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In gypsy capital

In gypsy capital
Photo Information
Copyright: Malgorzata Kopczynska (emka) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 11549 W: 123 N: 29379] (138524)
Genre: Places
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2019-04-30
Categories: Daily Life, Architecture, Event
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Date Submitted: 2019-05-05 15:20
Viewed: 888
Favorites: 2 [view]
Points: 48
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Soroca is a city and municipality in Moldova, situated on the Dniester river about 160 km north of Chișinău. The city has a sizable Romani (Gypsy) minority and is popularly known as the "Romani capital of Moldova."
In a country with few tourist attractions, Soroca is comparatively overflowing with them, boasting both a medieval fortress dating from the days of Ștefan cel Mare and several new “fortresses” built by members of the gypsy, or Roma, community. Today an estimated 10-12 million Roma live in Europe. The largest populations make their homes in former communist countries and nearly all are at the bottom of the economic and educational ladder.
After so many centuries of struggle, it is perhaps unsurprising that those who achieve a measure of economic success want to flaunt it. So on a Sorocan hilltop, amid the broken sidewalks and barely paved roads that reflect Moldova’s status as the poorest country in Europe, Roma residents build elaborate houses, inspired by and borrowing architectural flourishes from famous buildings in wealthier countries including St Peter’s Basilica, the U.S. Capitol Building and the Bolshoi Theatre. Among the mansions is the home of true royalty, the “Gypsy King” Arthur Cerari. (

I was looking forward to seeing this Roma hill. Unfortunately, we had very few time and there was some problems with the organization. But when other people from the group went to eat something, I run up the hill alone. When I was up, the old car Ziguli went by and stopped. The driver asked me where I was from. He said he was going to the golden dome house I saw from below and he could take me there with the car. There were also two Russian girls inside. At the house it appeared that he was a son of the Gypsy baron! We chatted some time, made some pictures, he was very friendly. My ex-TE friend would find it probably dangerous but for me, it was a very interesting and amusing adventure. I was very happy that I managed to see the place.

Bigger beta picture

See the house of the gypsy baron, his son and me here and here

worldcitizen, tyro, COSTANTINO, Tue, papagolf21, snunney, photographer_sg, jhm, bbarna, PaulVDV, PiotrF, ChrisJ, macjake, mcmtanyel has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Hello Malgo,
Your note was very interesting. You always have fascinating adventures during your travels. :-) It's also interesting to see this street. The road is not paved, but another mansion seems to go up in the background. It's a bit odd to have such extravagant homes in a less-than-extravagant setting like this. I was really surprised by the WS photos. That house is huge, and the gold dome is certainly showy!

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  • tyro Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1921 W: 427 N: 7201] (28922)
  • [2019-05-05 16:34]

Hi dear Malgo,

What a story! You are indeed the "Iron Grandma" because I think most of us would not have climbed into that car with strangers. But I suppose if you are fluent in Russian and have a "feel" for people, you can be safe here.

How remarkable that these Roma people can amass the funds to build such amazingly "showy" homes in this place where even the roads are just bare earth.

Three wonderful photographs you have shown us and, with your wonderfully personal note, this just has to be added to my favourites!


Kindest Regards,


Hello dear Malgorzata and have a nice time
and a happy new week
thanks for sharing this photo with us
with useful noted and I am really happy you have
so fascinating adventures during
your travels
you must issue a book with your pictures
and your useful notes becauseevery
story of yours is worthseeing!!!!
please do it!!!

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  • Tue Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 10894 W: 57 N: 18836] (70460)
  • [2019-05-05 22:38]

Hello Malgo,
A great impression of this place. There are a lot of different details to be seen on the houses and the abundant gate at left. The small car and the people are well included in the foreground as well.

Hi Malgo,
Well presented this city and these people, well composed your view with street perspective, people and car, tfs.

Hello Malgo,
What a fantastic story, and these photos are also amazing. The people of Soroca seem to be doing like the hotels of Las Vegas when copying famous buildings in other countries. There may soon be an Eiffel Tower in Soroca!
I am not surprised by the unpaved street, but the large buildings are not what I had expected to find in a small Moldovan town. And look at that impressive gate! But the wires are hanging everywhere across the street, like in the "Third world". This could really have been somewhere in India or Pakistan. But of course the building in the WS is the most impressive. You had a very unusual experience here. But your ex-TE friend will probably start spreading lies about you if he reads your note. :-(
Best regards,

Ciao cara Malgo, interesting story and beautiful tris of photo, wonderful colors, splendid light and excellent perspective, very well done, my friend, ciao Silvio

Bonjour, chère Malgo,
La façon de raconter vos voyages donne l'impression d'être avec vous et de participer à la découverte de lieux inconnus.
Merci pour ces prises de vue qui font prendre conscience qu'il existe une architecture intéressante.
Une merveilleuse façon de voyager et d'apprendre.
Très bonne journée.

