Architecture of Moldova

Architecture of Moldova

New house. Slobodka.

Architecture of Moldova. In the central part of Moldova, where the hilly open spaces are covered with forests and coppices – the remnants of the once mighty frame, there is a group. villages, differing in a singularly peculiar architecture of peasant stone buildings. Residential houses with tall caps of reed roofs or under a reliable cover of tiles attract open spaces of cozy galleries and original carved columns, capitals and chimneys that are not found anywhere else in a similar form. And next to the dwelling white-stone portals of wine cellars and gate pillars amaze with unprecedented statues of flowers.

Such structures are particularly numerous in the Orhei and Dubossary districts, in the villages along the lower reaches of Reut. This – Slobodka, Lazo, Gully, Furcheny, Trebenzheny, Zhavreny, Estuary and at a distance from the river – Branesti, Ivancha, Gertop-Mare and others. The compactness of this focus makes it possible to get acquainted with a very curious phenomenon in the Moldovan folk art relatively easily, without long journeys.
However, at a later time, rural stone architecture was developed in other regions of the republic, mainly in the north – from the upper reaches of the Prut River to the Middle Transnistria. However, the focus of this art in Central Moldova, where it first emerged and formed, gives us the most expressive examples, the people’s architecture is distinguished here by an extraordinary variety of forms, a special purity of style and an independent interest.
The development of peasant stone architecture in Moldova is primarily due to the natural resources of the region. In the lower reaches of Reut, middle Transnistria and other localities, the earth’s interior represents an almost continuous stone massif. Its open exits can be found everywhere. They are visible on the slopes of beams and steep banks, layers stretch along the river banks “or protrude from green vegetation through the coastal thickets. Near the water itself, the huge, rain-washed and wind-smashed blocks of rock broke loose from the massif.

Architecture of Moldova

The facade of a residential building. The village of Branesti, Orhei district.

This material has a peculiar structure. Neither origin, nor external appearance, it does not resemble familiar granite, sandstone or slate. The Moldavian stone is a limestone-shell rock that was formed on the seabed from the deposits of calcareous shells of the smallest inhabitants of the ancient sea millions of years ago. And if you carefully look at the structure of the stone, the unaided eye can see countless fine shells bound with lime, among which there are also very large witnesses of the once turbulent life of the Paleozoic seas.
Rakushechnik has long enjoyed in Moldova the glory of excellent building material. Its powerful layers, lying in various regions of the country and still not completely surveyed, constitute huge, inexhaustible reserves. The porous structure makes the stone light: it is only 1.5 times heavier than water and three times lighter than granite or sandstone. At the same time shell rock is quite strong and frost-hardy in the conditions of the southern climate. Due to its airiness, the material has very low thermal conductivity, and in order to keep the heat well in the dwelling, the walls made of it should not be thick. If, moreover, to take into account the extraordinary yielding to the processing, then the widespread occurrence of shell rock not only in the zones of its extraction, but also far beyond them will become understandable.

Architecture of Moldova

Porch. Slobodka.

The history of the use of shell rock in the people’s architecture of Moldova is short and is estimated only for one and a half centuries. The beginning of its use in rural buildings dates back to the first half of the 19th century and coincides with the discovery of the first large quarries for the extraction of this material for urban construction. By that time, however, the Moldovan architecture had a rich experience in the application and artistic processing of other, more dense types of natural stone.
It is not out of place, perhaps, to mention the fact from the prehistory of this issue that the stone was used in the architecture of the Kiev and Galicia Rus, which included the later lands of Moldova. And when the Moldovan feudal state was formed in the XIV century, it turned out to be the owner of the priceless heritage of the architectural traditions of Ancient Rus.
Since the XIV century, the country has built numerous churches and fortifications. In the XVII century the art of stone processing reached its heyday. The surviving monuments of this time brought to us the high skill of stone-cutters, which covered the walls of churches with a continuous fine-speckled carpet of carved ornaments, in many ways, reminiscent of the motives of peasant art.

Architecture of Moldova

Cellar decorated with architectural carvings. Groove.

