Presentation of the destination
Soroca is a city in the country of Moldova with a population of approximately 37,500 people. Soroca is located on the Dniester River near the border with Ukraine. The city first got its start as a Genoese trading post. Today it is best known for its fort that was built by the Moldavian Prince Stephen the Great in 1499. The fort was one of many along a line of defenses on the Dniester River and the Danube River. The fort was used to successfully defend the area against attack by the Ottomans and also was important in other battles and wars over the years. Soroca expanded in the 19th century and in Moldova it became an important town in the region as well as an important industrial town during the Soviet era. Temperatures in Soroca reach their highs of 24°C (75°F) in the summer and winter lows drop to -5°C (22°F). The official language in Moldova is Romanian and Ukrainian, Russian and Gagauz are also recognized languages. The currency used in the country is the Moldova leu. Majority of people in the country, 75% of the population, self-identify as being ethnic Moldovan. However, in Soroca there is a large Romani population that has earned the city the nickname of the “Romani capital of Moldova.”
Points of interests / things to see
The most famous landmark in the city of Soroca is its historical Soroca Fort. The fort was first built as a wooden structure and was constructed to serve as a point of defense over a ford of the Dniester River. The Soroca Fort was one of many in a crucial line of defense in the area. There were four forts found on the Dniester River, two on the Danube River and three more that stood along the old, medieval borders of the region of Moldova. The first wooden fort was erected in 1499 under the rule of the Moldavian Prince Stephen the Great, who was one of the most important leaders from the House of Mușat. During his rule, he was able to help strengthen the area of Moldavia and keep its independence against a number of rival countries that wished to rule the area, such as Hungary, Poland and the Ottoman Empire. Later, from 1543 to 1546 under the leadership of Petru Rareş, an illegitimate son of Stephen the Great, the fort was redone in stone replacing the wooden structure. It was built in a perfect circle and included five bastions that were spaced at equal distance from each other. The fort held up and protected its forces in a number of battles. Today the fort is a popular attraction in the area and has helped to preserve the culture and history of Soroca over the years.
The Ştefan cel Mare Central Park is found in the capital of Moldova, Chişinău, which is found 156 km (97 mi) from the city of Soroca. The park is the main park in the city as well as being its oldest. It occupies an area of approximately 7 hectares (17 acres). Today the park has the nickname of “The Park of Lovers” because of its popularity as a choice locale for couples to meet up. Throughout the park there are 50 different species of trees, some of them dating between 130 and 180 years old, such as the mulberries and acacias. The Ştefan cel Mare Central Park was designed in 1818 during the reign of Alexander I by a team of Russian military engineers and the alleys throughout the park were created then. At this time the acacias and limes were planted and a number of flower beds were laid out. The park originally had a wicker fence running around it to keep animals from entering and grazing on the park grounds. Years later, in 1863, a cast iron fence was made to surround the garden. The original name of the Park was Pushkin Park and a statue of him was placed in the center of the park starting in 1885. Pushkin, a famous Russian writer, used to spend time wandering the park when it first opened in the 1820s. In 1928 a statue of Ştefan cel Mare (or Stephen the Great) was erected at the front of the park. A number of rides as well as vendor stalls were set up in the park and they sell different types of food and drink. Address: Bulevardul Ștefan cel Mare și Sfînt, Chișinău
The Nativity Cathedral is found in the city of Chişinău, which is located 156 km (97 mi) from the city of Soroca. The full name of the cathedral is the Cathedral of Christ’s Nativity and it serves as the main cathedral in the Moldovan Orthodox Church, which is a branch of the Russian Orthodox Church. Majority of the population in Moldova is Eastern Orthodox Christian and the Church of Moldova has the most members of any Church in the country. The cathedral was built during the 1830s and finished in 1836. It had been originally commissioned by the governor of New Russia, who was Prince Mikhail Semyonovich Vorontsov. The cathedral was designed by Abram Melnikov in the neoclassical style. It was made out of stone and brick and features three altars with the main one being dedicated to Christmas and the Nativity scene. The Cathedral suffered destruction from bombs during the Second World War and in 1962 local Communists also destroyed the bell tower of the cathedral, which was later rebuilt in 1997. Today work is being done to restore the interior of the cathedral. There are two side altars within the cathedral and which today are dedicated to King Stephen the Great as well as Saint Mary.
