The Legend of the Soroca Fortress

The Legend of the Soroca Fortress and more…


When you come to Moldova you can not miss a trip to Soroca where you can visit some unique and interesting places.

Soroca is a city situated in Moldova’s North part, right on the banks of the Dniester River.  The entrance of the city is guarded by a pretty “young” monument called The Thanksgiving Candle.

It was opened in 2004 and it represents a tribute to the anonymous heroes who have preserved the culture, language and history of Moldova.

600 stairs lead to the chapel which has the shape of a candle. Even if climbing 600 stairs is a challenge you will not regret it because up there you can feel like a bird that enjoys the amazing view of the Dniester River and its surroundings.

Of course if you are in Soroca you must visit the Soroca Fortress which is a historical monument of National importance.

Prince Stephen the Great built it in 1499 in order to defend against the predatory Tatars which made their way to Moldova through the Dniester River.

The initial Fortress was made of wood, but later (between 1543 and 1546) it was totally rebuilt and made of stone as we can see it today.

The Soroca Fortress is not very big (its diameter is 37.5 meters), but it has a strategic architecture. Its walls are built in a curved shape to better resist projectiles, as are the four outer towers. The round towers allowed the defenders to shoot from better angles and thus protect the  base of the walls.

When you enter the fortress you feel like going back centuries ago and it seems like you a part of the history at that moment.

An old legend says that during the dramatic period of the Tatar invasion the Soroca Fortress has long resisted the invaders. The food and water reserves were finished, but the defenders did not give up. They were saved by the storks which brought grapes in their beaks and threw them at the besieged, relieving them from hunger and thirst. Since then for Moldovans the stork became a symbol of kindness, happiness and abundance. It is believed that the nest of cranes on the top of a tree near the house is a sign of plenty in the family.

Soroca can surprise you not only with its past but also with its present.

There is something there that you will definitively not see anywhere in the world. It is called – the Gypsy Hill. It is a neighborhood where gypsies live and the houses situated there is what makes this place so special.

Most of the houses imitate world known buildings. If for example, you haven’t seen the White House or the Bolshoi Theatre yet, do not worry! You can see both these buildings on the Gypsy Hill. Each house situated there is unique and will impress you with their architecture.

Of course it is better to see once than to hear one hundred times. So do not hesitate to visit Moldova and get acquainted with its beauty, traditions and history.

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