After the decline in the XVIII century, caused by the severe economic condition of the country as a result of increased Turkish oppression, stone architecture began to revive again in the beginning of the XIX century. A huge role in this was played by the annexation in 1812 of Bessarabian lands to Russia, following its victory in the Russian-Turkish war. The economic and cultural life of the country is on the rise. The process of the disintegration of feudal-serf relations is accelerating, handicrafts, trade, and cities are developing. It was at this time that a wide use of rock-shell begins, from which temples, monasteries, urban public and residential buildings are built.
As a result of the merger of Bessarabia, Moldovan-Russian cultural ties strengthened to a great neighbor. This significantly affected the style of stone architecture, in which the elements of Russian classicism, brought to Moldova by the architects of St. Petersburg, Odessa and other cities of Russia, became dominant. The vast planes of smoothly plastered walls, the restrained pattern of cornices and platbands, the strict outline of the porticoes with the distinct rhythm of the Doric columns characterize the appearance of the structures of the first half of the 19th century.

Architecture of Moldova

Goal. General view and detail. Groove

The technique of mining and processing of stone has changed significantly, and with it the ways of laying walls. At first, the stone blocks were broken with the help of an ax and wedges, and uneven, torn edges were covered with plaster. In the middle of the XIX century, steel saws were used, which made it possible to harvest unit blocks of the same size with smooth edges, and to build the building using clean masonry. From now on, the architectural appearance of the structures, which no longer needed any plaster or other lining, is rapidly changing.
Carefully ironed grates the front side of the stone with its finely porous texture and noble light gray color creates a beautiful and at the same time sufficiently resistant to the external environment surface of the facade.
In peasant architecture shell rock appeared after it began to be used in urban construction. True, even earlier in the villages this material was well known, but it was used only as a fine chipped limestone for laying wells and low fences around the manor. Houses were built from adobe – clay, mixed with chopped straw, preparing blocks in blocks or building up walls with a crude mix using mobile formwork.
The first peasant dwellings of Central Moldova, in which an architecturally processed stone was applied, date back to the 1920s and 1930s. They began to appear in the nearby villages, especially in the Branesti, famous for their beautiful gray-white shell, which is known as the “cat-tail”. This village can be considered the birthplace of folk art carving on stone. From here it spread across the basin of the lower reaches of Reut and further into the neighboring regions of the republic.

Architecture of Moldova

Goal. General view and detail. Groove

The art of stone carving knows its professional masters. Like ceramics or wood carvings, it was adopted by the son from the father, practically mastered by each future master in joint work with the elders of his family. Thanks to the architect AI Zakharov, who published a valuable study of the Moldovan folk architecture, the names of the best stone cutters became known: the oldest of them, Nazar Melnik from the village of Branesti, born in 1870, began engaging in carving from the age of 20. From the same village, the oldest generation Ivan Gutsu, Ilie Tsanga, the brothers Tkachenko, Prokop Lisnik.They now work with their students Gheorghe Morar, Vasily Goloshnyak, Mark Maxim and Alexei Lisnik.
The Moldovan estate can be called an architectural ensemble. This is not an accidental group of hedges. Everything here is harmoniously connected in terms of location, scale, forms, integrated into a complete composition.
Before you even get into the peasant court, in the depths of which a panorama of residential and economic buildings opens, you involuntarily linger at the entrance. Already the vestibule of the estate speaks of the decorative gift of rural masters. It is manifested in the original, full of surprises, architectural forms of the gate with massive pylons, covered with carvings and crowned with sculptures of flowers.
The gate consists of two pillars of square section, made of sawn piece stone. A wicket is often attached to the travel part, and then a third pylon appears, somewhat smaller in height, sometimes connected by a bridge with a number standing. In the masonry grooves are left for the wooden posts, to which are attached the passages of the carriageway and the gate. On the front side of the pylons, the plinth and the upper frieze are marked with thrusts or ledges, above which is placed a cornice and a stepwise transition to a flower finish. The facade is decorated with carvings and often – a flat beggar with an image of a plant in a vase.
Gateways are distinguished by their impressive size, massiveness of forms. In the perspective of a narrow street with its unexpected turns, they appear here and there, towering over the fences, attracting the amusing silhouette of the tops and dazzling whiteness, furiously sounding against the background of gray stone and greenery. But only near the pylons do you feel their monumental power. As if they were fairy-tale guards, restraining the “fence” of the fence from both sides, revealing to the passers-by the depth of the space of the village courtyard with its lush vegetation and the architectural richness of the buildings.

