- 1-2 days
Orheiul Vechi, also known as Old Orhei, is a spectacular Open Air Museum Complex
Complex is located about 65 km northeast of Chisinau on the territory of over 220 hectar between the villages Butucheni and Trebuzeni. This beautiful valley, shaped by the river Raut is one of the most attractive sights in Moldova .
The originality of landscape is due to the canyon of the Raut dug in the limestone strata of the former Sarmatian Sea about 14 million years ago.
Within the museum complex the river makes a fascinating turn forming two promontories protected by the high abrupt rocks that represent two veritable natural fortresses.
People began living here long ago.Here they could find everything for the prosperous living – fertile soil,woods,lakes,river and protecting rocks.
There are several ancient monuments and buildings set in the valley from various historical periods dating from the third century BC to the occupation of the Golden Horde in the fourteenth century. The passionate visitor will find great excitement in discovering the remarkable vestiges of the medieval towns: Sehr al-Cedid (14th c. ) and Orhei (15th-16th c.) ;relics of Geto-Dacians fortress (10th-2nd c.B.C.); the stone cave monastery complexes (9th-15th c.)
These old cave monasteries were carved into the rocks. Early Christians who migrated to the region were attracted to the natural beauty of the Orhei area, and they enlarged existing caves and carved new ones into the limestone. Tourists can visit these monasteries: rooms in which people lived,monastic cells,chapels carved out of the rock.
The place of great interest – the unique rocky cloister over the river Raut (13th c.). Today the cloister is inhabited like seven centuries ago. The monk Efim is living here – and you can visit his home, talk with him, make photos.
All these ancient fortresses, towns,early Christian monasteries are among the most unusual sights in all of Eastern Europe.
You are welcome!