Brînzeni

History

The village of Brînzeni is attested in 1606. The estate of this ancestral home, adorned with picturesque hills Cernița, Brînzeni, Dealul Curții, Ponoare and Rîmbu, is bathed by the Racovăț and Draghiște rivers. Near the village there are several monuments of nature, the hills are covered with aromatic plants of rock - thyme, winter-rosemary, ear-buckthorn, chives. 

"Here are caves and caverns, which served as shelter for prehistoric man. The best researched is the Brînzeni1 cave, located on the left side of the Racovăț river valley, 3 km south-west of the village. Archaeological excavations were carried out here in 1960, 1963-65 and 1968. Three layers of culture were discovered in this cave. The upper layer contains pottery, stone tools and animal bones, belonging successively to the Eneolithic (Late Cucuteni-Tripolian culture), Bronze Age and Middle Ages. The middle layer had bones of European bison, deer, rodents, birds, fish and turtles, stone and bone tools (cores, blades, arrowheads, etc.) belonging to the Mesolithic. In the lower layer, flint objects were found: hand axes, large and small scrapers, serrated blades, toothpicks. The Brînzeni 1 culture layers belong to the Selet culture (early Upper Palaeolithic), widespread in Central Europe, Bulgaria and Romania''. 

The archaeological remains here, indeed, are very rich and carry valuable information for our history. So, before the foundation of the feudal village, there were 21 other human settlements in different periods of history. A very intense human activity took place in the Late Palaeolithic period. So far specialists have discovered 11 human settlements, dating back to more than 12 thousand years BC. 

A human settlement is located in the cave in the place called Mersina. The others were under the open sky. On the sites of the stations are objects made of flint, petrified bones, traces of hearths, charcoal and an amulet made of ivory in the shape of a fish. The Brînzeni-Mersîna cave was inhabited even later: in the Mesolithic (12-7 thousand BC) and even later in the Eneolithic (about 3 thousand BC) in the Bronze Age. The cave in question was probably used by people moving from place to place. 

In the Early Iron Age there was only one human settlement on the Brînzeni estate, which was inhabited between 1000-900 BC. This village also perished in the flames. 

After the village was abandoned in the early Iron Age, for a long time people did not try to organize any settlement here. It was only after the conquest of Dacia by the Roman Empire in 106 AD that two villages were founded here, which existed until the barbarian Hun hordes invaded in 376. But they too burned down. Only piles of burnt clay remain of the houses made of clay-bonded wicker. Various objects typical of the Roman era from the territory of Moldavia can still be found there today. 

More information about Brînzeni is provided by the 1774 population census conducted by the Russian military administration. At that time the village consisted of 31 courts, only the priest Maftei and the teacher Pavel were exempted from taxes, the other 29 families were subject to a heavy tax. Among the tax subjects we find expressive names of Moldovans like: Vasile Țurcanu, Gheorghe Cara, Simion Artene, Mihalachi Șoimaru, Toader Roina. 

On July 27, 1775 the priest Ioan from Romăncăuți was ordained in Brînzeni at the church dedicated to St. Parascheva. In 1795 Enache Stroescu, coming with flocks of sheep from Transylvania, was given land in Brînzeni, Trinca, Zăicani and Stolniceni. 

In 1816 the priest Iacov Zugravu, a skilled painter, borrowed money and painted the walls of the church in Brînzeni. In 1869 the parish school was opened here, which 12 years later, in 1881, was included in the system of the Ministry of Public Education. 

In 1870 Brînzeni from the Zăbriceni district appeared in the statistical registers as a large and wealthy village: 141 houses with 483 men and 474 women. They owned 400 large horned cattle, 1070 sheep, and 70 draught horses. In 1876 the peasants here had 39 ploughs, 32 ploughshares and 54 ox-carts. Until 1876 most of the village estate belonged to the Botezatu family, then it passed into the possession of the boyar Vasile Stroescu. 

The Geographical Dictionary of Bessarabia, edited by Zamfir Arbore in 1904 in Bucharest, informs us: "Brînzeni, a village in Balti county, situated between Burdujeni and Heredeuca. It belongs to the Zăbriceni district and is located in the valley of Brînzenișoara, near the Racovăț river. Large village of 151 houses, a church dedicated to St. Michael, a school with a class where Russian is taught. Population 893 souls of Romanian peasants. 

In 1931-1932 in Brînzeni there was an agricultural school, 4 grocery stores, 5 mills and 2 oil presses, private property of Gheorghe Bejenaru, Ion Chihai, Gheorghe Munteanu, Vasile Rotaru, Alexandru Tincu. The agricultural school had technical equipment, workshops and laboratories, an experimental field of 200 ha. 

