Not packed in a bus. Not herded with a group. Self guided walk is the SAFEST way to sightsee while observing SOCIAL DISTANCING!

Religious Walking Tour of Chisinau (Self Guided), Chisinau

Strong faith and love for God the Moldovans have kept for centuries are well reflected in the numerous churches found in Chisinau. This self-guided tour will take you to the places of worship located in the city center. Whether to enjoy the architecture or attend the service, these churches are well worth visiting all the same.
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Religious Walking Tour of Chisinau Map

Guide Name: Religious Walking Tour of Chisinau
Guide Location: Moldova » Chisinau (See other walking tours in Chisinau)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 9
Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.8 Km or 3.6 Miles
Author: ann
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Ciuflea Monastery
  • Assumption of the Virgin Church
  • St. Pantelemon Church
  • St. Teodora de la Sihla Church
  • Nativity Cathedral
  • Bell Tower
  • Transfiguration of the Savior Church
  • St. Nicolae's Church
  • Mitropolia Chișinăului și a Întregii Moldovei
Ciuflea Monastery

1) Ciuflea Monastery (must see)

There is something quite unique about the Russian architectural style. The onion-shaped domes, the use of vibrant colours on rooftops that make them pop in contrast to the pale blue sky, and the distinctly old-school design – all that and more makes Russian architecture striking, bold and awe-inspiring. One of the best examples that flaunt it are the churches in Chisinau.

If you are a fan of religious architecture and want to see a picture-perfect Russian church, then you ought to visit the Ciuflea Monastery. Built in 1858, it was erected to mark the outer limit of the then city of Chisinau, having been commissioned by a wealthy merchant named Anastase Ciuflea in honor of his deceased brother Theodore. Over the years the monastery has grown famous under the name of Ciuflea. What started off as a simple stone structure eventually grew to accommodate the expanding congregation of the church. The monastery represents one of the best examples of Russian Byzantine style in Chisinau; its interiors reflect distinct Russian Baroque. No words can fully convey the sheer beauty of this structure and the best way to appreciate it is to visit.

Why You Should Visit:
Beautiful outside and inside; the altar and ornate decoration are interesting to see. They also have a little shop where you can get religious ornaments.
It's not far from the city center and close to Valea Trandafirilor Park; so, you could visit both and have a wonderful day.

Try to visit especially on Sunday from 9am when the main liturgy is going on.
Assumption of the Virgin Church

2) Assumption of the Virgin Church

The Assumption of the Virgin Church is a national heritage monument. Raised in 1892 by the local Orthodox community, the architectural style of this building replicates that of a traditional Russian church with some classic elements. The church underwent restoration in 1940 upon which its outside decor has changed to neoclassic.
St. Pantelemon Church

3) St. Pantelemon Church

Chisinau is a city that boasts a wide range of architectural styles. One of the local buildings, renowned for its architectural value, - the St. Pantelemon Church - will definitely grab your attention. Displaying a distinct Greek style, the St. Pantelemon Church is a valued monument in Chisinau. In fact, this is one of the very few buildings in the country to reveal such a strong Greek influence. For the first few years of its existence this tiny church was largely regarded as one of the best samples of such fine Greek architecture in the whole of the Russian Empire. Built in the late 19th century, its chief patron is Saint Pantelemon, the saint who, according to a legend, was a martyr of the Diocletian persecution of Christians in 303 AD. Designed by architect Alexander Bernardazzi, the church features a magnificent Medieval Greek façade with elegant tall windows, divided into three arches separated by stone mullions, and an octagonal dome that dominates the building, giving it an authentic Greek look. Painted in grey with shades of white and decorated with brick, this church distinctly stands out from the plain urban setting. The church's interior is just as captivating as its outer part.
St. Teodora de la Sihla Church

