Idea #523 – Visiting the archeological site of Orhei Vecchi
Orheiul Vechi is an antique site, situated on the left bank of the river Raut, near the villages of Trebujeni and Butuceni. Because of its naturally defended position, the site is occupied from the Palaeolithic. Tracks of activity of the culture Cucuteni-Tripolje (Chacolithique) were also highlighted.
In the XIVth century, the Golden Horde, which had just destroyed a part of Russia, settled its capital there, which covers 268 ha. The site is then known under the name of Chekhr Al-Djedid, “the New town”. Archaeological excavations allowed to identify the vestiges of a mosque, two mausoleums, a caravanserai and three hammams. Several archaeological objects, as ceramic produced in the Near East, in Crimea, in the region of the Volga or in Transcaucasia, and the currencies dated 1364 and 1369, are exposed in the local museum.
In the XVth century, the city of Orheiul Vechi succeeds the capital of the Golden troop. We build in particular the residence of the pircalab, captain of the fortress, and two Orthodox Churches there. During almost century, Orheiul Vechi plays an important economic, military and administrative role east of medieval Moldova, before being deserted in the XVIth century. The village moved on the other bank, and still presents beautiful rural houses of the XIXth century, in the painted posts and in the impressive gates.
The site also receives the troglodytic hermitage of Butuceni, dug in the cliff. The primitive access made by ropes, coming down from the cliff, replaced afterward by wooden staircases. In the XIXth century, a tunnel of access was dug since the plateau, main access still in use today.
Where is it?
Ohrei Vecchi, Ohrei, Moldavia