In the autumn of 1940, after the Soviet troops had set up barbed wire fences at the Prut with pickets of border guards, 1321 inhabitants were registered in Brînzeni, of which 1301 were Romanians. During the terrible years of war and famine, the agricultural school in Brînzeni, later transformed into an asylum for the disabled, continued its work. 

The massive waves of deportations in the 1940s and 1949 did not stop in 1951. Among the 723 families deported on 1 April 1951 as part of Operation North were 9 families of believers of the Jehovahite faith from Brînzeni. 

A total of 12 families have been taken from Brînzeni: Sofia Bejenaru, Valentina Bejenaru, Nadejda Cuznețov, Elizaveta Gurău, Gheorghe Ostroeț, Vera Palamarciuc, Iulia Pîslaru, Anastasia Savițchi, Oleg Scalețchi, Vera Stanchevici, Daria Țurcanu, Ion Ungureanu.

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Legend

Legend of the "Tomb of the Giant" 

The Tomb of the Giant has a legend. It is supposed that in the dark ages, the last family of giant humans lived there. They tended the land and had a young but giant daughter. One day when her parents were not at home, she was playing by herself and found what she thought were some bugs, but they were actually humans. Nice, simple people like we are today. When her parents came home, the little girl showed them that she had found some cute little bugs. When the parents heard this, they were very sad. They started telling the little girl that they are giants and once people find these places and come to live here, they will have to disappear. They were the last of this generation. Before long their family died and here they were supposedly buried. It is said that these places unfortunately cannot be worked, because those who tried to work it, either suffered from diseases and died, or suffered some kind of accident and since then it is said that it is a place that cannot be touched, it must remain as it is, like a grave. 

Legend of the rock ,,Țugurlan'' 

The legend about the Țugurlan rock says that the children of the giant men who once lived here used to play by throwing massive pieces of rock at each other. A sharper piece of stone fell on this rock, and because of the shape of the sharper stone, the name of the rock - Țugurlan - came about. 

Legend of the rock "Gypsy" 

Many years ago a group of gypsies settled in our lands. In this camp there was a very beautiful young girl, but her parents were very strict. One evening when the gypsies were partying with singing and dancing, a boy from the village noticed the girl and fell in love with her. Their love was mutual. But when the girl's parents found out, they were forbidden to see each other. Living near the Racovăț river, the girl ran away one day and drowned herself in the river. And since then the gypsies have moved their hut elsewhere, but the place where the gypsies lived has been called ''Gypsy'', in honour of the girl who died for a forbidden love.

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Beautiful places

The Brînzeni Gorge
The Brînzeni Gorge

The Brînzeni Gorge is a natural monument of geological or paleontological type with an area of 44 ha. This gorge appeared 15-20 million years ago, when the Tortonian and Sarmatian seas withdrew from our lands. The gorge is composed of limestone formations, which contain particles of coral, molluscs, shells, algae and marine animals.

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The Țuguieta Rock (Țugurlan)
The Țuguieta Rock (Țugurlan)

The legend about the Țugueta rock says that "the children of the giant men who once lived on these places used to play, throwing massive pieces of rock at each other. A sharper piece of stone fell on this rock and because of the more pointed shape of the stone, the name of the rock Țuguieta arose.

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The Tomb of the Giant
The Tomb of the Giant

The Giant's Tomb also has a legend. It is believed that giant men once lived here. The last of them is buried in this rock. The locals do not work this area, as legend has it that those who dared to work it either died suddenly or fell ill.

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The Mill Rock
The Mill Rock

The highest place in Brânzeni is called "Mill Rock". In the distant past, there was a water mill near the cliff on the right bank of the Racovăț River in the western part of the village. Not only the villagers came to the mill, but also people from neighboring villages. This is also where the name Stânca Morii comes from.

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Brînzeni Grottoes
Brînzeni Grottoes

The Brînzeni caves represent a natural monument of its kind geological or paleontological in Edineț district, Republic Moldova. They are located in the Brînzeni reefs, 13 km south-east of Brînzeni village, at the edge of the plateau on the left side of the Racovaț river; Edineț forestry bypass...

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The Râmb Rock
The Râmb Rock

Among the 4 reefs in the so-called Râmbu area, the most representative is at the edge of the village, oval-shaped (oncoid).  A cross has been erected on the rock of Râmb, which is called the "Patron Saint Cross".