Architecture of Moldova

Residential house with an extension. The village of Zhavreny, Dubossary district.

Architecture knows many examples of using a contrast combination of different materials, masses, textures, colors. Having near a stone and a tree or stone planes roughly and finely processed, the architect gets an opportunity to reveal more the natural beauty of the material and its design features. The gates of Prirutsky estates represent in this sense a very bold decision. Everything here is built on oppositions. The smoothly sawn planes of the pylons with carefully verified faces and fine carvings look even more architectonic alongside the crudely punctured and seemingly hastily stacked flagstone fence. The sense of the monumental heaviness of the pillars is enhanced by the lightness of the wooden trunks.
These contrasts, just like the combination of a reed roof and a stone warrant in a residential building, attest to the ability of a national master to create a whole from elements that are not repetitive but opposed to each other, the ability to use the most acute techniques of artistic expressiveness.
The arrangement of an apartment house is distinguished by reasonable simplicity. Four walls limit it from the outside and two separate inside the canopy. The bearing structure of the floor consists of balynsvsvolok, laid on the transverse walls, and supported by light beams. Outwardly, they support the overhang of the roof along the facade, supported also by columns-columns. The house is raised on a pedestal, which in front passes into a wide one at the same time, a similarity of a stylobate serving as a base for columns. Thus, along the facade, a gallery convenient for household needs is created. The house is covered with a reed, tiled roof or shingle roof for four ramps.

Architecture of Moldova

Cellar with a round pediment. Lazo.

Such is the device of the stone dwellings of the Prireutsky district. The masters preserved in them the plan and outlines typical of the residential house made of adobe and wood, applying only for the main supporting elements of the facade a stone. The new material required, of course, the known design changes – another thickness of the walls, a larger diameter of the racks, another device for guarding the gallery. At the same time he also suggested new decorative possibilities that determined the rare originality of architecture.
As is characteristic of the genuine work of architecture, in the national dwelling the internal construction of volumes finds its expression in an external appearance. An equilateral plan dictated a strict symmetry in the solution of the facade with steps and a door in the center and two pairs of windows illuminating the rooms. The layout also suggests the rhythm of the six facade columns, of which the extreme and middle are set on the extension line of the transverse walls, and the intermediate ones correspond to the axis of the inter-wall partition. This explains the different steps of the columns: the middle span, equal to the width of the passage, is considerably smaller than the others.
The architectural diversity of stone dwellings is striking. Each village or group of villages is characterized by certain techniques associated with the individual creative “manner” of the masters working here. But in each separate building you will find your own unique features. Sometimes they act sharply, attracting the attention of the originality of forms that are conspicuous in the eye, sometimes they appear with barely perceptible strokes in a peculiar drawing of details and carved ornaments. And every time the work receives a special, it only inherent emotional color.
The most common type is a house with a gallery, under which the basement is placed. Columns differ in harmonious proportions, approaching the classical ones. The facade is characterized by a somewhat closed, intimate character, especially pronounced in the presence of a gallery fence. Its wide strip, decorated with carvings and heavily lit, visually separates even more from the darkened wall, surrounding the apartment with an atmosphere of tranquility.
The facade may not have a pomp or a guard. In this case, the racks rely on the stone pavement level with the ground, and the through passage along the gallery is interrupted by the steps leading to the door. * The pillars elongated at the expense of the pedestal seem very slender * The clear rhythm of their verticals and high-set windows give the architecture of this dwelling an elevated-solemn appearance. Similar structures can be seen in Rakulesti and Zhavreny.
The input device is also diverse. Two or three stone steps, attached to the line, represent the simplest solution. With a high basement, the entrance is protected by inclined, blind railings, which sometimes expand and end with columns with immovable sculptures of the flower. Approaching the house, you perceive these handrails as a continuation of the parapet, as if descended together with the steps to the ground and with its open “lapels” beckoning inward, into the coziness of rural housing.

