Romanian Province Moldavia
Location: It stretches in the north-eastern part of the country, its borders being the Danube to the south, Prut river to the east, where now is the Republic of Moldavia, nowadays an independent country, the Eastern Carpathians to the west, towards Transylvania and Maramures and Ukraine republic in the north.
Landscape: Most of Modavia’s territory is hilly, the land, once covered by forests, is now used for agriculture. Siret and Prut are the largest rivers in the area, flowing south, towards the Danube. There also are artificial lakes and reservoirs, for irrigation and fishing. The southern part is lower, gradually turning into a plain. Towards east the terrain changes, rising to become the Eastern Carpathians, with heights under 2000m. The formed the natural border to Transylvania.
Highlights: Its north – western area is well known for its terrific landscape, well preserved traditions and especially for the great value of Patrauti, Voronet, Humor, Moldovita, Sucevita and Arbore painted monasteries and churches, built in 15th – 16th century, during the reign of Stefan cel Mare and Petru Rares.
Of high interest, along with the beauty of the eastern Carpathians, are the former capitals of the Moldavian Principality, Suceava town with Stephen the Great’s Fortress and Iasi, with the The Palace of Culture, Trei Ierarhi church; Neamt fortress, Varatec and Agapia monasteries in Neamt county.
History: Moldavia’s territory was inhabited by Dacians, the Romanians ancestors. Its northern half was not under the Romans rule, as most of the northern part of nowadays Romania, but developed on the same way as the rest of the country, with strong influences of Latinity and later from different migrating peoples, having the same mixed genes, speaking the same language, sharing the same culture and the same religion as the rest of the Romanians.
The principality of Moldavia was formed in 1351, through the unification of its political and military formations under Dragos rule, a Romanian nobleman from Maramures which was sent by the King of Hungary to form a bastion of resistance across the Carpathians against the Mongol invasions. 8 years later Bogdan, another nobleman from Maramures cross the mountains and declared the independency of the Moldavian state from the Hungarian Kingdom.
The greatest development of the principality came under the rule of Stefan cel Mare (Stephen the Great) – (1457 – 1504) who fought against the Turks, Hungarians, Polish and Mongols, in order to maintain the country’s independence and peace.
In 1538, during the reign of Petru Rares, Moldavia felt under the rule of Otoman Empire becoming a tributary state for the next 300 years.
In 1775 its north-western territory was annexed by the Austrian Empire. The province was named “Bucovina” by the Austrians, meaning “beech land” and remained in their hands until 1918, when it was united with the rest of the Romanian provinces to form the Great Romania. Its northern part was taken by the Soviet Union in 1940 and it’s still part of Ukraine.
In 1812 its eastern part, across Prut river, called Basarabia, was taken by Russia until 1918, when it united with the rest of Romania, to be occupied again after 1944 by the soviet Union, after 1990 becoming the independent republic of Moldavia.
In 1859 the principalities of Moldavia (without Bucovina) and Walachia united under the rule of Alexandru Ioan Cuza forming the basis of the modern Romanian state.