A symbol of Chisinau: The Monument of Stefan cel Mare
The monument was made in 1927 by sculptor A. Plamadeala and represents the spiritual heart of the center. The monument stands at the crossroads of Stefan Cel Mare Boulevard, Chisinau’s Main Street, and Mitropolit Banulescu-Bodoni. Stefan Cel Mare (Stefan the Great), the Ruler of Moldova between 1457 and 1504, proved that when threatened by enemies from all sides a country could remain independent and overcome the most difficult challenges. He led Moldovans in battle in 36 wars, winning all but two. One of the most famous victories was the battle against sultan Mehmet II in 1457, near Podul Inalt in the Moldovan province of Romania, when STEFAN eel MARE defeated an army of 120,000 with only 40,000 soldiers. The Russian historian N. Karamzin described him thusly: “fearless before danger, strong in suffering, he amazed kings and kingdoms, achieving great results with small resources…” The historian Grigore Ureche compared him to “a lion ready to attack - nobody could tame him.” After hearing of his conquest of the Turks, the l Pope called him “protector of ’ Christianity.” The monument has traveled far and wide over the past century, in many ways mirroring the nation’s history. 11 was relocated to Romania several times to protect it from invading Russian forces. After its return to Chisinau, it was long relegated to a place of obscurity within the park. In I991, it was moved to its current and original location, taking pride of place from the statue of Lenin that had stood in front of the Government building (Lenin can now be found near Moldexpo, if you care to look that far). In September, wedding month in Moldova, the base of the statue is buried in flowers, placed there by couples on their wedding day.