The plinth is usually smooth, with only one shelf on top, formed by the overhanging plates of the gallery flooring. Sometimes it is decorated with blades – the likeness of short pilasters, thus creating the impression of thickened supports under the posts. This, as it were, even more reveals the appointment of the pride as the foundation of the colonnade.
The columns have square pedestals equal in height to the parapet. The distances between them are quite large, and for the fencing it would not be easy to make solid slabs. Therefore, an additional column is inserted and each gap between the columns is filled with the steam of the plate-panels. When decorating with carving, do not make a big difference between the columns of the parapet and the pedestals: both of them are covered with close versions of one pattern, rhythmically, like a refrain, dividing the carved panels with which it forms a single continuous ribbon of “verse”. At the level of the handrail, the fence posts end with a stone flower that “blossoms” against the background of shaded windows. And next to the same pillars of pedestals continue to the top of the barrels, the transition to which are softly profiled base pillows.
The shape of the columns is varied. Nekoed are massive, they, as masters comprehended the material, became thinner until they acquired the present harmony and grace of proportions. The most common forms of columns are octagonal and round. And if the wounded stance does not require additional decorations – after all the faces create an interesting game of chiaroscuro, – then the round is decorated with carvings. It is encircled by rings of small patterns-corners, crosses, covered with diamonds stretched all the way down by rhombuses or rows of sharp zigzags.

Preference in the decorative solution of round columns is given nevertheless to a spiral pattern. It is extremely diverse. The trunk is either covered by shallow grooves of spirals, while retaining a cylindrical shape, or plastically solved as a twisted column. Spirals can steeply rise upward. The trunk is then similar to a bundle of elastic bundles, which, when tightened slightly, are fixed in this position. But the pitch of the spiral is different, and one can see
columns with gentle turns, gently, exactly spring springs, supporting the canopy beam. There are round columns, entwined with a chain of shallow carved ornaments. Sometimes the trunk in the middle is intercepted by a ring that cuts the course of the turns in such a way that the lower ones do not continue the upper ones. Often the spiral pattern alternates with wide ornamented belts. The grooves of the turns are usually covered in color. Their dark blue dynamic lines bring an agitated tension into the atmosphere of general calm harmony. And somewhat higher, the swift run of them is, as it were, resolved by the wings of a complex capitulating the warrant.
The completion of the column is the culmination of the order. On this part of it, special attention is paid to the stone-cutters, which showed ingenuity and a subtle sense of beauty. Beginning at the base with simple forms of the pedestal, the stance becomes more and more complicated, plastically enriched, and at the top reaches sometimes unusual splendor. When you look at the column crowned with a capital, involuntarily a comparison with a young Moldovan woman, raising a basket full of juicy interlaying of grapes, suggests itself.
Particularly striking is the unusual combination of the decorative splendor of the stone decor with a simple reed roof, the semblance of which we are accustomed to see on the log cabins of Russian villages or Ukrainian carpenters. The clear forms of the carved stone under the magnificent cap of the reed-trimmed reed, hanging over the walls and the gallery, seem to be beautifully connected and somehow in a different way. It seems to outline them with its wide cut, porous, like bees’ honeycombs. In houses with a tiled roof, the color contrast is added to the texture contrast: the red color of the coating is included in the arsenal of art means.
The ridge of the roof, it would seem, should complete the structure. However, the Moldovan house is preparing another “architectural” surprise. “Spreading” the reed stalks, as if sprouting through their thickness, an amazing stone structure – a four or octagonal turret with openings, windows at the top, crowned with sculptural carvings, is rising above the roof.
Peasant architecture knows a lot of tricks for decorating chimneys, but it is unlikely that so much art, soul and thoroughness is put into the decoration of this seemingly secondary detail anywhere, as in the prirutsky villages of Moldavia.
The pipe visible above the roof is only part of a rather complex device. Its trunk, mostly hollowed, continues under the roof. It rests on a pyramidal, stacked of thin slabs, a hood where smoke from the hearth comes. The top, or as it is sometimes called, the pipe head made from a single block, covers the chimney, protecting it from blowing. The smoke holes cut from four sides give the impression that the openwork of the chimney is supported by massive carved posts.
Heads of pipes, as well as capitals, belong to those architectural elements of the dwelling, in which the creative invention of folk artists found a particularly vivid expression. Infinitely variety of outlines, countless options, individual and unique in each case. The shapes of the pommel are so varied that some could be the subject of fascinating research.

