I have read some complaints from tourists that went to Soroca fortress and could not read too many things about it on the place. This is why I decided to look for some information and came across a web page that talks about the historical and cultural importance of the fortress.
Soroca and Soroca fortress is at about 2 hours drive from Chisinau and one day trip to there is more than enough. You can combine this trip with another site Orheiul Vechi and later have a dinner at one of the rustic restaurants, on the way back to Chisinau 🙂
Now back to our ship, Soroca is an old locality on the Nistru river. It was attested documentarily for the first time in 1470.
According to some sources it was Stephen the Great who in 1475 had built the fortress the way we know it to be today, some other sources say that Stephen the Great’s fortress was a wooden fortress. And only in 1643, Petru Rares built the stone fortress.
The fortress structure was very well thought. It had to be able to protect the soldiers and people living in it, to be a strong construction and in case of attack to have enough food and water reserves for all the inhabitants. That’s why on inside, it was composed of three wooden storey building. On the ground floor or the first floor were kept the horses and the hay. People lived at the second floor. There were kept all their food reserves as well. On the last floor were placed cannons, soldiers’ weapons and guns as well as their pitch boilers.
The fortress from the beginning had the role of border protection against the Ottoman Empire, who at that time conquered the towns Cetatea Alba, Chilia and Tighina. In these towns were built other three fortresses and they are open to visit. After being taken over by the Ottomans, in 1538, those towns were incorporated in a separate Turkish province.
The stone fortress represents the peak of the development of the Moldavian defense works. In order to make it resistant to the Ottomans attacks, works on it were undertaken from the end of the 14th to the middle of the 16th centuries. The building and the structure of it has the form of a pentagon, the vertices of which are marked by pieces of defense cannon surrounded by a circular wall.
The figure 5, that is present in the structure of the fortress, is also a sacred figure often met in the mythological astrology and cosmology: 5 days were the time during which the ancient Egyptians celebrated the birth of gods, there are 5 essential elements of the world in Buddhism (the earth, the water, the fire, the air, the wind) and there are 5 extremities of the human body (the head, two hands and two legs).
Some historians and architects are saying that Soroca Fortress might be a replica of the famous Appullian castle, adapted for artillery and built when, in Europe, the Renascence architectural models were built on a large scale. The similarities are striking and these are: both defense works have common space forms geometrically defined, the compositions being subordinated to more axes. The Castel del Monte announced the Renascence in the world’s military architecture, and the Soroca Fortress is a genuine Renascence architectural work of art.
Today, in the fortress you can visit a small church. Sometimes, young couples choose to have their religious / christian wedding ceremony or to baptize their children.
If you want to read more about Soroca fortress, the all you have to do it to click here 🙂
One more insight here, on the way back from Soroca to Chisinau, ask your guide to tell you where is the best view over the Nistru river. I forgot the name of that place, but as soon as I find it or remember, I will update this information. The view is spectacular, NOT TO BE MISSED!
Travel safe and wise!