Moldavia: Religious Fervor, and Traditional Villages

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Location: Eastern Romania

Located between the Eastern Carpathians and the Prut River, Moldavia is less explored and known by tourists. Nonetheless, it offers many authentic experiences, especially if you’re interested in religious monuments and enjoy the tranquil rhythm of the traditional countryside. With a landscape dominated by hills and plateaus, Moldavia has mainly an agricultural landscape with renowned vineyards in its eastern and southern parts.

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Ceahlau Mountain

Short history of Moldavia

The history of the region is marked by the legendary figure of one medieval prince, Stephen the Great (1457-1504), and his fight for independence from the Ottoman Empire. No other local leader has enjoyed such popularity throughout history, and in most cities of the region, you’ll see statues of this prince who died more than 500 years ago.

Until 1775, the territory of historical Moldavia was almost double of what it is today, including the southern part of present-day Ukraine and Basarabia, today the Republic of Moldova. In 1859, Moldavia united with Wallachia and formed the young Romanian state that gained its independence in 1877. Romania united in 1918 with Transylvania, Bucovina, and Basarabia but lost northern Bucovina and again Basarabia in WW2.

Palace of Culture Iasi

Palace of Culture, Iasi

Religion as culture

Since medieval times, religion had an essential role in the life of local communities from Moldavia. This religious piety was strongly cultivated by local princes who justified their power also through divine support, often materialized through religious constructions, including the painted churches that became centuries later UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Less exposed to Western influences, Moldavia remained predominantly rural with strong Orthodox values up until the second part of the 19th century when a general process of modernization started in the Romanian historical provinces.

golia church

Golia Church, Iasi

While during the communist regime, the religious manifestations were limited, after 1989 the region marked an unprecedented growth of newly built churches and monasteries. So many that the largest city in Moldavia, Iasi, has more than 100 churches today.

Tourism in Moldavia

Tourism is marked by the religious element. If you have an interest in religious art, this is definitely the place to go. Nonetheless, you can also hike in Ceahlau National Park or explore the most impressive gorges of Romania, Bicaz Gorges, and their traditional villages.

Cultural and historical attractions: Iasi, Ruginoasa PalaceMiclauseni Castle, old churches and monasteries, traditions and festivals

Nature attractions: Ceahlau National Park, Cheile Bicazului-Hasmasu National Park, Vanatori Neamt Natural Park, Bicaz Lake

Sports: hiking, cycling

Not to miss: vineyards visits, Neamt County

If you’d like to explore this region with one of our private tours, contact us via