Here is the headline with a pointed tent on the posts, similar to the watchtowers’ fortress turret. The tent can be crowned with a spire or bump, an image of a bud, a flower, a fruit. The crowning motif is often surrounded by prongs, then closely closed, then with tears, like loopholes. You can see the headers with triangular or semicircular pediments on each side and acroteria in the corners. Often, the tent ends with a figure resembling a support with elongated or curved ends and racemes.
The most interesting form of the completion of a pipe is the pyramidal composition in the form of an inflorescence of five coronals – four corners and one, higher, in the center. And how much fudge in the very form of the flower, the development of which can be traced from a simple bud to a multilobal rose. The complication goes further, each flower itself turns into an inflorescence of five multi-tiered flowers. And if you remember that the outer width of the chimney does not reach forty centimeters, then it is summer to imagine how small and with what subtlety each of the twenty-five flowers, which crown the pipe with a luxuriant cluster of inflorescences, should be sculpted.
Against the background of the sky, the complex silhouette of the flower statue looks particularly clear, and therefore the grace of outlines does not disappear at a distance. Thanks to the openwork, the massive trunk of the pipe does not break abruptly, but softly passes into space, dissolving in the sky with a stone lace.
Returning to the Moldovan dwelling, which is now easy to imagine in general, I would like to especially emphasize the extraordinary picturesqueness of the external appearance. Simple in volume, but decorated with an order, carved capitals, sculptures of flowers and paintings, Prireutsky dwelling house can be likened to a white casket, seated with jewels. Facing the south, he gives the sunshine all the richness of his forms. And the wizard-sun creates genuine miracles with architecture. At noon, its steep rays, detained by the ledge of the roof, do not fall on the facade wall, only slightly reflecting the reflected soft light. But against the background of its shaded plane, as if caught by a searchlight, the white columns, the horizontal strip of the fence, the clear pattern of carvings on the stone, the turquoise and the dark blue of the painting are playing even brighter.
When after noon the daylight descends and on the illuminated facade wall behind the columns their slender shadows grow, a new rhythm of light and dark verticals arises, alive, slowly changing as the sun moves. The rays of the sunset bring new impressions, coloring the architecture of a rich range of colors: the lights are warming up until they turn yellow-pink, in contrast to them in the shadows, the greenish bluish sounds more clearly, and the painting from blue turns into purple. And then, as if in a new way, stone statues are blossoming: white water-lilies on parapet columns seem to be flowers of pink lotus, and on the brackets hang large alder buds of unknown tropical plants.
Moldovan cellars … Again a whole world of original beauty. Go around all the farmsteads of the village, and you will not find a single one where this simple and poetic structure would not have been prominently displayed.
By the origin and the device of the cellar is obliged to the economic way of Moldavians and above all the huge role of winemaking in the life of the region. A beautiful southern climate, an abundance of sunny days at the end of summer contribute to the ripening of rich harvests of grapes.
Already in the middle of the XIX century, peasant farms produced wine not only for their own needs, but also on the market, turning the processing of grapes into fishing. To store the wine, a cool and roomy cellar was needed, although, naturally, it was also intended for food supplies.
The purpose of the cellar is prompted by its extremely simple and rational arrangement. It consists of a simple vaulted underground storage, which is led by a sloped with stone steps, also blocked by a vault, in the ground part sprinkled with earth. The entrance to the cellar is made up by a portal with a large double door, the size of which should not be surprising: after all, it is necessary to carry a very voluminous, up to forty buckets, wine barrels.
Steep steps, large masonry of walls and arches, vascular niches stretched here and there – all this in a refreshing coolness of the dungeon creates a sense of harsh monumentality. And completely different is the outer appearance of the cellar, devoid of the slightest hint of severity, cheerful, sometimes playful, with funny whims of architectural forms and ornamentation.

