Top 15 Must See Attractions in Pridnestrovie
History lovers, especially those interested in castles and fortifications, will enjoy a visit to a medieval Turkish fortress. The fortified complex is a foremost tourist attraction in Pridnestrovie, covering 67 hectares. It was built following the design of a Turkish architect, Khoji Sinan, in the style of West European bastions. According to reliable sources, the fortress was completed less than in two years, from 1538 to 1539. Limestone for construction was delivered from the area near Gura-Bîcului village. The fortress consisted of upper and lower tiers and a citadel. It was surrounded by earthworks and a deep dike which was never filled with water. The main tourist spot of the complex is the Citadel or “the Castle”. It has a square shape and eight towers: Gate Tower, Medial, Prison, Polygonal Towers, and others which come under numbers. In the Russo-Turkish wars of the 18th-19th century, the fortress became a landmark and battlefield for the mutual fight of people against Turkish invasion, and three times was seized by Russian troops.
Powder magazine of Tiraspol Earth Sredinnaya Fortress
Another surprise for history fans is the only construction which partially survived since the Tiraspol foundation – Earth Sredinnaya (“Middle”) Fortress (built in 1793-1795). It was founded by General Alexander Suvorov according to the design of the architect France de Volan on the site of Old Sukleya village as an opponent to Turkish Bendery Fortress. The fortress was constructed according to the New Age fortified arts. At first it was planned to be square, but its final version received the shape of an octagon. The fortress is known as a prison for Decembrist Raevsky in 1822-1826, often visited by Alexander Pushkin here. In the early 19th century, the fortress lost its primary meaning, and in the late 20th century the earthworks were severely deformed. Only the powder magazine of St Vladimir Bastion has survived, which now is a house for the fortress history museum and an Orthodox church.
KVINT Winery & Distillery
Pridnestrovie is famous for its tourist sights related to wine and grapes, but the top landmark of the country divin (brandy) production has become the Kvint winery and distillery. Its history dates back to 1897, when the first rectification warehouse was established and launched on Vokzalnaya Street. There, a 40% alc. vodka was made of wine materials provided by the residents of nearby villages. The production of divins has started only forty years later – the first brandy spirits were stored for aging in 1938. Unique climate, fertile soil, complex terrain and vicinity of the Dniester river make perfect conditions for extraction of pure natural raw materials, whereas modern equipment, top notch technologies, exceptional receipts, devotion to ancient traditions and Kvint experts’ inspiration allow to make outstanding spirits which defy competition with products of leading world brands.
The winery offers guided tours to its museum, wine cellars and storages. Even the most experienced tourists will be impressed by the unbelievable size and beauty of the underground galleries and degustation.
The Holy Ascension Novo-Nyametsky Monastery (friary)
Six kilometres south of Tiraspol, in Kitskany village, there lies one of the oldest monasteries founded in 1864 by a monk of Nyametskaya Moldavian Lavra. The monastery ensemble incorporates four cathedrals: the Holy Ascension Cathedral (summer), the Dormition Church (winter), the Cathedral of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross (refectory) and Nikolsky Cathedral (seminar). A beautiful oak alley leads to the monastery with figures of novices carved in the trees. Along with the churches and brethren’s cells, the place features a museum, a hotel for pilgrims, a library with ancient books survived to this day, documents and miniature paintings of the 15-19th century, an icon workshop, and a cellar with monastery wine. The monastery bell-tower is the highest in Moldova. Its height is 69 m with five tiers inside. The upper tier offers an astonishing panorama of scenic surroundings. From here, you can see the Kiskany Bridgehead – a former strategic bridgehead of Soviet troops on the left bank of the Dniester. About three kilometres of the village, on the highest peak of the Kitskany Bridgehead, a memorial to the Yassy-Chisinau operation victims of 1944 is located. In May 1972, the Obelisk of Glory was unveiled on the Kitskany heights.
