If you are reading these lines, it is because you are on your way to the terra incognita... You have certainly talked about it around you, but far from arousing general enthusiasm, you have rather noticed that on average one person in ten can locate your next European destination on a map, or even doubt its existence. So congratulations! You are a lucky traveller, about to discover what few people know, Moldova. Strangely, the first attraction of this country is the ignorance that we have of it and, almost unspoilt by tourism, what could be more attractive, in our time in need of truth and authenticity, than to embark on a destination off the beaten track? Surely, you will have beautiful stories to tell when you return, because know it, you will be surprised, confused and enchanted. Between mysteries, myths and the land of Tintin, we are a little lost, and that's good. Get ready to see beautiful things, eat like never before, drink incredible wines, visit the world's greatest wine cellars and collections, get drunk with hundreds of stories and legends surrounded by beautiful landscapes, have fun with the Moldovans, and finally feel at home there! Strange? You don't believe that? Let's take the bets, because without much risk, you will come back enriched by this trip. As soon as you leave, you will already miss Moldova.
A country at the crossroads of cultures :
Moldovan cultural heritage is the result of crossroads and encounters between different peoples since antiquity. Dominated by its Latin origins, the culture will be enriched over the centuries by other influences, Byzantine, Slavic, then European from the nineteenth century, even composing with a strong French ancestry. The result is an amalgam of cultural traditions orchestrated by desired or forced exchanges, but their influences have only created and developed a living, popular and elastic culture. The siblings with Romania, the struggles against the Turks and the domination of tsarist and then Soviet Russia left their mark. This geographically trapped territory, traversed by opposing cultures, has managed to benefit from the diversity and encounter of peoples. Perhaps this is where the identity of this country lies, sometimes difficult to understand, where in the streets the Romanian language alongside Russian still echoes history. In these identity and ethnic contrasts, Moldovans have managed to preserve their folklore and traditions, which represents their strength and existence. You will be charmed to see how much they care about it and want to share them. In this cultural symbiosis, the architecture conceals ancient geo-Dacian remains, Roman fortifications, medieval fortresses and monasteries. The 19th century will give the example of a remarkable eclectic architecture with Byzantine, Romanian, Slavic and Moorish tendencies, with the residences of the nobles and buildings of civil architecture now hosting magnificent museums. Finally, the culture has taken root in the countryside with villages that have remained authentic, preserving their folk and ancestral traditions. Dances, songs, folk arts and traditional festivals mark the year of festive events that do not forget the taste buds by offering delicious traditional and natural cuisine.
© Dominique Auzias & Jean-Paul Labourdette