Old Orhei


Distance from Chisinau: 50 km
Duration of excursion: 6 hours
Visiting: church «Saint Dmitry», Monastery Pestere., Ruins, the rests of the Getae-Dacian fortresses, stick open rocky monastery, ruins of the old Turkish bath, typical Moldavian household of 19 century.
Trip to Old Orhei is the trip to a small medieval city of Moldova which will keep in minds of every guest visiting this remarkable property of the republic.
The river Reut bend, between the villages Trebujeni and Butuceni there is nestling the settlement of XIV-XVIcenturies - Old Orhei. It was discovered by the archeologists in 40' of the previous century. You fade with admiration getting to this fantastic world. Steep rocks, ancient caves, bend of the river Reut in the heart of the canyon and ruins of the ancient Getae-Dacian settlements allow to feel the history of people living in this land. Old Orhei is situated some 50 km from Chisinau. It is the only monument of city architecture in Moldova where many constructions are kept being of great interest for historians, archeologists, architects, and tourists.
The history of Orhei covers three periods. The first one refers to the pre-Golden Horde times (end of XIII- beginning of XIV century) . Like the Old Russian strengthened cities, Orhei during this period was protected by log walls with watchtowers. After the city was captured in 14 century by the Tatars the Golden Horde period began, during this period all construction works were performed under the control of eastern masters. During these years Orhei named Shekhr-al-Jedid ("new city") obtains the eastern forms, in its center they erect two caravanserais, a mosque, in the east suburb - the public baths and other constructions. The base, and a part of the wall of one of baths equipped with underground heating and ventilation survived to our days. Such constructions like baths represent great interest for the researchers. According to one scientists, the baths of Old Orhei originate from the Roman prototypes, others find in them the common features with similar constructions in Armenia, Crimea and the Volga region. There is also such opinion the baths of this kind appeared in Old Orhei owing to the culture of the Golden Horde.
At the end of XIV century the city of Shekhr-al-Jedid ceased existing. Almost 50 years it was in ruins, and only at the beginning of XV century a Moldavian settlement appeared in its place so the third period in the Orhei history began. Since 70th of XV century Orhei becomes one of the important national centers of defense. During this period there were constructed churches, great number of residential buildings and workshops. On the place of Old Orhei, in this historical place, famous Moldavian ruler Stefan The Great was successfully fighting with Turkish armies. Today on the place of the ancient city you can see the rests of the stone walls, fortresses, defensive banks and ditches, churches, chambers which were used for lodging during the Moldavian period .
Only 14 km from Orhei there is a Monastery of Curchi, founded in 1773. Being  repeatedly reconstructed, the monastic complex Curchi consists of the winter church «Saint Dmitry», summer church «Birth of Mother of God», new winter church «Saint Maria», bell tower and the other attributes of the real old monastery with rich traditions.
Value of this historical monument grows because it keeps the traces of old constructions with an especial museum view which reflects the history of Moldova. Experts from UNESCO discovered that Old Orhei is not only the culture monument, but also of the nature one. Such small territory concentrates a lot of species recorder in the Red Book. Along the river Reut there are stretching the wild rocky banks, caves of various forms in which the unique species of plants and animals remained. 
Today Orhei is an administrative center. Its population makes more than 30 thousand inhabitants. 
In Orhei you should visit the church of «Saint Dmitry», constructed in XVII-th century which looks like a fortress and not a church since the walls are more than 1,5 m thick; monument to Vasilii Lupu, the governor of Moldova from 1634 to 1653. The monument was erected in 1938 by the sculptor Oscar Khan and the architect Robert Kurts. 
Services of the guide: Russian, Romanian, English, German languages
Transport services: Minivan, Minibus, Bus  
Recommendations for the tourist: 
Convenient footwear and clothes
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