Incredible Facts About Moldova

Moldova is such an interesting yet often overlooked country. We can all list facts about nations like the united States or Australia, most of us know some about places like Russia, but few in the west know anything about Moldova. I think this is a shame. Moldova facts could fill several books, it’s that kind of country. For example, it’s the only country in the world to not be any of the other countries in the world. Moldova is sandwiched in between Ukraine and Romania, meaning that through history it was a sort of cross roads for invading armies marching in both directions. This means Moldova’s culture has been influenced by various other historic powers.

But the country also has it’s own unique and rich culture not seen anywhere else in the world. In this article you will get a brief taste of that culture as well as some of the nation’s history, and just some random weird facts. Countless Moldovans have died for the nation’s independence over the centuries, being forced into the Russian empire and then the Soviet Union. But the region has seen nationalistic based conflict for so much longer. Moldova was at one point a puppet state of the Ottoman Empire, and of the Byzantine empire before that. Each succeeding ruling empire has sought to undermine the preceding culture and overwhelm Moldova with it’s own way of doing things, resulting in the country have cultural layers that go back thousands of years.

I’m including quite a lot of facts about Moldova just in this introduction, you’re welcome. Russification was the most recent. Moldova fell under Russian control after a long war between Russia and the Ottoman Empire. To stamp out Ottoman and Islamic influence in the country, many ethnically Turkish communities were expelled. To replace them the Russian government heavily encouraged other groups of Europeans to settle the area. As a result there were areas of Moldova populated by Germans, Romanians, Latvians and multiple other ethnic groups. It’s one of the reasons the nation had so many different ways of doing things. Since the fall of the Soviet Union, Moldova, like other countries has sought to define itself as a modern nation and economy. This has seen a partial merge in these cultures. Here are ten amazing facts about Moldova.


Moldova Might Unite With Romania

Moldova Romania Union
A popular political concept within both Romania and Moldovia is the idea of some kind of unification, that the two nations should become one. The populations do have a lot in common, which explains much of the solidarity they feel. Possibly the biggest factor they have in common are ethnic ties. Due to them bordering each other, there is obviously a lot of genetic crossover. Vast sways of Moldova were part of Romania well into the 19th century and Moldova was essentially considered as being part of a greater Romania.

It’s like how the southern and northern German states felt solidarity with each other prior to the unification of Germany. For obvious reasons there are also cultural links between Moldova and Romania, with the major religion in both countries being Christian Orthodoxy. The politicians within both country are generally sceptical of the idea, but their populations largely support it so a union between Romania and Moldova is not hard to imagine. Maybe we will see it come into existence within our lifetime.


Moldova Loves Alcohol

Moldova wine
A study of alcohol consumption has revealed that Moldovans are the world’s biggest drinkers. With the average Moldovan citizen drinking three times more alcohol than the average human. The average within Moldova is 18 litres of pure alcohol per citizen per year. The study looked at more than a hundred countries over several years and concluded that Moldovans were the biggest drinkers of planet Earth. It is a stereotype that Eastern Europeans consume a lot of alcohol… I guess some stereotypes are true. It’s thought that one of the reasons Moldovans consume more alcohol than we in the west is that Brits and Americans are more likely to have drinks like beer and cider, while Eastern Europeans are more likely to have vodka and spirits, which obviously have a much higher concentration of pure alcohol.


Moldova Gets Less Tourists Than Any Other European Countries

Moldova Tourism
This fact is pretty self explanatory – less people visit Moldova. This is partly because the country isn’t known as a tourist destination. The biggest country for tourism in Europe is France, people know it as a hot destination. But a lot of people don’t even know Moldova exists. Those who are aware of Moldova would often fail to point it out on a map. Eastern Europe isn’t the most seductive region for tourism but Moldova seems to have been hit the hardest. Another reason why is it’s not exactly the most safe country, being quite impoverished by modern European standards and stuck in between two countries known for their own dangerous conflicts. That combined with the historical and recent border conflicts Moldova has been involved in are enough to deter most casual tourists.


It’s Not Landlocked Any More

Despite being ever so close to the Black Sea, Moldova was actually a landlocked country until recently. No nation wants to be landlocked as relying on neighbouring counties for access to the sea is a vulnerable position. Coastal land is valuable both strategically and economically. So in 2005 Moldova and it’s neighbour Ukraine engaged in a land exchange, linking Moldova to the Black Sea with a tiny slither of land. It’s interesting that Ukraine would agree to this as there have been border disputes between the two countries. It may seem strange that Ukrainian leaders would be willing to strengthen their smaller neighbour. But considering the balance of power between Ukraine and it’s own larger neighbour, they could use all the allies they can get.