The Codru Natural Reservation is found to the northwest of Chişinău, near the village of Lozova, which is located 161 km (100 mi) from the city of Soroca. It is the oldest nature reserve in the country and it was founded in 1971. It occupies a space of 5,177 hectares (12,762 acres) and features a number of valleys and ravines within its borders. It is also home to the Codru Forest, which is the most famous forest in Moldova and primarily features oaks, beech trees, ashes, hornbeams and more. Within the grounds of the natural reservation there are about 1,000 species of protected plants that represent half of the flora found in Moldova. As far as fauna, there are 43 mammal species, 145 bird species, seven reptile species, 10 fish species and 8,000 insect species within the park. Some of the animals living in the park include deer, fox, boar, noble stag, badger, wolf and more. There is also a museum at the Codru Natural Reservation. Many of the species found throughout the grounds of the park are listed as either rare or endangered. In addition to the preservation of the species in the reservation and the conservation of the natural environment, the Codru Natural Reserve also serves to set the standard in Moldova for natural parks. The staff also engages in research to further help protect forest ecosystems. Phone number: (+373 237) 47 386 Entrance fees: 5-10 lei for citizens, 25 lei for foreigners
The Căpriana Monastery is found in the town of Căpriana, which is situated 171 km (106 mi) to the south of Soroca. The Căpriana Monastery is one of the oldest monasteries found in the country. It was built in a forested region that was previously named the Codrii Lăpușnei. The first reliable written reference to the monastery comes from a document dating back to 1429. The document officially gave Căpriana Monastery the title of royal monastery by decree of Alexander the Good who was a Prince of Moldavia. The document also made the monastery the possession of Alexander the Good’s wife, Princess Marena. At first, the monastery was named Vasnavet Monastery after the river that flows nearby. It was only later changed to Căpriana when it was named in honor of Chiprian, who served as the first Superior of the monastery. The monastery went through a short period of decay but was later rebuilt from 1542 to 1545 at the request of the leader Petru Rareş who also ordered built the first stone church at the monastery, the Church of the Virgin’s Assumption. Again during the 17th century the monastery went through a period of decline due to economic issues in the area as well as cultural stagnation and it wasn’t until 1813 that Căpriana saw again an increase in monastic life on its grounds. In 1962 the monastery was closed and the monks had to leave. It was then used as a sanatorium for sick children and part of it was turned into a club for dancing and drinking. In 1989, near the end of the Soviet era, the monastery was once again converted to use for religious purposes. The Căpriana Monastery is also home to the largest religious library in Moldova. Phone number: (+373 237) 22 365 / (+373 237) 68 321 Opening hours: Daily 6:00-22:00 Entrance fees: Free
Raciula Village is located 133 km (83 mi) to the south of Soroca. At the Raciula Monastery in the village, visitors can learn about the honey making process as well as the art of beekeeping. Visitors to the village can check out the Honey House, which is a center run by the Stegarescu family that features a colony of bees that can be observed looking through glass beehives. The owners explain the process of collecting honey and later processing it. There are also explanations for all the ways that honey can be used as well and products that can be made with honey. There are also products for sale as well as for sampling, such as honey with walnuts, homemade wine, beeswax and more. Website: www.casamierii.fermer.md Email address: email@example.com Phone number: (+373) (0)67 121 862
