The Windows of Moldova

Windows of Moldova Architecture

Viewed from afar, Moldova’s villages resemble a cluster of gingerbread houses. The plaster adornments framing the windows and doorways look as though they were made by the steady hand of a pastry maker piping on frosting, and the wooden cut-outs gracing gables reminded me of the lacy paper snowflakes that I used to make as a child. The catch is, my creations never looked so symmetric, nor as intricate as Moldova’s home adornments do! Coupled with utilitarian and decorative water wells, the homes make strolling Moldova’s villages a joy.

Villagers were amused that I appreciated the homes’ folk art decorations so much. Some invited us to enjoy a glass of homemade wine on their lawn, another shared grapes with us, and one school teacher even insisted upon giving me a coffee table book on the topic of Moldovan architecture.

The bulk of the windows making up this collage were captured in the village of Roşu where we stayed for two weeks, whereas I snapped the others in the nearby city of Cahul, and near historic Old Orhei. All windows are part of home architecture, with the exception of the yellow window, which is part of Cahul’s church.

Where in the World?

Planning Pointers:

  • The village of Rosu is located about 5 km. (3 miles) from the city of Cahul, Moldova’s third-largest city. Not far from the Romanian border, and on the travel circuit between Bucharest, Romania and Chisinau, Moldova, the village is a convenient stopping point and introduction to village life in Moldova.
  • During our time in Rosu, we were fortunate to have discovered the CostelHostel Guesthouse (affiliate link), founded by Constantin, who was born and raised in the village. He has a super command of English (he’s self-taught!) and speaks his native Moldovan-Romanian, plus Russian and Italian. Constantin was eager to walk us through his village, show us how to cook traditional Moldovan dishes, and share tidbits about Moldovan culture. We also participated in the grape harvest with his neighbors, and highly recommend an autumn visit to the region!
  • To view bus routes throughout the country, as well as schedules, visit the following transportation website (in Romanian-Moldovan).
  • Need more inspiration? This link contains an index of all my posts from Moldova.

Photography & text © Tricia A. Mitchell. All Rights Reserved.

Published by Tricia A. Mitchell

Tricia A. Mitchell is a freelance writer and photographer. Born in Europe but raised in the United States, she has lived in Valletta, Malta; Heidelberg, Germany; and Split, Croatia. An avid globetrotter who has visited more than 65 countries, she has a penchant for off-season travel. Tricia has learned that travel’s greatest gift is not sightseeing, rather it is the interactions with people. Some of her most memorable experiences have been sharing a bottle of champagne with distant French cousins in Lorraine, learning how to milk goats in a sleepy Bulgarian village, and ringing in the Vietnamese New Year with a Hanoi family. She welcomes any opportunity to practice French and German, and she loves delving into a place’s history and artisanal food scene. A former education administrator and training specialist, Tricia has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in international relations. She and her husband, Shawn, married in the ruins of a snowy German castle. They’ve been known to escape winter by basing themselves in coastal Croatia or Southeast Asia. Her writing has appeared in Fodor’s Travel, Frommer’s, and International Living.

21 thoughts on “The Windows of Moldova

    1. Hi Virginia, I was pretty impressed by the amount of detail put into so many aspects of village life. Even utilitarian objects were embellished, lending the villages a more cheerful air.

      Thank you for your comment, and here’s hoping your week is off to a wonderful start!

      1. We are new to Motorhoming, haven’t been abroad yet but plan to next year once we know what we are doing! Yes can go either route. Do you see many caravan sites there?

  1. These windows all have such a unique look and character, much like their owners I am sure. Such a contrast with me living in condos that have all the same look and by-laws that make sure we cannot ‘add’ any such character that can be seen from the outside. This makes me long for the countryside and smaller towns :-) Great shots.

    1. Randall, interesting that you can’t add flourishes to the exterior of your condo. Does that include plants too, or just more permanent additions to the structure?

      I know that historic districts often have such restrictions (for example, my apartment in Heidelberg, Germany couldn’t have a satellite), but had forgotten that neighborhood associations for more modern structures do as well.

    1. Cornelia, that’s high praise – thank you! It’s the artisans that deserve the credit though. I sure hope that these traditional crafts are being passed on to younger generations.

      Wishing you a wonderful week ahead!

  2. I also love photographing windows and especially doors! They give such great glimpses into a country’s history and traditions. Lovely photos!

    1. Thank you, Veena. Indeed, Moldova’s architecture showcases the talents of the country’s craftspeople. I wish we could’ve chanced upon some doing the woodwork while we were there!

    1. Hi Melinda, thank you very much. I agree that lace curtains add a certain Old World charm to a building/home, even more so now that I can visualize what the traditional lace-making process consists of.

  3. I always look at the gates of the places I visit… some of them are so intricate and ornate. Now I will start to pay more attention to the windows as well.
    I really loved the architecture when we visited Portugal… now I am trying to think back to if I observed any interesting looking windows.
    I have never been to Moldova (honestly I haven’t even heard of it before now!) I really need to get traveling again. We did a brief stint through Europe and now live in Thailand. We are hoping to make it back through Europe soon, but will probably wait for next summer so we won’t get too cold… we are pretty used to the heat here. :)

    1. Andthreetogo, when you mentioned Portugal, the first thing that came to mind were the blue & white tiles that adorned so many of the buildings in Lisbon. What parts of the country did you visit?

      Regarding Moldova, there’s actually an educational board game that plays off the idea that many people don’t know where the country is. :) Despite that, it’s an interesting place to visit. I hesitate to use the word ‘authentic’ but that’s actually the first one that comes to mind now. Because there aren’t loads of tourists going there, the people were very curious about visitors and were eager to welcome us into their homes, offering a glass of homemade wine, chats about the culture, and warm hospitality.

      How long have you lived in Thailand? Having spent one winter in Southeast Asia, and being quite thrilled that we escaped the chill of winter, I can relate to you wanting to wait to visit here until the summer months too!

      1. We visited Porto, the algarve, and stayed in Lisbon. The buildings they sparked my love of architecture.
        I will have to get that board game…
        We have lived in Thailand for about 3 years now.
        Thailand is an excellent place to stay for the winter! And every other time too. Though rainy season is a bit more cool, it has only been about 30*c lately. :)

      2. The Algarve is also on our must-see list!

        Both times I was in Thailand, it was during our winter (December / January). I’d be curious to experience Thailand’s truly sizzling weather that comes later. Do you live in Bangkok, or elsewhere in the country?

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