Nativity of Christ Metropolitan Cathedral


The main highlight of the Parcul Catedralei is the city's main Moldovan Orthodox church, dating from the 1830s, with rich interior frescoes. The bell tower was originally built in 1836, but was destroyed after WWII and rebuilt in 1997.

Legend has it that the bell originally commissioned for this tower ended up in Bolhrad (in present-day Ukraine) thanks to a mix-up by a boozy bureaucrat in St Petersburg. Chişinău ended up with the much bigger bell earmarked for Bolhrad. It wouldn't fit in the church belfry, hence this bell tower was built to accommodate the bigger bell.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Chişinău attractions

1. Parcul Catedralei

0.05 MILES

Dab in the middle of Chişinău, this park is popular with families and canoodling teenagers on benches, and makes for great strolling. The highlight is the…

2. Arc de Triomphe

0.13 MILES

Chişinău's own Arc de Triomphe dates from 1841 and marks the centre of the city. It was built to commemorate the victory of the Russian army over the…

3. Statue of Ştefan cel Mare


Ştefan was Moldavia's greatest medieval prince and ubiquitous symbol of Moldova's brave past. His 1928 statue lords over the entrances to Parcul…

4. Government House

0.21 MILES

Government House, where cabinet meets, is the gargantuan building opposite the Arc de Triomphe. It's notable mainly for its heft and Soviet-style…

6. National Library

0.32 MILES

A landmark, the neoclassical National Library is worth popping into both to check out the beautiful interior with its spiral staircases, and for the free…

7. National Art Museum

0.35 MILES

A massive facelift was half-finished at the end of 2018, with the gorgeously restored main wing open to visitors. The focus is on contemporary Moldovan…

8. National Archaeology & History Museum

0.35 MILES

This impressive museum contains artefacts from the region of Orheiul Vechi, including Golden Horde coins and 14th-century ceramics; a rare, 2000-year-old…