Fun Facts about Moldova

Moldova was founded by Prince Bogdan in the mid-1300s. The national hero of the country is ┼×tefan cel Mare who won 46 of 48 military campaigns against the Ottomans in the 1400s.  However, the area came under Turkish Ottoman rule in the 16th century and became part of the Russian Empire in 1812.  Moldova gained independence from the USSR in August of 1991.

In case that isn't enough invaders for you, the area was also overrun by Greeks, Romans, Huns, Bulgars, and Mongols.  It was also once known as Bessarabia.

Okay, so lots of different groups of people invaded Moldova in the past.  It used to be a part of Romania.  Most of the people there speak Romanian.  Some people you talk to say there are subtle differences in the way they speak, so their language should be called Moldovan.  If that is just too confusing, most people also speak Russian.

Within Moldova is the region of Gagauzia which gained a level of autonomy in 1994 and Transnistria, a break-away republic, that fought a two year war of independence in 1990.  Ask anyone in in Transnistria and they will tell you that they are independent.  They have their own bank, post office, and government. Ask anyone in Moldova, and they will tell you it is autonomous but still a part of Moldova.  No other country in the U.N. has recognized Transnistria.

People have been making wine in Moldova for almost 5,000 years.  And, the largest underground wine cellar in the world is in Cricova.  Of course, you can buy wine at the store, but many Moldovans prefer the wine their families produce.

The eighth largest cave in the world, "Emil Racovita", is in Moldova.

Back in the days of the USSR, Moldova was the most densely populated region.  It is about the size of Maryland.

The capital city, Chisinau is pronounced just like it looks, "KISH in now".  If it still isn't familiar to you, it used to be Kishinev. It's one of the greenest capital cities in Europe.