Hello Malgo,
I don't think I would have got into a car with a complete stranger, but we know what an intrepid traveller you are ;-) These mansions somewhat off the beaten track remind me of parts of Kerala, where people go away to make their fortune and then come back and build to impress. Excellent realisation.

Hello Malgo
A fascinating street shot accompanied by a superb note! Fine photos in the workshop too. The luxurious buildings (especially the one in the WS) display the economic disparity between the rich and the common people.
Thanks for sharing and have a nice day!

Ciao Malgo,

Cela doit prendre de bon pneus et une bonne voiture pour s'aventurer dans les rues de ce village. J'aime la construction de l'image qui donne l'impression que la dame est propriétaire des lieux.



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  • jhm Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 26033 W: 522 N: 44528] (189937)
  • [2019-05-06 6:22]

Hello Malgo,

Today I've again something learned.
Almost not to believe that the buildings are rich and no good street.
Also the old Lada is present.
Nice depth and perspective.
Your picture is very well.
Wonderful captured and perfect presentation, if colour and composition.
Very well done, TFS.

Have a nice day,

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  • rychem Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 4119 W: 0 N: 9820] (66923)
  • [2019-05-06 8:16]

Tamten region Europy nie należy do najbezpieczniejszych i chyba samotnie nie jest milo wedrowac w wielu miejscach, ale potem masz satysfakcje, ze zdjęcia sa unikatowe :)
pozdrawiam Ryszard

hello Malgorzata, very good portrait here, the people ,the car, the buildings, everything match in order to describe the place, the situation, the environment...very good job

Ciao Malgo
ancora una volta ci sorprendi con luoghi originali e fuori dai classici giri turistici.
Sorprendente il luogo, ma anche l'auto.

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  • bbarna Silver Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 47 W: 5 N: 509] (1403)
  • [2019-05-06 11:11]

Hello Malgo,
Very interesting place, nice picture. I should go there sometime, they have a significant size of Hungarian community there.
All the bests,

Hello Malgo,
I carefully read your story about Soroca, a place of which I've never heard before. But I once read a fairly similar story about a town with a lot of Roma in the northwest of Romania. Unfortunately I have forgotten the name of that town.
The story was about a city district without paved roads and without sewers. But everywhere very large houses have been built, almost like castles or palaces. With parts copied from well-known chic buildings in the west. Money turned out to be no problem for their construction. But the streets themselves looked like those of a third world country.
Very odd. Especially when I consider how some Roma who have come to the west live here the life of a pariah. I apologize for the expression. But you will also know how the Roma life is like in some Western cities.
It may not always be safe to get in the car of strangers. But your intuition has certainly not deceived you. In Transylvania I also got a ride from two Roma. It turned out to be two very sweet and helpful men. A pity of the language barrier.
Beautiful things that people can experience while travelling.
Best regards, Paul

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  • PiotrF Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 4685 W: 2 N: 8500] (40906)
  • [2019-05-06 15:59]

Czesc Malgo
Widze, ze kolejna kraina dopisana do mapy swiata :)
Ciekawy kraj, pewnie ciekawi ludzi na trasie twojej podrozy.
Nie wiem czy cos jest w stanie przebic twoje zdjecie z winiarni :) ale gra slow moglaby byc niezrozumiala dla wiekszosci tutejszych uzytkownikow

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  • ChrisJ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 15527 W: 1055 N: 32393] (150784)
  • [2019-05-06 17:28]

Hello Malgo,

The wealth of the town seems to be polarised, with a few rich people and those of more modest means and income. Good sharpness and hope you got a shot of the fortress. Tfs!

Dear Malgo,

This photo reminds me to my child hood, not because of the environment, but the Polski Fiat. My grandparents used to have it. :)

Best Wishes,

Hi Malgo
i've been away from TE for a few days, I got married on May the 5th! wow, there is so much to like about this TE post. The story, the adventure, the experience, the car, the people, this turned out so well for you. What a cool shot with the attractive car and the buildings in the bg, and the unpaved road. fabulous! cheers

Malgorzata, it's a good idea to discover the gypsy community in Soroca. Useful text explaining the experience. The picture has been taken in a residential quarter. The old car reminds past periods. The persons look very welcoming. Sharp composition

Hello Malgo,
Notwithstanding the interesting street, i love that old Lada!

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  • jmdias Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 11219 W: 174 N: 20535] (90568)
  • [2019-05-20 13:06]


there are many prejudice against the gypsies, even here, in my region, where they are rare.
nice flagrant of this ruined street and personages well positioned with many details to enjoy.

take care


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