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tiistai 19. tammikuuta 2016

Moldova, Cool Facts #93

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1. Moldova Legend 

In 1359 the Principality of Moldavia was founded in the valley around the Moldova River, which gave the country its name. There's a legend about why the river got the name Moldavia. 

Moldavian chroniclers Dimitrie Cantemir and Grigore Ureche tell that the river was named by prince Dragos after hunting an aurochs, which is an extinct wild ox. 

Molda, the hound of Dragos followed the aurochs to the river but drowned because of the exhaustion. Full of sorrow Dragos ordered that the river should be called Moldavia. So the river and then the nation of Moldavia got their name, which transformed into Moldova eventually.

Dragos and Molda chasing an aurochs

2. Transnistria

The current area of Transnistria was called the Moldavian ASSR in 1924-1940 and it was an autonomous part of the Ukrainian SSR in the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union had the goal to annex the current Moldovan parts to this Soviet Republic and it managed to do it in 1940 after the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. 

Until 1940 the current Moldova was part of Romania and between 1941-1944 Romania occupied the area again, but lost them in the end of the war as Romania was in the losers side in the war. So after that the current Moldova and Transnistria were together the Moldavian SSR. 

After the dissolution of the USSR the war broke loose in Transnistria in 1992 for a couple of months and since the end of the conflict Transnistria has been de facto independent but it still remains as an unrecognized country.



3. Poorest European country

Moldova is the poorest European country and about one third of the GDP comes from money that Moldovans living abroad send to their home country. The majority of Moldovan migrant workers abroad are women, who work especially in childcare. 

Services have become the biggest sector in the country and then industry and agriculture. Moldova is especially known for its wine as it has one of the largest wine cellars in the world. Moldova's main trade partners are Russia and Ukraine.




4. Moldovan Wine Industry 

The largest wine cellar Milestii Mici is in Moldova, which is known for its wines. The wine industry in Moldova is well established and winemaking is so popular that many families have their own recipes and even their own strands of grapes, that have passed through the generations.

The Milestii Mici cellars extend for a staggering 200 kilometers of which only 55km are currently in use. The second biggest winery in Moldova, Cricova, isn't small either with 120 kilometers of labyrinthine roadways.

During the world war Jews were hidden in wine barrels in Cricova and it was also the celebration place of Vladimir Putin's 50th birthday.

Milestii Mici Winery
5. Flag of Moldova

The flag of Moldova tells about the history of the country. The colors and the design is close to the Romanian flag, because these two countries have a common past and language, which is Romanian. 

The eagle of Wallachia is on the coat of arms. The Principality of Wallachia existed between 1246-1859. In 1859 Moldavia united with Wallachia and adopted the name Romania in 1866. This state became officially the Kingdom of Romania in 1881. 

The other animal is the ox of Moldavia, a principality which existed between 1346-1859. Like it was mentioned before, in 1859 Moldavia united with Wallachia. Currently the eastern part of the ancient Moldavia belongs to Moldova and the western part to Romania. 


Ox of Moldavia


Eagle of Wallachia
Moldovan flag

Timeline

1359 Bogdan I founded the principality of Moldavia
1538 Moldavia became a tributary to the Ottoman Empire
1775 The deteriorating Ottoman Empire loses Bukovina region from Moldavia to Austria
1812 After the Treaty of Bucharest Ottoman Empire cedes the eastern parts of Moldavia to Russia
1856 The Treaty of Paris returned three counties of Bessarabia back to Moldavia
1859 Wallachia and Moldavia unite
1866 The united Wallachia and Moldavia adopt the name Romania
1877-78 After a new Turco-Russian, Russia took Bessarabia back
1881 The Kingdom of Romania is founded
1918 Bukovina and Transylvania join Romania 
1924 The Soviet Union created the Moldavian ASSR in the current Transnistria, where the whole Bessarabia was meant to be annexed eventually
1940 Romania ceded Bessarabia and Bukovina to the Soviet Union, which soon formed the Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic with the Moldavian SSR, but soon Bukovina and parts of Bessarabia were annexed to the Ukrainian SSR
1941 Romania allied with Nazi Germany occupied Bessarabia, Transnistria and northern Bukovina but lost them in 1944 as the War was ending and the Axis states were losing
1991 Moldova declares independence with Mircea Snegur as the first president
2001 Vladimir Voronin became the president and the Communist Party returned in power

Sources:
http://www.moldovaholiday.travel/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=1130:the-legend-of-moldova-s-foundation&Itemid=314&lang=en
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moldova
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transnistria

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