(Republic of Moldova, Republica Moldova)
- Location: Southeastern Europe
- Capital: Chisinau
- Language: Moldovan
- Population: 3,603,506
- Total Area: 33,371 km2
- Currency: Leu
Since the beginning of the 19th century, poor Moldova has been moved around like an old piece of furniture. In 1812 it became part of the Russian Empire and then only a hundred later became major part of Greater Romania. It was part of the Soviet Union from the end of the World War Two and until it finally won its independence in 1991. Since then it has struggled to keep afloat, despite becoming a member of NATO as early as 1994. Its economic problems were confirmed when in 2009 the public once again voted for the communist party- though it has to be said the results were surrounded by controversy.
Today, native Moldovans make up 69% of the country, with Ukrainians (11.23%) and Russians (9.39%) being the other significant ethnic groups being Ukrainians (11.23%). Moldovans are highly religious with only 0.98 people saying that they don’t believe in a God. 93% of the population is Eastern Orthodox.
Any westerner traveling to Chisinau will find it cheap, though if you come straight from Romania, you may find it disappointing that its prices are around the same. Nevertheless there is a lot to do. During the day you can visit the National Opera House, the Palace of the Republic and Cathedral Park, but during the night you can really let your hair down. You have to pay entry into a lot of places, like most major cities, but it is all cheap and lively. For foreigners, the most popular nightclub is Star Track, a futuristic dance heaven.
Cricova has the second largest wine cellar in the world, the largest located in the Moldovan town of Milesti Mici and by large, I mean massive. It has 120 km of tunnels with wines lining both sides. Legend has it that the Russian Astronaut went down there for a few hours only to emerge a couple of days later, a little tipsy. The collection bearing the name of Cricova is internationally renowned and the recipient of 70 silver and gold Grand Prix awards.
The National Ballet of Moldova
Moldova houses one of the leading ballet companies in Eastern Europe. Even after the collapse of the Soviet Union it has been strong enough to keep its own orchestra, ballet and opera. In fact, over the last few years its reputation has grown and the company has toured throughout Western and Eastern Europe. Their performance of the Nutcracker in the UK was the first production of the show the British had had in the country since the seventies.
-It has one of the finest wine festivals in the world.
-The name of the country was derived from the 'Moldova River'.
-Moldova was once part of the Soviet Union.
-There are 32 administrative districts in the country.
-Moldovans are known for being the highest consumers of alcohol per capita in the world.
-Cycling is one of the most cherished sports in Moldova.
Story By World By Shotglass
©2013 World By Shotglass. All Rights Reserved
Special thanks to our contributors:
Simon Arms (Berlin, Germany) for story editing.
Adebayo Ahmed Adebola (Ilorin, Nigeria).
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