They Have An Underground City of Wine

Underground city of wine
Moldova has the largest wine cellar in the world. That’s impressive enough on it’s own, but here I’m talking about their second largest wine cellar. It’s essentially an underground city. Deep underground, 30 million litres of wine are kept within the cellar at constantly cool temperatures. It’s known locally as “wine city” due to it’s pure size and the complexity of the structures. Ethnic minorities are known to have hidden within the cellar during the Nazi occupation of Moldova, which has seen Wine City become even more romanticised that it otherwise would have been – and let’s be honest, an underground city of wine was always going to be romanticised. Moldova is well known for it’s widely appreciated wine so I’m not surprised by their massive cellars. I mean really all of my facts about Moldova could be wine based.


An Insane Number of Moldovans Move Away

moldova Emigration
Moldova is part of a handful of countries with a population problem. Some of such countries suffer from low birth rates, some simply have too high levels of emigration, and some have both. Moldova’s issue is emigration. It’s estimated that around 25 percent of the population is currently working abroad. It’s hard to know for sure because it’s thought a large portion of those are doing so ilegaly and are therefore undocumented. It doesn’t take much imagination to see why so many move away from Moldova. Moldova struggles economically. So they go to surrounding European countries for work, especially Russia.


It’s Kinda Fighting A War

An area of Moldovan land along it’s border with Ukraine is claimed as an independent state. The republic of Transnistria is unrecognised as a state, yet claims it’s own legitimacy. It operates in some ways but the united nations sees it as part of Moldova. Transnistria has it’s own working military, police force, government, currency – along with it’s own constitution, political system, and flag.

You might wonder why the Moldovan government allows Transnistria to operate as an independent country. Well it’s been that way since 1992, when a war broke out between Transnistrian separatists and Moldova. Surprisingly Moldova lost the war to Transnistria. This was because Transnistria had the support of Russia. Since then, Transnistria has largely been left to it’s own devices. But the Moldovan government does not, and probably will not, recognise her independence. So it’s seen as a frozen conflict – a war that has not ended, yet witnesses no fighting.


They Don’t Get Along With Russia

Moldova and Russia
It’s fair to call relations between Russia and Moldova icy. From the fall of the Soviet Union and the emergence of the two nations as independent countries it was immediately clear they would have problems. Russia supported the breakaway territory of Transnistria in a brief war against Moldova. Russia continue to support Transnistria to this day, which makes Moldova incredibly angry. In fact Russia still has a military presence within Transnistria. Moldova’s recent military and diplomatic moves have aggravated Russia equally, with a new NATO office being opened in the country. Russia is very sensitive about NATO presence close to it’s borders. So everyone knew this move would cause friction.

Moldova recently banned Russia’s deputy prime minister from entering the country after he claimed Moldova was controlled by an elite of oligarchs. This kind of thing may sound petty but there is nothing knew about it. In 2006 Russia banned the import of Moldovan wine. This was a massive blow as Moldova is a poor country, but with a successful wine industry. Russia at the time was the biggest market for Moldova wine. It’s unclear how high tensions will rise between the two countries but with Moldova backed by NATO and with Russia being very powerful, I doubt we will see a war between them any time soon. Just more petty and minor diplomatic slights. Like how Moldova recently recalled it’s ambassador from Moscow. Little things like that.


Organized Crime is A Major Problem In Moldova

Moldovan Mafia
I do feel kind of cheap making a list of facts about Moldova and mentioning crime as number two on the list, as there is so much more to the country than crime. But oh well. There’s a reason the Russian deputy prime minister accusing the Moldovan government of corruption hit so hard – Moldova has long struggled with a reputation for being a hotbed for money laundering. The country is constantly being linked to large money laundering jobs in the west, especially the UK and Ireland. It’s thought that Russian criminals often have their money passed through Moldova before being discreetly sent to the west, as to seem legitimate.

In 2014, the equivalent of one billion US dollars mysteriously vanished from Moldovan banks. The following week saw around one billion US dollars sent to private companies in the United Kingdom and Hong Kong. It doesn’t take a genius to know what happened there. Although laundering of this scale is rare, the practice is no foreign concept within Moldova.


They Have An Amazing cave monastery

Tipova Monastery is a popular tourist attraction within Moldova. It was carved out in the 6th century beside a river, which was considered holy. It’s Eastern-Europe’s largest cave monastery. Tipova Monastery has been much romanticised, partly because it was abandoned for a long time. Abandoned cave structures beside sacred rivers will always become associated with local folklore, but there are some legends that really helped this.

One legend in particular is that Stephen the Great secretly married his wife within the monastery. Stephen the Great was a famous, and today much respected ruler of Moldova, a kind of real like folk hero. His father was the leader or Moldova. But after the father was murdered he was forced to flee the country. But he would eventually return to claim the Moldovan throne, with the support of Vlad the impaler. While ruling Prince of Moldova he resisted Ottoman aggregation and maintained the freedom of his people, for which he is remembered today. It’s said that the ghost of his wife can on occasion be seen wandering within the cave monastery. She was born near the monastery and it’s thought her spirit returned to the area she was raised and sometimes visits the location of her marriage.

So that concludes our list of facts about Moldova. If you want similar articles I suggest you further explore out website. Have a bloody good bloody day, mate.

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