Wine Museum Butilka, Ternovka village
This museum in the shape of a 28 m bottle houses four floors and five exhibit rooms, decorated with multiple engravings. Cigars, lamps, cold and automatic arms, architectural complexes, famous people busts – they almost have everything. The collection includes a huge number of bottles of any size and shape from over 100 countries: starting from a tiny minibottle from Mexico shaped like a bullet which is only for 10 g of whiskey, up to a giant bellied bottle with Ukrainian gorilka (vodka). The entire collection is unique, diverse and beautiful. The number of bottles is really striking. Apart from the museum, the building provides at guests’ disposition a hotel, a restaurant, a sauna with a pool, a tennis court, and a yard.
Sports Complex Sheriff, Tiraspol
Football fans will enjoy a trip to the well-known, considered one of the best in Eastern Europe, Sports Complex Sheriff, which is a training ground for the constant Moldova Cup winners FC Sheriff. In 2002, Iosef Zepp Blatter, the then FIFA President, visited the sports complex and gave high marks to the site being under construction. The same year the complex was opened. SC Sheriff area covers over 40 hectares including the Main Arena, Small Arena, 10 training fields, Covered Arena, a player’s hotel, a 5* hotel, and the Youth Football Academy. Many international companies took part in the construction of the sports complex with FieldTurf, Canada, (artificial fields) and Motomatic, Switzerland, (drainage, irrigation, natural grass) among them. Some leading European companies assisted in installation of lighting and sound systems. The infrastructure of the Sports Complex provides a good road access between all the facilities and have a convenient bus parking network. The Sports Complex offers guided tours around all facilities.
Workshop Wool House (Sherstyanoi Dom).
The workshop of the craftswomen is situated in Slobodzeya village, in one of the oldest regions of Pridnestrovie. The workshop is made in national style decorated in traditional patterns and is equipped with waving looms displaying national goods in typical Moldavian and craftwork atmosphere. You can visit a master class to know how to make guarding dolls and to learn wool felting and rug weaving held by the craftswomen.
Historical Museum, Slobodzeya
The Slobodzeya Historical Museum in the town centre is distinguished by the diversity of its items on display. Here, you may find unique items related to the history of the Slobodzeyski district. Every room is unique in its own way, and represents some historical stage of the town evolution. A fascinating tour will uncover everything from ancient and medieval times to the Soviet era and present days. You will see national homespun carpets and embroidered traditional costumes, as well as household items used by locals in everyday life.
Rodin Park-monument of landscape architecture, Cioburciu village
The park was created in 1953 by a 35-year old sculptor, Dmitry Rodin, from the Penza region, Russia. The idea of the park dawned on him when he saw an old Trinity icon by Andrey Rublev, decorated with complicated symbols. That’s how Dmitry Rodin began to experiment in his own yard. He made a small pond, an arbour, a bridge, planted various trees and bushes, a fountain started to work. He took on the plan in the early ’70s and worked hard until the early ’80s. As a result, the park received a new look: several ponds with concrete base were built, streams, little bridges, a rotunda, a swan house for swans swimming among water-lilies. Picturesque boulders appeared and a big hill in the park centre with a rock was mounted. And what’s most important – the park was full of sculptures. Later came the first and second grottos, the latter, however, the sculptor never completed. And what is the most important and unusual about the park is that instead of stones, all grottos and sculptures are made of concrete, as stones were expensive. Moreover, the park general concept is based on the complex symbolism of unity of the main elements of nature: water, earth (stone), light (fire), connected by eternal spirit of art. A big significance had the water of the ponds and fountains where all these rocks and sculptures were reflecting.
Former German colony Glückstal – “Happiness valley” (the villages of Karmanovo, Kolosovo and Velikomarovka), Grigoriopol district.