4) St. Teodora de la Sihla Church

Located in the heart of Chisinau, the St. Teodora de la Sihla Church is an Eastern Orthodox temple. Founded by Teodor Krupensky and Eufrosinia Veazemsky, the church was built in 1895 by architect Alexander Bernardazzi. The building features Byzantine style, which today many regard as an architectural masterpiece. The design was inspired by Russian and Ottoman architectural styles, and carries signature Bernardazzi elements. Initially purposed as a chapel for the girls' gymnasium, the project involved considerable compromises in terms of space and structure. The latter must not disturb any of the nearby buildings and incorporate a high basement which was to be connected to the gymnasium itself. The concessions given to the nearby buildings are largely responsible for the church's unique look. Its façade was a new word in church construction and the slender towers with high pyramids gave the building a mosque-like appearance. Later-time remodeling afforded the church a small yard next to the main entrance. Unforeseen circumstances had delayed the consecration of this beautiful church by long 27 years. Today, it functions as the Cathedral of the Metropolis of Bessarabia and is an interesting place to explore, at least from an architectural standpoint.
Nativity Cathedral

5) Nativity Cathedral (must see)

The Nativity Cathedral is a magnificent example of Russian architecture in Chisinau. Built in the early 19th century, it was designed by architect Avraam Melnikov – one of that period's finest architects of the Russian Empire. Like most religious buildings in the city, it was repurposed to an exhibition center during the Soviet era. Only recently has it again found life as a place of worship, sporting beautifully painted walls in pure Orthodox style.

Construction was commissioned by Prince Mikhail Semyonovich Vorontsov, the governor of New Russia. Considering the importance of the project, great care was taken for the building to appear elegant, regal and timeless. Renowned for his many creations across the Russian Empire, Avraam Melnikov was hired to run the project. A fine piece of neoclassic construction, the cathedral boasts an eclectic style, featuring a combination of Byzantine architecture with a hint of Renaissance on a Greek Cross, a perfect brew for neoclassic design.

In the course of centuries, this remarkable building has sustained multiple damages caused by wars and political upheavals following the collapse of, first, the Russian Empire and, then, the Soviet Union. Today, the cathedral stands as the main temple of the Russian Orthodox Church in Chisinau and is a definite must-see for any visitor to the city.

Why You Should Visit:
Located in a nice square (good for meditating and/or people watching), this place looks very large and simple from the outside, but inside it is very small yet with bright tones; a great example of such type of cathedral.

Go inside, you might be surprised by what you'll find and how you will feel.
You can also feed the pigeons and play a game of chess on the big chess table nearby.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 8am-4pm
Free admission
Bell Tower

6) Bell Tower (must see)

Standing right behind the Holy Gates is a beautiful bell tower, an important religious and historic site in Chisinau city. It represents the exact replica of the original bell tower built in 1830 (the same year as the Metropolitan Cathedral was built), only to be demolished in the 1960s and then restored again in 1998. The bell tower comprises four levels with a small chapel on the ground level and several bells at the top.

Notice the flowerbeds surrounding, but make sure to visit the many flower shops on the side.
Transfiguration of the Savior Church

7) Transfiguration of the Savior Church

Chisinau may be small a city but it is still not short of legendary structures attesting to Moldova's rich and vibrant past.

Located in the heart of the capital, the Church of Schimbarea la Faţă a Mântuitorului is one of the finest such structures. It is located between the Parliament and the Presidential Administration, and represents a splendid piece of architecture which comprises grandeur, elegance and architectural poise.

The Schimbarea la Faţă a Mântuitorului [the Transfiguration of the Christ] Church was built between 1898 and 1902, thanks to a large donation made by Governor General Constantin Alexandrov.

The same year it was built, the church was sanctified and opened for public service. During the years of the Communist rule, when Moldova was part of the Soviet Union, the church was used as a planetarium. Since Moldova gained its independence in 1992, the building has been serving the original purpose.

Other than rich historic past, the church is particularly noted for its impeccable architecture - elegant exterior and awe inspiring interior filled with elaborate murals, ornate sculptures and other beautiful decorations. Designed by architect Michael Seroţinski, the building features a spectacular Russian-Byzantine style, with an elaborate closed Greek Cross plan.
St. Nicolae's Church

8) St. Nicolae's Church

If you are an architecture buff, you will definitely find something interesting to look at in Chisinau. Whether you are in for a short stay or have planned a long vacation, the architectural landscape of the city is sure to enthrall and captivate your attention.

Another remarkable piece of Russian-style architecture is the St. Hierarch Nicolae Church. Built in 1901, this church was designed by V. Ţâganco who is well known for many beautiful structures recognised as part of the architectural heritage of the city.

The church initially served as the chapel for hospital for which it was originally built. Nowadays, though, it is looked upon as an individual entity, and can be accessed through both the hospital and the adjacent street.

