Moldavian Princes on the Moldavian Throne, and contribute to an important increase of the Greek influence in Moldavia’s religion and culture.

In 1775 Bucovina was attached to the Habsburg Empire and Basarabia to the Russian Empire in 1812.

At the end of the Russian-Turk war (1828-1829), according to the Adrianopole Treaty, Moldavia was granted the statute of Russian Protectorate, but still had to pay a tribute to the Ottoman Empire.

Romania’s modern history started when Alexandru Ioan Cuza united Moldavia and Walachia at 24 January 1859.

In February 1866 Alexandru Ioan Cuza was forced to renounce the throne in favour of the German Prince Carol I of Hohenzolern-Sigmaringen.

At the end of the War World I (1916-1918) Basarabia and Bucovina were attached to Romania’s territory.

On 1 December 1918 the Great Assembly of Alba Iulia proclaims the unification of “all Romanians in Trasilvania, Banat, Crisana and Maramures with Romania”.

In 1940 Romania suffers important territorial losses: Basarabia and Bucovina are lost in favour of USSR, Transilvania in favour of Hungary and the south of Dobrogea and the Quadrilater in favour of Bulgaria.

After War World II, according to the Paris Peace Treaty, Romania regains Transilvania, but Basarabia and Bucovina are lost to USSR.

Economy

Moldavia is region well developed both from the agricultural and industrial point of view. Large areas of the region are cultivated with vine (the most important vineyards are in Iasi, Husi, Vaslui, Odobesti, Cotnari) and fruit trees (in the Botosani, Vaslui and Iasi districts) and animal raising (especially bovines and ovines) is practised throughout Moldavia, especially in the Suceava and Botosani districts.

The subsoil contains deposits of oil, natural gases and coal, the most important extraction areas being Comanesti, Moinesti, Berca and Jugureanu.

Moldavia’s predominant industries are wood industry (Bacau, Iasi and Suceava), chemical industry (Borzesti – synthetic rubber, Roznov – fertilisers, Darmanesti – refineries, Iasi - pharmaceutical products, Braila and Bacau – paper factories), the industry of machine construction (Galati, Braila – naval sites) and the industry of construction materials (Bicaz, Roman, Iasi).

Environment factors

Climate: The hilly area from the northern Moldavia is characterised by cool summers and frequent rains, while in the Moldavian Field the annual temperatures are higher (9° C), and the average temperature of the hottest month, July, is 20-21° C, only 4° C lower than in the Romanian Field. Winters are chilly and there are significant quantities of snow.

Waters: The most important rivers are the Siret (576 km in Romania)-with its affluents: (Buzau, Bistrita, Moldaova, Barlad and other smaller ones) and the Prut (716 km in Romania)

Vegetation: The mountain area in the east of the Oriental Carpathians is richly forested with resin trees (fir, spruce fir, and pine) and resin mixed with beech. The predominant species are the beech, the hornbeam and the sycamore maple in the hilly area, and in the lower areas there are especially forests made of oak and elm.

Fauna: 60% of Europe’s bear population and almost 40% of the wolf population live in the Romanian Carpathians. Other animals: the stagger, the marten, the badger, the wild boar, the deer, the wild cat etc. Birds: the capercaillie, the thrush, the partridge, the titmouse, the bustard, the eagle etc.

Attractions
The monasteries from northern Moldavia represent the most important attraction point in the region. Other touristic attractions: the mountains Rarau, Giumalau and Calimani, the magnolia reservation in Botosani, the National Park (5200 hectares), of the Ceahlau Mountain, the Durau resort (Neamt district), the Cotnari vineyard, the metropolitan Cathedral and the Saint Nicholas Church (Iasi), the resorts Slanic Moldova, Tg. Ocna (the biggest subterranean sanatorium in Europe, situated inside a salt mine) and Poiana Sarata – renowned for their treatment of digestive diseases, the Husi (Vaslui district) and Bujoru (Galati district) vineyards etc.

Activities: There are in Moldavia numerous possibilities to practice sports: aquatic sports (on the river Danube and the lakes Brates and Catusa Pond), winter sports (in the resorts Durau, Vatra Dornei), hiking, horse riding, speleology, tennis etc. Sportive fishing can be practiced on the Danube, Siret, Prut and the rivers of Moldavia. The main fish species are: the trout, the barbel (in the mountain rivers), the sheat fish, the carp, the bream, the chub (in the field and hill rivers), the zander, the sterlet, the sturgeon etc.

Transportation

Moldavia is easily accessible both by train and by bus or plane. Trains represent the most popular means of transport and they connect most cities, communes and villages in the region.

Airports: Suceava (international), Iasi and Bacau

Accommodation

Tourists can choose between accommodation in hotels (calssified from 1 to 4 stars), motels, villas, cabins, private houses and camping.For more information: ROMANIA - Official Travel and Tourism Website