Since 1809, the first families of invited German colonists arrived. Their movement started with manifests by Catherine II in 1762—1763 and the order “On Invitation and Settlement of Foreign Colonists” by Alexander I in 1804. The emigrants were allowed to follow their religion, cultivate land, and pursue trade. The German colonists should serve as a good example of household management for people from neighbour villages. In 1809, they obtained the land on the hills of Chiornaya Balka. The settlement received the name of Glückstal which in German means “the valley of happiness”. The colonists were hardworking and accurate people. They built big stone houses, covered in colourful tile, installed carved wooden doors and windows frames. A Lutheran Kirche (church) was erected – a Сatholic church building, now housing the village club.
Zapovednik Yagorlic – a national nature park, the only in Pridnestrovie, located in the Dubosarsky district. Its main value is its rare and endangered plant species, 180 species of zooplankton and 29 species of rare fish. The reserve is situated right at the lower course of the Yagorlic river, which was flooded with the construction of Dubossarskaya GES power station. As a result of the flood, a beautiful Goyansky gulf was formed. The shores of the gulf are covered with sanctuary forest which twisty paths lead up to Doibani village. Soviet sculptures are scattered all around the forest, covered in bushes and reminding the remnants of some alien civilization. On the hill, right above the gulf, there is a viewing platform overlooking a majestic panorama providing the best view of the nature reserve and its surroundings.
Stroentsy, a small village in the north of Pridnestrovie, is a place where nature, time and eternity meet. This spectacular sight is shrouded in mystery and legend. Guests and tourists are fascinated by the beauty of the natural landscape, the harmony of a small river with waterfalls and numerous streams decorated in folk style. An exciting travel to the past is waiting for those willing to know rich ancestral heritage and walk the places where Count Wittgenstein lived and Russian general Rumyantsev-Zadunaisky was born. A visit to the Watermill monument will show you how the flour was made on the equipment of the late 19th century.
Rashkov Nature Complex
Tired of hectic city life: traffic jams, bicycle lanes, noise and dust, floods, and bad news? Then it’s the right time to get out into nature near Rashkov village – the nature reserve which covers 123 hectares. The area encloses west lands of the Krasnaya Gora (“Red Mountain”) natural boundary with numerous karst deposits. Karst has formed a powerful wall reminding a porous sponge because of its multiple cavities. A 50 m high cliff stands on one side of the wall. The beauty of karst particles gleaming in the sunlight and a karst fault, 5m wide, 50 m deep and 500 m long, is stunning and breathtaking. It’s terribly cold at the fault bottom: snow lies here almost all year round. Rashkov also has other attractions like Mistress Spring, to name but one. Legend has it that beautiful Domnitsa Ruksanda had been weeping for so long in the Rashkov Tower after the death of her husband Timush Khmelnitsky that a spring appeared from her tears. Its water is known for being always very cold. Another spring, Panska Krynitsa or Izvorul Domnitsei, flows right near a synagogue that is hard to miss on your trip. This stream came out of the Dniester Fault.
Agro-hostel in Sadki village, Kamenskyi district
In Sadki village near the village of Yantarnoye, Kamenskyi district, a unique agro-hostel by Viktor Musika is situated. The owner of the hostel claims to be the last local of this village. Various kinds of blackberries, raspberries and watermelons are grown there, and a honey farm welcomes its guests for honey degustation and apiotherapy (bee sting therapy) which helps to treat various diseases. Here, you also may rest in the shades of the arbours and go fishing on lakes or the Dniester.
Wittgenstein Park in Kamenka
Today the main, former residential, garden is a public garden. The garden houses an open-air stage, amusement devises, and a memorial to the victims of World War II. It’s the place where many cultural events are held. A famous rotunda in the center of the park was demolished. However, several bridges above currently dry channels survived up to now with open-work cast-iron fences. One of such bridges leads to a wine factory. Now it’s a guarded area where reconstruction has began. The second park at the bottom is a part of the Dniester Health Resort. The park is beautiful and well-maintained. Numerous interesting and unusual sculptures adorn the serene walkways of the park.