St. Nicolae’s Church may not be at par in terms of scale with many other architectural monuments in the city, but it does manage to grab the attention of passers-by. With rich and ornate detailing on the façade complimenting its splendid design, St. Nicholae’s Church manifests the very essence of Russian architecture. Enchanting as it is on the outside, the church is equally splendid on the inside and surely deserves a visit if you are nearby.
Mitropolia Chișinăului și a Întregii Moldovei

9) Mitropolia Chișinăului și a Întregii Moldovei

Metropolitan VLADIMIR (Niolae Cantarean) was born on 18 August 1952 in the village of Colencauti, Hotin raion, Cernauti region, Ukraine. In 1969, he left secondary school in his native village and entered technical-vocational school, graduating it in 1970. Between 1970 and 1973 he performed regular military service at Black See Navy. After entering the reserve forces he performed the function of subdeacon at Dormition of the Most Holy Mother of God Cathedral in Smolensk, holding at the same time the position of clerk secretary at Diocesan Directorate of Smolensk. At 22 May 1974, on the feast of Translation of the Relics of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker, Archbishop of Likian Myra, he was ordained deacon at Smolensk Cathedral of Dormition of the Most Holy Mother of God, by Bishop of Smolensk and Vyazma THEODOSI (Protiuk), as celibate (unmarried), being left for service in the Cathedral. On 22 May 1976, he was ordained priest by the same Bishop, and assigned as depute rector at Smolensk Cathedral of Dormition of the Most Holy Mother of God.

Walking Tours in Chisinau, Moldova

Create Your Own Walk in Chisinau

Create Your Own Walk in Chisinau

Creating your own self-guided walk in Chisinau is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Best Wine and Brandy Shops

Best Wine and Brandy Shops

It would be an true pity to visit Chisinau without having explored its specialized wine and brandy shops, and picking up at least one bottle. Moldova is a renowned producer of wine and spirits, it offers true quality products based on centuries-old traditions, and at bargain prices too. This tour will take you to some of the best shops in town selling wines and liquors, all within a walk of the...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.8 Km or 3 Miles
Go About Daily Life Tour of Chisinau

Go About Daily Life Tour of Chisinau

Ever wondered what it is like living in Chisinau? Well, now you have the chance to find out. Visit the Afghan War Memorial to Sons of Motherland, see where and how kids and students receive "occupational guidance", or unwind at the local park. Follow this walking tour to discover the daily life of Chisinau's Riscani district.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.1 Km or 2.5 Miles
Cultural Walking Tour of Chisinau

Cultural Walking Tour of Chisinau

Perhaps one of the things adults and kids equally enjoy is going to museums. Those interested to learn about Moldova's past and appreciate the creativity of the Moldovan people should definitely explore Chisinau's museums and galleries. It also may be a good idea to mingle with the people of art at some of their hangout places.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.1 Km or 1.9 Miles
Chisinau History Walk

Chisinau History Walk

The history of Chisinau goes back over 500 years and may reveal itself to the eyes of the beholder in the walls of the buildings, the stones of the monuments, and the once cobblestone but now asphalt-covered roads of the old city. Some of the narrow streets of Chisinau are rarely trotted by locals and thus have retained much of their original character. Most of the listed here attractions are not...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.9 Km or 2.4 Miles
Bernardazzi Architecture Walking Tour

Bernardazzi Architecture Walking Tour

Alexander Bernardazzi, the Russian architect of Swiss descent, was the chief architect of Chisinau from 1856 until 1878. His work marked the dawn of a new architectural era in the city. Although during his life Bernardazzi created more than 30 buildings, very few of them have survived until our days. This tour offers a unique opportunity to see some of the beautiful creations of Alexander...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.4 Km or 1.5 Miles
Chisinau Introduction Walk

Chisinau Introduction Walk

Chisinau is the capital of Moldova, the country sandwiched between Ukraine and Romania in Eastern Europe, which had for many years been part of the Russian Empire and then the Soviet Union until it finally got independence in 1991. Moldovan culture and language are deeply rooted in the Roman tradition. Just like the eternal city of Rome itself, Chisinau rests on 7 hills in the valley of the River...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.0 Km or 1.9 Miles

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip

Chisinau Shopping Guide: 20 Moldovan Products to Take Home

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