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Moldova The land of amazing monasteries and churches

Moldova is a relatively small country, perhaps best known for its delicious wine. There are also a lot of beautiful religious buildings, castles and fortresses dating back to medieval times.

Selected postcards reflect old Chişinău, mostly its central part, at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century. Different architectural styles create a special impression.  All official and cultural buildings still present today are of great significance.

The city bank, 1914,  A. Volkenberg, National Library of Moldova, Public Domain Mark
The city bank, 1914, A. Volkenberg, National Library of Moldova, Public Domain Mark

This building - erected between 1903 and 1911 - and guarded by two allegorical stone lions, occupies the corner of a neighborhood that was once reserved for a police station. The building is designed in an eclectic style with neoclassical and baroque forms that were very known styles for public buildings at that time. In 1978, the building was redesigned and turned into the Organ Hall of Chişinău; the spatial features of the building and its banks were left intact.

Gymnasium for boys No 1, 1909,  A. Volkenberg, National Library of Moldova, Public Domain Mark
Gymnasium for boys No 1, 1909, A. Volkenberg, National Library of Moldova, Public Domain Mark

The “Gymnasium for boys No 1” was opened in Chişinău as a regional Gymnasium in 1833. The Gymnasium was divided over different rented houses. The building in the above postcard belonged to the Military Hospital. After a fire, which destroyed the Empire-style columns in the front, the building was restored. What remained of the school is depicted in the above postcard. This secondary school possessed a rich library of old Russian books and magazines. For almost half a century, it served as the only institution for secular education in Bessarabia. Future famous scientists, lawyers, physicians, writers, professors, and state officials studied here. In 1918, the school took the name of B.P. Hasdeu.

Passage (Municipality building),  A. Volkenberg, National Library of Moldova, Public Domain Mark
Passage (Municipality building), A. Volkenberg, National Library of Moldova, Public Domain Mark

The building was constructed in 1902 on the spot of the former observation tower. It was designed in neoclassical style with Gothic elements by architect M. Elladi and his famous colleague Alessandro Bernardazzi. Nice shops, a library, and offices of the municipal administration occupied the first floor of the building.

You can find more postcards from Moldova at europeana.eu.