Architecture of Moldova

Wicket with images of flowerpots on pylons. Lazo.

The scheme of its facade is simple. Two pylons flanking the entrance support the beam of the door lintel, above which the pediment rises. In the pylons are left small niches, where you can put a kink, and going to the cellar in the evening – a lantern or a lamp. The pylons, like the pediment, are completed with carved flower sculptures. This common for most cellars principle of construction each time finds its own individual solution.
The architecture of the cellar is characterized by a simple and clear composition and at the same time an extraordinary picturesque appearance.
In the device and the composition of the cellars there are different versions. These small structures attract attention both in how differently, but always reasonably and interestingly they are attached to the home.
Often with a cellar, a summer kitchen is combined, arranged on the inner area before the descent. This, of course, affects the facade. Pylons become wider, small windows appear. Accordingly, the pediment is stretched out more, and above the side wall there is a fourth stone flower, which completes the pipe of the kitchen hearth.
One of the most interesting aspects of creativity of the master builders is architectural stone carving. It reveals a huge wealth of artistic images and ornamental motifs.

Stone carving began to develop relatively recently, when the Moldovan peasant art has already developed in style. At the disposal of stone-cutters was a huge arsenal of ornamentation and decorative techniques, which formed the basis of architectural carvings.
And indeed, you will not find in it, with rare, perhaps, exception, such motifs that would not occur in wood carving, embroidery, especially in the carpet pattern. Masters, of course, are far from having to accurately copy a drawing made of colored threads while working in a stone. Yes it is impossible. In the new material, the motif seems to be born again, receives a different interpretation, in many respects dictated by the properties of the porous stone and the way of processing. And every time, no matter how many times the drawing is repeated, something appears in it, introduced by each master in accordance with his creative data.
I remember carving on wood when you see the simplest patterns of zigzags, angles, diamonds, parallel or intersecting strokes. In a different combination, they create a rhythmically clear pattern, then delicate, then more saturated. With the help of a circular, an ornament is made from a series of concentric circles. This motif goes back to the solar sign, the depiction of the solar deity on objects of deep antiquity, with which, however, long ago lost the semantic connection.
Very often, masters turn to star-shaped forms. The most common of them – a six-beam star or a six-petalled rosette – is associated with the ease of drawing (dividing the circle into six parts by a solution of the compass equal to the radius). They decorate the pediments of the cellars, pillars of the gate, fences. More complex multi-petalled half-rosettes and quarters are connected to the edges by fans or fit into the corners of the parapet plates.

Architecture of Moldova

Fragment of the fence of the gallery. Lazo.

With even more spontaneity, plant motifs are treated, diverse in their plot and form. Among them – images of trees, flowering branches, vases, fruits. There are two approaches to their solution. The form of some is generalized and strongly geometrized. The pot, for example, is depicted in the form of a trapezoidal pot, from which a straight stem emerges, and steeply breaking branches end with leaves-diamonds. Flowers often have the shape of a rosette and are close to the star-shaped figures. Vases, flowers and other motifs in such a laconic interpretation are found in the carpet pattern, which undoubtedly had an impact on the pictorial language of the stone carving.
Along with such conditionally geometrized forms of the figure, where only the plant scheme is preserved, but its characteristic features are absent, we in the late stone carving increasingly see images that convey the artist’s immediate impressions of the surrounding nature. The smooth lines of the branches are full of movement, the round contours of leaves and flowers convey the outlines of living forms of the plant world with features peculiar to one or another species. And we easily recognize the flowering briar branch, lancet leaves of iris or faceted ones – mallow. With a chisel, the master freely draws elastic bends of stems, creates a strained plastic of lines and forms, preserving, of course, the necessary measure of conventionality, without which the decorative image is inconceivable.
Among the motifs of the animal kingdom, cockerel is a favorite. His image passes through all the Moldovan folk art. It is found in wooden carving – on ridge boards and casing of dormer windows. It can be seen in the carpet pattern, in woven and embroidered patterns of towels. In the stone architecture the statue of a cockerel, like a weather vane, flaunts on the ends of the chimneys; taking upon himself the first rays of sunrise, he as if announces the coming of the day. Petushkov is depicted on the gables of dwellings. However, here dominates the image of a pair of doves facing each other, often sitting on branches and sometimes so impressive in size that they fill the whole plane (the village of Slobodka). Many brackets appear in the form of a two-headed bird – a motif that goes back to ancient mythological images. There are also fish images with carefully finned fins and scales (Gorodishtya village).
A garland is very characteristic for the drawing of stone carving. Collected from small strips, they, like necklaces of corals, elegantly “hang” on the panels of the gallery fence, pass along pedestals of columns and columns, forming a continuous festoon pattern throughout the parapet. Also it is necessary to translate a sight from a parapet upward, under a cornice where tobacco is dried, the leaf to the sheet strung on shoelaces – as the source of this motive becomes absolutely clear. Some of the garlands are joined by brushes, indicating that the figure is interpreted in the same way as the image of draperies lined with lush fringe, but irrespective of the meaning of the ornament, it is extremely interesting for its “scale,” its large scale, its breadth of purpose.

