Parks are usually one of the most popular places in any country that attract many tourists. There they can relax, have a cup of tea, coffee or lemonade and enjoy the time spending in the uncharted country. Nowadays, there are a lot of parks in Moldova and especially in Chisinau, but the oldest one, that was created at the beginning of the 19th century is the Public Park of Stefan cel Mare, commonly known as Pushkin Park or just the Central Park. It was named so after the great ruler of Moldova - Stefan the Great. There were also the times when it was called the Garden of Alexander, in honor of the emperor Alexander II.
The Public Park of Stefan cel Mare is the oldest park in the city and, actually, in Moldova. Being a monument of landscape gardening art of the 19th century, it is considered as the most well-groomed and well-maintained in the capital. This public garden has been reconstructed several times and currently is protected by the state of Moldova. The Park has received much attention, and in 1884, the monument dedicated to Alexander Pushkin, made by an architect Opekushin, was built. In 1923, the project of building the monument to Stefan cel Mare was developed. In 1928, the monument was erected by an architect Alexander Plamadeala. Thirty years later, the Alley of Classics was opened. Currently, there are a lot of sculptures of bright Moldavian cultural figures, as well as busts of Romanian poets and writers, that attract a lot of tourists who want to get closer to the Moldavian traditions, culture and art.
While Alexander Pushkin was in exile in Moldova, the Public Garden was his favourite place to relax and find the inspiration. That is why, after the beginning of the 19th century, this park received much attention. In 1884, the monument of Alexander Pushkin, done by an architect Opekushin, was built. This monument is the oldest in the Park, also being one of the first monuments dedicated to Pushkin. Creation of the sculpture was a bit difficult. The professors of the Chisinau gymnasium wanted to erect a monument in their gymnasium, but they didn't have enough money. However, with the help of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Moldova, they collected about 1,000 rubles in gold! Eventually, it was proposed to place the monument in the Central Park, that was very dear to the poet. At the time of the royalty in Russia, firstly it was installed in one of the side streets of the Garden, but in 1954, it was moved to the center of the Park. Nowadays, the sculpture still decorates the Public Park, and many people every year bring the flowers to Pushkin to honour his creation and huge contribution to the world literature.
In 1958, the sculpture complex in the Stefan cel Mare Park named the Alley of Classics was opened. Initially, there were 12 busts of famous figures, but, after the USSR fall, the 13th one appeared. The additional bust appeared in honour of the artist whose creations were not welcomed during the Soviet period. Practically, the same happened with the sculptures of Romanian poets and writers. The Alley goes from the entrance of the Park and continues to the Stefan cel Mare street. The line of famous cultural figures moves straight, and the bronze busts are placed on both sides of the avenue. Currently, there are 25 busts installed in the Alley. In addition, the Alley of Classics was not the only one. In 1964, the Alley of Friendship was opened. At various times, the trees were planted in this Alley, by the heroes of the Great Patriotic War and astronauts. Even Yuri Gagarin planted the maple in the Central Park! Unfortunately, not everyone now remembers and actually knows about this Alley. The trees and traces were removed during the post-Soviet time. Nowadays, it's just the Alley of beautiful and various trees. However, you still can see beautiful nature and smell different scents in the Garden. Today, the Alleys is a favorite resting place for citizens and guests of the capital, where they enjoy great weather in spring and summer, and admire the autumn leaves that gently become covered by the fluffy snow when the winter comes.
Every guest of our Central Park can also make a wish near the lions that stand in the Garden. There are two sculptures, and they could make your most secret dream come true. They say that you should touch the head of a lion and think about the most wanted thing - the lions will try to fulfill your wish. Also, don't forget to throw the coin in the fountain, that is placed in the center of this splendid Park. Of course, it will bring you back in Chisinau to fully enjoy the time spending in the oldest park of Moldova again!
Cover picture © Credits to iStock/frimufilms
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