Photos of Soroca, the 'Romani capital of Moldova', Moldova

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Soroca, the 'Romani capital of Moldova'

Soroca is a city on the Dniester river, that forms the border with Ukraine, and is about 160 kilometres north of Chișinău. It was a medieval Genoese trading post, but in 1499 the Moldavian prince Stephen the Great (Ştefan cel Mare) had a wooden fort built here; it was an important link in the chain of fortifications which comprised four forts on the Dniester, two forts on the Danube and three forts on the north border of medieval Moldova. This was rebuilt in stone during the rule of Peter IV Rareș between 1543 and 1546.

Main street in Soroca
 
Vegetable market, Soroca
 
Flower and wreath shop, Soroca
 
Flower and wreath shop, Soroca
 
Ethnology Museum display, Soroca
 
Ethnology Museum display, Soroca
 
Ştefan cel Mare statue, Soroca
 
Afghanistan memorial, Soroca
 
Afghanistan memorial, Soroca
 
Dniester river, Soroca
 
Fort of Soroca
 
In the Fort of Soroca
 
In the Fort of Soroca
 
View of the Dniester river
 
Ferry across Dniester river, Soroca
 
View from Soroca's fort
 
View of Soroca from the fort
 
View from the Roma quarter, Soroca
 
Palatial Roma house, Soroca
 
Palatial Roma house, Soroca
 
Palatial Roma house, Soroca
 
Palatial Roma houses, Soroca
 
Palatial Roma houses, Soroca
 
Palatial Roma houses, Soroca
 
Palatial Roma house, Soroca
 
Palatial Roma house, Soroca
 
Palatial Roma house, Soroca
 
Palatial Roma house, Soroca
 
Palatial Roma house, Soroca
 
Horse sculptures, Roma house, Soroca
 
Palatial Roma houses, Soroca
 
Golden dome on Roma house, Soroca
 
Golden domed Roma house, Soroca
 
Friendly Roma women and boys, Soroca
 
Friendly Roma men, Soroca
 
Roma Children playing, Soroca
 

The fort is unusual in that it is shaped as a circle, with five bastions situated at equal distances. The fort overlooks the Dniester river to the village of Tsekinovka on the other side, in Ukraine. There is a hand-operated car ferry to the other side. Soroca has an interesting Museum of Ethnology, displaying local craft, farming implements and objects found during archaeological excavations. It is one of the richest and most interesting historical museums in Moldova.

Soroca is popularly known as the "Romani capital of Moldova"; it has a sizeable Roma (Gypsy) minority who built palatial homes in the upper town. Some mansionS sport gold coloured domes, others elaborate statues; some seem unfinished and others seem abandoned; but all are built to impress.