Architecture of Moldova

Carved decoration of the wall of a residential building. Lazo.

A very special place among the plant forms is occupied by sculptural images of flowers. With them, undoubtedly, the strongest, most vivid impressions of stone architecture are connected. Without these amazing statues, the pillars of the gate would be like stems with cut flowers, and dwellings and cellars – crumbling bouquets. Sometimes it seems that it is not the stone flowers that crown the architecture, but. on the contrary, the entire structure was created in order to show off all this magnificent fruit of the imagination of the people’s architects on the elongated hands of pylons, columns, columns and chimneys.
The simplest sculpture of a flower is a cube with facets skewed at the bottom, and four angular petals are separated from the top in deep cuts and simultaneously an internal volume similar to a pestle. When you think about what the outlines of a flower could have been suggested to its first creator, the floral motifs of the carpet pattern come to mind and among them some are so similar to the statuary sculptures that, it seems, repeat them in stone – and it will be the same as made by folk craftsmen.
For painting, use mainly ultramarine (used in everyday life for the underwear of linen) and bluish-green vitriol (going to sprinkle grapes). Blue draw a carved pattern, turquoise painted base, brackets, traction and flower sculptures, individual parts of the carved ornament. The ceiling of the gallery is often covered with light yellow ocher, and the base is slightly soothed with soot. The blue-green painting, very active on a dazzling white background, is further enhanced in contrast to the warm brownish-red and yellow planes.
The national stone architecture of Moldova is a very interesting phenomenon. This art is not only living and flourishing, but full of the most iridescent prospects.
Today, many kinds of peasant creativity have lost their former significance. From the rural life disappears painted pottery and wooden carvings. Few people use homespun material. And if the collective farmers still produce for their needs carpets, paths or patterned towels, then they buy clothes that are ready and embroidered, for the most part they cover the factory fabric. Although it is impossible to say without regret about the loss of certain artistic traditions of the village, this phenomenon is nevertheless natural. The revival of folk art at the present time is undoubtedly a very important task, but it can happen only on completely new foundations.
Other things happen with folk architecture. The construction of the dwelling remains a matter for every family. Whatever forms the collective farm construction organization has adopted in the near future, it will continue to grow. Unlike other types of peasant creativity, which in conditions of modern material production can not keep themselves, national architecture remains a living, full-blooded art of our days.
Rakushechnik became one of the main materials in the urban construction of Moldova. The richness of reserves and the mechanization of extraction open wide scope for its use. Naturally, in the search for new constructive and decorative forms, architects can not but turn to the experience of those who mastered this material and perfectly studied its plastic possibilities, the experience of rural builders. In the traditions of folk art, architects see a skilful combination of expediency with artistry, the logical construction of forms, a variety of compositional techniques, ornamentation and color solutions, see the living thought of true masters of their craft.

Architecture of Moldova