Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Tiraspol, Transnistria

Tiraspol is the capital, and largest city, in the Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic (PMR) Transnistria.

It is the second biggest city in all of Moldova, after Chişinău.  Tiraspol is home to more than 160,000. 

Tiraspol was founded, in 1792, by Russian general Alexander Suvorov.

The town is home to several relics of its Soviet past.  Most of the sites are along the main street 25 October Street.

Home of the Young Pioneers

The Supreme Council building is home to the PMR Parliament.  It has a large Lenin statue in front of it.

The Soviet T-34 tank commemorates the victory over fascism in WWII.

The eternal flame honors those people who died defending the city in 1941, as well as, those who liberated Tiraspol in 1944. 

Other war monuments are dedicated to those who died in the Soviet war in Afghanistan and in the War of Transnistria.

There is a bust of Lenin in front of the city hall.

Over 40% of the city is Russian and another 32% is Ukrainian.  Moldovans are the minority here with about 18% of the population.  I didn't hear anyone speaking Romanian here.

Transnistria even has its own currency the Transnistrian Ruble. 

Since the currency is not traded internationally the country sets its own exchange rates.  No one wanted to take Moldovan Lei or Euros so we were forced to go to the bank for rubles in order to buy postcards.  Transnistria has its own stamps but they are only good within the region.  For international mail you have to buy Moldovan stamps.

Tiraspol is also home to the relatively new Sheriff football (soccer) stadium.

I was in Tiraspol for my birthday.  How many people can say that they spent their birthday in a breakaway republic?  I never made it to the USSR before it collapsed but, with all of the Soviet style architecture, this place gave me a feel for what it may have been like.

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