Discover Romania, Moldavia

Desc_Rom_Moldova_MRomfilatelia introduces into circulation the postage stamp issue Discover Romania, Moldavia ,part of the extensive project to promote the treasures of every region of the country.
The postage stamps dedicated to Moldavia illustrate representative monuments, symbols and personalities of the Moldavian lands, thusly: the ceramics of the Cucuteni culture and the Cucuteni Eneolithic Art Museum in Piatra Neamt on the stamp with the face value of lei 3.30, the Neamt Fortress and ruler Stephen the Great on the stamp with the face value of lei 3.60, the Princely St. Nicholas Church of Iasi and Metropolitan Dosoftei of Moldavia on the stamp with the face value of lei 6.00 and the stamp with the face value of lei 9.10 is dedicated to the Alexandru Ioan Cuza Palace from Ruginoasa and to the ruler Al. I. Cuza.
The land of Moldavia is a region in North-Eastern Romania with a strong historical charge, a place with many traditions and many unique elements.
Located in Piatra Neamt, the Cucuteni Eneolithic Art Museum is currently unique nationwide by its theme, being an art and a history museum at the same time, which now houses the most important collection of Eneolithic art in South Eastern Europe.
The exhibition of the museum is devoted exclusively to the Cucuteni-Trypillian art, with its two components – decorative and figurative art – here being currently exhibited the most spectacular artifacts that constitute veritable objects of prestige, part of the Pre-cucuteni-Cucuteni-Trypillian Cultural Complex, in fact the most important and spectacular prehistoric civilization in Europe.
Stephen the Great’s name is closely linked to that of the Neamt Fortress (also known in chronicles as the Neamtului Fortress) that is part of the medieval monuments of exceptional value in Romania. Although the fortress was built in the late 14th century by Peter I, it was only fortified in the 15th century under the reign of Stephen the Great, as part of the larger system of fortifications built in Moldavia.
During his time there were works on consolidating the old walls of the city, raising the four bastions of the outer court and the construction of the arch-shaped bridge, supported by 11 stone pillars. Thus strengthened, in 1476 the Neamt Fortress coped with the siege imposed by Mehmet II after the battle of Valea Alba-Razboieni.
Located near the town of Targu Neamt, the Neamt Fortress is located near the summit of the highest peak of the Culmea Plesului. From here, it guarded the Moldavia and Siret Valleys, joined by the road that passes over the mountains into Transylvania. The strategic position enjoyed and its presence in key events witnessed by this part of the country demonstrates that the Neamt Fortress was one of the best fortified cities of the medieval Moldavian state.
The golden age of the fortress corresponded to the reign of Stephen the Great (1457-1504), a reign of 47 years, the duration of which has not been equaled in the history of Moldavia. Being an exceptional organizer and military leader who understands the powerful role of fortifications to increase the defense capability of the country, Stephen the Great strengthened the citadels inherited from his predecessors and built new ones, the whole of Moldavia being guarded by a strong defensive system.
In addition to his concern for the country’s defense, Stephen the Great ordered there making of the princely courts and that of many churches. One of the most imposing is the church Saint Nicholas in the city of Iasi.
Due to its immediate vicinity to the Royal Court and given that here were anointed almost all the rulers of Moldavia, the church was named the St. Nicholas Princely Church, to distinguish it from other churches of the same name. In the second half of the 18th century, for a period of several years (1677-1682), the St. Nicholas Princely Church served as a Metropolitan Cathedral and became a source of Romanian culture.
Dimitrie Barila, known by his monastic name as the Metropolitan Dosoftei, was one of the most gifted men of culture of his time, who recognized the powerful impact of the written word and made strong endeavors to purchase a printing press, at that time still a rare technology. His efforts resulted in the printing press brought into the country in early 1680 that Metropolitan Dosoftei installed in a building of the Princely St. Nicholas monastery.
This pious metropolitan translated and printed, for the first time in the Romanian language, a popular book of the Romanian people, “Saints throughout the year” (1682-1686). Redacted to four volumes in its abbreviated form, this hagiographical work contains the lives of Romanian holy ascetics in monasteries of Moldavia.
Through these books, Metropolitan Dosoftei became a founder of the Romanian language in worship of the Church of Moldavia. He translated for the first time the Liturgy, the Psalter and the Octoih (Orthodox book of weekly gospel songs), all basic books of Orthodox worship, in our ancestral language, renouncing the Greek and Slavonic languages, previously considered sacred, so that all would understand the divine services.
Iasi became the capital of Moldavia in the 16th century, during the reign of Alexander Lapusneanu, only to become, along with Bucharest, the capital of the Romanian Principalities after the Union of 1859. This special status meant for Iasi an unprecedented development, it being the largest city in the region to date.
The Union of the Romanian Principalities had Alexandru Ioan Cuza as the central character, himself of Moldavian origin, born in Barlad in 1820. Cuza belonged to the traditional class of landowners in Moldavia, the son of the steward Ioan Cuza, he received a European education that prepared him to become an officer in the Moldavian army and reach the rank of colonel.
On January 5th, 1859, he was elected as the ruler of Moldavia, and on January 24th, 1859,as the ruler of Wallachia, thus accomplishing the union of the two principalities.
Once a ruler, Cuza led an intense political and diplomatic activity towards the recognition of the unification of Moldavia and Wallachia by the Suzerain Power and the Guarantor Powers and then to complete the unification of the Romanian Principalities via constitutional and administrative unity, which was completed in January 1862 when Moldavia and Wallachia formed a unitary state. They officially adopted the name of Romania and formed the Romanian modern state with its capital in Bucharest, with one assembly and one government.
Cuza Voda’s reign was characterized by a strong impetus to overtake the West, but the effort of the ruler and his supporters encountered the resistance of conservative forces.
The same care that the ruler Cuza manifested for the renewal and the Europeanization of the country was given to the Ruginoasa estate, bought at auction by the ruler from the Bank of Moldavia.
The ruler’s first concern was to fully renovate the palace with the help of local and European craftsmen, turning it into a summer residence.
Although Cuza spent little time in the palace, his wife, Lady Elena Cuza (1825-1909) lived there, taking care of furnishing and decorating rooms, the garden and outbuildings.
The “Alexandru Ioan Cuza” Palace in Ruginoasa was officially inaugurated by Prince Cuza, during the Easter holidays in April 1864, when he arrived there with Al. I. Cantacuzino, Nicolae Pisoski and Baligot of Beyne. In September 1864 he arrived back at the palace, where he remained for nearly a month.
On the first day cover of the issue is depicted a bison, ancient animal, symbol of Moldavia, which in our times can be found in the Vanatori Neamt Nature Park, a protected area, founded in 1999, with a natural park status, meant for the protection of Moldavia’s natural heritage.
Its rich history, natural and architectural sights, but especially the hospitality of its people make the region of Moldavia a unique realm in Romania.

Romfilatelia thanks the Moldavian National Museum Complex (the Al. I. Cuza Palace from Ruginoasa), the Neamt Municipal Museum Complex (the Cucuteni Eneolithic Art Museum and the Neamt Fortress Museum), Vanatori Neamt Nature Park, as well as the photographers George Avanu and Constantin Dina for the support granted in the accomplishment of this postage stamp issue.

Issue date: 2015-09-07