The Saharna Monastery is found near the town of Rezina, which is located 94 km (58 mi) to the south of Soroca. The monastery is situated on a nature reserve that occupies 670 hectares (1,655 acres)of land that is protected by the government. The monastery started off as a small hermitage and a small church that had been dug into the rock in the area. In 1776, a group of monks came from Russia and settled at the monastery and fixed it up. In the 1960s the monastery was shut down and a number of the buildings at the complex were used for other purposes. Later in 1990 the monastery was reopened and refurbished. Many of the structures at the monastery are carved out of rock or were made from stone blocks. Near to the monastery there is also a series of waterfalls along the River Saharna. Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone number: (+ 373 254) 78737 Opening hours: 5:45-20:00 Entrance fee: Free
Branesti Cellars is found in the town of Branesti, 128 km (79 mi) to the southeast of Soroca. The winery is located in a forest and has a number of underground cellars that have made it well-known. Underneath the winery are 50 km (31 mi) of underground cellars, some that reach to 60 m (197 ft) below the ground. Visitors to Branesti winery can taste wines in one of two tasting halls, one of them located underground. The decoration of the halls features a number of works in metal and wood that show images related to cultivating vines and making wine. Available for sampling and purchase are dry white wines as well as red and sparkling wines. It is also possible to have a lunch service as part of the guided tour and tasting of the wines. Visitors should book in advance. Email address: email@example.com Phone number: (+ 373 235) 59 999 Opening hours: Monday-Friday 9:00-17:00. Saturday and Sunday by appointment only. Entrance fees: Starts at approximately €6 and goes up from there depending upon the tour package and number of people in the group.
The Pădurea Domnească Reserve or the Royal Forest Reserve in English, is a scientific nature reserve found 119 km (74 mi) to the southwest of Soroca. The Pădurea Domnească is the biggest reservation in the country and occupies an area of 6,032 hectares (14, 905 acres). The reserve was established in 1993 and runs along the Prut River that is on the border with Romania. Within the reserve is a variety of different tree species as well as Moldova’s biggest and oldest oak trees. The oldest tree found in the reserve is over 450 years old. There are a number of birds and animals in the reserve as well including bison and herons. Entrance fees: 5-10 lei for citizens, 25 lei for foreigners
Vacation rentals in Soroca (Soroca District)
How to get there ?
The main airport to get into the country is in the capital Chişinău (http://www.airport.md/homepage-en/). Chişinău is located 156 km (97 mi) to the south of Soroca. The national airline carrier is Air Moldova but another popular airline to use to get into the country is Capratair (www.carpatair.com). Chişinău Airport has connections with Eastern European cities such as Bucharest, Budapest, Istanbul, and Moscow, and an increasing number of Western European cities such as Berlin and Vienna. It is possible to enter the country by land from either Romania, Ukraine or Hungary, with entering from Romania being the easiest. To check for information about the roads to enter Moldova, see the website www.turism.md/eng/content/69. People from some countries require a visa to enter Moldova which can sometimes be purchased upon arrival by air or road but not by train. If entering by train, make sure you already have a visa for Moldova if necessary otherwise you could face being arrested. Train is more comfortable than buses, but prices usually run at double what they are for buses. Soroca is closest to the border with Ukraine. However, if entering Moldova from Ukraine, you may have to pass through the region of Transdniestr, an independent region within Moldova. To enter Transdniestr, visitors will have to purchase a visitor’s pass at the border and later may have to pay a fee to enter Moldova proper after leaving the Transdniestr region. However some buses passing from Ukraine to Moldova will take a longer route to circumvent the Transdniestr region, sometimes also called the Transnistria region. Within Moldova the best way to get around is by bus which runs to most parts of the country. From the capital Chişinău there are routes to every city and town in the country. There are larger buses as well as minibuses.
Hotels in Soroca (Soroca District)
3006 - Soroca
Indicative price : 240 MDL - 700 MDL
Vila de Nord
3000 - Soroca
Indicative price : 400 MDL - 700 MDL
Mihai Kogalniceanu Street, 20
MD 3000 - Soroca
Indicative price : 400 MDL - 1200 MDL