Moldova Country Overview

Moldova. A landlocked country in Eastern Europe, bordering Romania to the west and Ukraine to the east. It was one of the constituent republics of the Soviet Union until 1991. Its official name is Republic of Moldova.

Administrative division

Moldova is divided into 9 counties or judeţe, a municipality (the capital) and two territorial units. Bălţi, Cahul, Chişinău (municipality), Edineţ, Găgăuzia (autonomous territorial unit), Lăpuşna, Orhei, Soroca, Stânga Nistrului (territorial unit), Tighina, Ungheni.


According to, Moldova is a state in Southeastern Europe. It borders Ukraine to the North, East and Southeast and with Romania to the West and Southwest. The capital is Chisinau (Kisinev). Nestled as a border strip between Romania and Ukraine, landlocked although very close to it, the territory of Moldova is a fertile loess plain that is delimited by the course of the Dniester and Prut rivers. The country includes only a small area of historic Moldova, named after the River Vltava, and is made up of the northern part of Bessarabia and the southern part of Bucovina.

The flat relief is interrupted towards the center and north by small hills and winding valleys, bathed by numerous river currents. The only elevation that stands out is Mount Kodry, which has an altitude of 429 m. The black lands (80% of the total) and the temperate, almost continental climate favor agriculture, the basis of the Moldovan economy. Temperatures throughout the year are relatively mild and tend to increase towards the South. The summers are long and warm, with thermometric values between 21 and 24 ° C, and winters short, with temperatures below 0ºC. Rainfall increases from South to North and the annual figures registered are between 500 and 700 mm. Formerly, the territory of Moldova was populated by extensive oak forests of which, today, only a few remain.

Monoculture and erosion have notably affected the topsoil and the application of unsuitable irrigation techniques have increased the salinization levels of the soil, making it less suitable for afforestation, although not so much for agriculture. The two main rivers of Moldova draw the outline of the country; the Dniester, which runs along the eastern border with Ukraine and empties into the Black Sea, which is only 100 km away, and the Prut, which runs along the western border, behind which is Romania.


Due to the horizontality and fertility of the Moldovan soil, which has large amounts of humus, the economy of this former Soviet republic is based mainly on agriculture, which occupies 33% of the workforce. The North is specialized in the production of cereals (wheat, corn), sunflower and sugar beet, and in the South vines, vegetables and tobacco are grown. In 1990, Moldova produced 25% of the fruits and vegetables consumed in the former USSR, as well as 23% of the tobacco.

Except for small amounts of gas and oil, this country is devoid of raw materials and energy sources. However, the Moldovans have managed to harness the strength of the Dniester and the Prut by building hydroelectric plants that power the country. The electricity provided by these plants and the abundant agricultural production, which also includes potatoes and fruits, have favored the development of an outstanding processing industry, in which the canning, flour, wine, sugar and tobacco sectors stand out. Most of the cognac Made from Moldovan vineyards, it has a recognized prestige in other countries in the region; for this reason, its export has been an important source of income for the country. However, this industry suffered the consequences of the campaign against alcohol implemented in the mid-eighties and many winegrowers decided to change the cultivation of vines for other agricultural products.

At the beginning of the same decade, the construction sector – which employed just over 8% of the workforce – ensured a good part of the country’s economic activity, but is currently affected by the scarcity of materials and the irregularity of their deliveries. With productivity that reached levels higher than the Soviet average, Moldova has survived thanks to its self-sufficiency in food and to trade with other former republics that revolved around 50% exports and 50% imports. At present, the country tries to diversify its trading partners, and their integration in the area of economic cooperation in the sea of the North signed in June of 1992, is a step forward in achieving this goal.


The Moldovan population, of Romanian descent and Orthodox Christian religion, represents 64% of the almost four and a half million residents that populate this new state. The Moldovan language, which was artificially differentiated from Romanian by being written in the Cyrillic alphabet for forty years, was recognized as an official language, with Latin spelling, in 1989. The most significant ethnic minorities are the Ukrainians (13.8%), the Russians (13%), the Gagauz (Christian Turcophones, concentrated in the S, 3.5%), the Jews (2%) and the Bulgarians (1,5 %).

Although Moldova has a high population density – more than 60% of its residents live in the countryside – population growth could be controlled as of 1970. Statistics indicate that from that year to date, the population increase has decreased from 1.5 to 0.1%. The most important urban center is the capital, Chisinau, which has tripled the number of its residents from the late 1960s to the present. While 676,000 residents live there, in Tiraspol ‘, the second city of the country, located on the Dniester River, only 184,000 reside.


The country is at the convergence between Central Europe and Eastern Europe, so its culture is strongly influenced by both regions. In recent times, French culture has greatly influenced Moldavia and also German, although the latter to a lesser extent, also had an influence of Russian culture for being part of the Russian Empire in 1812, and in 1940 of the Soviet Union.

Places of cultural and natural interest

Apart from the capital, Moldova mainly attracts with its green nature, which consists of green hills, vineyards, mighty rivers, forests and sunflower fields, not to mention the rural villages, where time seems to have stopped and where you can enjoy the colorful treasures of Moldavian folklore. As a bonus to this there is the largest wine cellar in Europe at Milestii Mici, as well as the Soviet tradition, which has left its marks and monuments in many cities within Moldova.

  • Alexander Pushkin House and Museum

The great Russian poet Alexander Pushkin was exiled to Moldova for a period of 3 years. In it we can find some of his objects that he used to write the poems he wrote during those years. Among others he wrote: “The gypsies”, “The Black shawl” and “For Ovidio”.

  • The Fortress of Soroca:

It is famous for being the place where the Moldovan army, commanded by the famous statesman Dm. Cantemir, and the Russian army, led by Tsar Peter I, gathered and consolidated their forces during the campaign against the Prut Turkish hordes in 1711. The fortress is the only remaining medieval monument in Moldova. Above the door is the entrance to the small military church that can be visited. You can also see the stone hermitage located in the Bechir, dating from the 9th century, the gypsy neighborhood, with its eccentric houses and the museum of the Soroca region.

  • Taul Park:

The largest park in Moldova is located in the center of the Taul village. The park is surrounding the elegant Pommers family mansion. The park was specifically designed in it you can see a small lake, 150 species of trees, shrubs and climbers of almost 100 exotic types. It has an impressive 12.5 km network of roads and trails. Admission is free.


There is a common language for Moldova, Moldavian, which is practically Romanian. And, apart from Romanian-Moldavian, the languages ​​of Transnistria and Gagauzia are spoken. In total, six languages are spoken: Romanian, Moldovan, Gagauz, Russian, Bulgarian and Ukrainian.


Eastern Orthodox Christian 98.5%.

Moldova Country Overview