Chisinau State Circus, once the best in the USSR

Chisinau State Circus, once the best in the USSR

3 minutes to read

The Chisinau State Circus is one of the most impressive buildings in the whole Chisinau. Along with the Chisinau Gateways, the circus represents very interesting and original architectural style, being the part of the former USSR legacy. At the end of the past century, our circus was put on the first place in the USSR, in terms of convenience and beauty. However, even being the best circus in the whole country, the State Circus currently is under a huge reconstruction. Performances are made very seldom, although the appearance is still attractive for fantasy and non-fiction lovers. Let me tell you more about this once a very special place. 

Picture © Credits to flickr/Photobank MD
Picture © Credits to flickr/Photobank MD

The 1st in the USSR & the 4th in the world 

The State Circus made of stone appeared in Chisinau during the Soviet times (1981) and immediately became the first circus in the USSR and the fourth in the world. This influenced its popularity and attracted artists from all over the world, including Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Germany, China, Finland and other countries. The arena had 13 meters in diameter and 1900 seats for spectators. A hundred additional seats were put for the artists from the local working troupe. Also, inside the circus, you could find the canteen, wide corridors and even a veterinary station. The grand opening of the circus was held on 25th of April in 1982, when the first performance, dedicated to 60 years of the USSR, took place. At that time, the Chisinau State Circus could make from 36 to 57 performances per month. Just to give you some idea - any general Soviet circus made about 12-15 performances per month. 

Picture © Credits to WIkipedia/Gikü
Picture © Credits to WIkipedia/Gikü

A sad part of the Chisinau Circus story

When the USSR collapsed, the State Circus was still "on board", but with fewer performances. The year 2004 was a decisive one in the history of the circus. When the restoration works began, the activity of the troops was stopped. The roof, the walls and make-up rooms were renovated, but the rest of the circus, including the main entrance and stairs, were still under repair. After that came a sad part of the restoration. During the next years of its existence, the circus was reorganized into a part of some stock company to attract private investments, after which it was privatized. Only in the 2010s, the Ministry of Culture returned the status to the circus and cancelled the privatization issue. The main reason was the lack of money and investments in general. After the great activity in the past century, the collapse of the USSR made Moldova a separate country, and the circus became less popular. 

What happens with the Circus today?

The problems of the circus are not yet finished. What happens with the Chisinau State Circus today? The Ministry of Culture of Moldova claims that the restoration company, that took the building under repair, hasn't completed even half of it. The main issue still exists - the circus needs money not only for the renovation but even for paying the salaries of employees, inviting the artists from all over the world and developing the performances. They are held very seldom, but you can find the news and advertisements about the shows in the circus arena. It is interesting to note that many people believe that the root of the problems lies in the place where the building is located - on a former City Cemetery. Well, if so, then why the circus was so popular at the end of the 20th century? Nobody can give us an exact answer. That's why we keep admiring this enormous building, that once was called the best circus in the USSR. Don't miss this site on the map. It will not take much time, but it will leave huge impressions in your memory. You can be sure, at least, you can make some unusual photos.

State Circus of Chisinau
State Circus of Chisinau

Cover picture © Credits to flickr/Photobank MD

The author

Vladlena Martus

Vladlena Martus

My name is Vladlena and I am originally from Moldova. Currently I’m based in Saint-Petersburg where I study journalism. I love writing, traveling and taking photos, trying to enjoy my life as much as I can!

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