Cover picture © credits to iStock/starush
Cover picture © credits to iStock/starush

The symbol of victory: The Triumphal Arch in Chisinau

3 minutes to read

The capital of MoldovaChisinau has a lot of places in its city center to explore: starting from the unique monuments and ending up with the public parks. However, there is a special place that attracts each and every tourist that decided to visit our city - the Triumphal Arch. This monument is situated on the central square of Chisinau and has become the symbol of victory. The Triumphal Arch is also called the "Holy Gates" due to the fact that it is located on the same line as the bell tower and the Cathedral in the center of the city. In addition, we usually call it "The Arch of Victory". Why? Let's dig deeper in its history. 

An accidental construction of the Arch 

Believe it or not, but the Triumphal Arch was built accidentally. Its history began in the first half of the 19th century when the Chisinau governor Vorontsov appealed to Tsar with the request to cast the bells for the cathedral of the city. The weight of the largest one reached 400 pounds, the smallest - 25. Unfortunately, when the bells were delivered to Chisinau, the size of the largest bell didn't allow placing it in the cathedral tower. Eventually, authorities decided to build an arch that would become not only the "house" for the bell but also one of the main decorations of the city. The building was finished in 1839, by the architect Ivan Zaushkevich. The Roman Arch served as a prototype for it. The Triumphal Arch in Chisinau was decided to be raised in honor of the victory of Russian troops over the Turkish army in the war of 1806-1812.

Picture © credits to Wikipedia/Mirek237
Picture © credits to Wikipedia/Mirek237

The curious story of the Arch clocks 

The height of the Triumphal Arch of Chisinau is 13 meters. There are three bells on the second level of the construction, but in front of it, you can easily notice huge and beautiful clocks. There is a curious story about the appearance of the watches on the arch. The first clock appeared in 1842 and was brought from Odessa. After seven years, the mechanism itself failed, so in 1881, it was replaced by the new one from Austria. It cost the City Duma some 800 rubles (today 6542,62 euros). The updated hours worked until the beginning of the Second World War and the Great Patriotic War. Then, they suffered from the bombing in 1941. To restore the clock, it was necessary to spend 14 thousands of leis (our national currency; its about 715,70 euros). The story of the clock didn't end up on this. In the 2000s, the clock almost lost the clock hands. Two guys tried to steal them and deliver to the scrap metal reception center. The guards caught the thieves, however the clock hands were damaged - the robbers bend them. Nowadays, they are still located on the Triumphal Arch, beautiful and in order, completing the ensemble of the monument

Picture © credits to Wikipedia/Борис Мавлютов
Picture © credits to Wikipedia/Борис Мавлютов

Interesting facts about the Arch

Like any other sightseeing point, the Triumphal Arch has its interesting facts that make it a unique symbol of victory. The "Aeroflot Premium" magazine has recently made a rating of the most beautiful Triumphal Arches in the world. The Triumphal Arch in Chisinau got the 5th place, being ahead of its sisters in Bucharest and Barcelona! Every resident of the city is proud of that. In addition, there were a lot of marble boards between the columns in the Soviet times. There were written a lot of texts in Russian and Moldavian language, presenting the main orders of that times, for example - the Order of the Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the USSR Armed Forces to liberate Chisinau from the German-Romanian occupiers. Also there were written the texts of decrees of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR on awarding Moldavian SSR and Chisinau with government awards. There, residents could find the names of soldiers of the Soviet Army, awarded with the "Hero of the Soviet Union" title. Nowadays, all the marble boards are dismantled. Only a small memorial plate remains, indicating the year the arch was built by architect I. Zaushkevich and the year of its restoration in 1973. 

Triumphal Arch, Chişinău
Triumphal Arch, Chişinău
Piața Marii Adunări Naționale, Chișinău, Молдавия

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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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