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Figures

Ion Buzdugan, poet and fiery politician, former deputy in the National Council, author of the folklore collection ,,Songs from Bessarabia'' (1921), of the poetry books ,,Miresme din stepă'' (1922), ,,Țara mea'' (1928), ,,Păstori de timpuri'' (1937), ,,Metanii de Luceafăr'' (1942). He was born on 9 March 1887 and passed away on 29 January 1967, buried in Bellu cemetery in Bucharest. He studied agriculture at Gore-Gorky in Belarus and law at the Universities of Moscow and Iasi. He took his law degree in Iasi and his doctorate in economics in Chernivtsi. He participated in the First World War in the Russian army. He was an excellent translator of the poetry of Pushkin, Bloc, Severeanin and others, says academician Mihai Cimpoi in his book ,, An open history of Romanian literature in Basarabia''. 

As Secretary of the Presidium of the Country Council, he read out the Act of Union at the solemn and momentous meeting of 27 March 1918, saying slowly and fluently: "In the name of the people of Bessarabia, the Country Council declares: 

The Moldovan Democratic Republic (Bessarabia), in its borders between the Prut, the Dniester, the Black Sea and the old borders with Austria, torn by Russia a hundred years ago from the body of the old Moldavia, in the power of the historical right, in the power of the right of the nation and the brotherhood of blood, on the basis of the principle that the nations alone decide their own fate - from today on and forever, is united with mother Romania''. 

After the Union he served as a senator from Balti, undersecretary of state for industry and trade in Bucharest. 

Vasile Stroescu was born on November 11, 1845, in the village of Trinca, county of Hotin. He was the youngest of 15 children of Vasile Ion Stroescu and Porfira Gutu. He studied at the high school in Chișinău, the high school in Kamenets-Podolsk and the Richelieu high school in Odessa. He later studied law at the universities of Moscow, Petersburg and Berlin. He spoke French, Italian, German, English and Slavic. Afterwards, he travelled through the main cities of Europe. Returning to Bessarabia in 1867, he worked as a judge at the court in Hotin, where he met Alexandru Hasdeu, father of the famous B.P. Hasdeu. He was a judge until his father's death in 1875, when he gave up his career and settled in the village of Brînzeni, where he had an estate. 

Historians say that he inherited from his parents large herds of cattle, herds of horses, flocks of sheep, numerous manors and estates, with a total area of 9,000 ha. He managed them so well that by the end of his life he had grown to 25,000 ha. 

After 1900, he leased out his estates to peasants who had been formed into communes. He built churches in Șofrîncani, Zăicani, Pociumbăuți, Trinca and hospitals in Trinca and Brătușeni. He later donated the manor house of Brînzeni for the establishment of an agricultural school. "I am totally at the disposal of my country and my nation with all my heart and all my wealth, with all the mind that God has given me, I care for the nation's benefit, not for my own", Vasile Stroescu declared. 

Those who have researched Vasile Stroescu's life and work say that he was a phenomenon of the time, about which all the newspapers of the time wrote. Almost daily there was news about the great Basarabian Christian's generous deeds, and he was so popular" that his fame reached the ears of King Ferdinand I". He made most donations to the Romanians in Transylvania, especially for the establishment of Romanian-language village schools. In 1910 Stroescu sent 200,000 crowns to the Cultural Fund of Sibiu for the Orthodox village schools. 

On April 13, 1926, he died of illness at the Queen Elizaveta Hospital in Bucharest. He was given a national funeral, and the entire government was present at his burial. King Ferdinand and Queen Mary sent wreaths of flowers, as did the Presidency of the Council of Ministers and the Senate. He was buried in the cemetery of Saint Friday in Bucharest. 

Vasile Stroescu was a leading scholar, supporter of school education and a Basarabian politician, philanthropist and honorary member of the Romanian Academy, who promoted national culture. Shortly before his death, Vasile Stroescu donated the mansion with the dendrological park in the village of Brânzeni, as well as 100 ha of land - to the Agricultural School. The institution, with a rich library, played a colossal role in the development not only of agriculture, but also of education in the country. Thanks to the fact that over the years the manor has not been left without a master, it still preserves its history and beauty. 

The monument to Vasile Stroescu was originally erected in 1934 in Brînzeni, in front of the manor house, but it was destroyed after 1944. Since 11 November 2002, the bust of Vasile Stroescu has once again triumphed in Brînzeni. Also the local school bears the name of the great philanthropist Vasile Stroescu. 

Lidia Pînzari, an agricultural brigade leader, prospered by growing rich cereal and technical crops, was awarded the Golden Star "Hero of Socialist Labour" in 1966, was elected three times as a deputy in the Supreme Soviet of the Republic.

Silvia Chiriac, pop music performer, graduated from the State Conservatory ,,G. Muzicescu" Conservatory in Chisinau, has toured extensively in France, Russia, Germany, Romania, Israel, and is included in the prestigious encyclopedia "Women of Moldova".

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Video presentation

In the following video presentation, you will be invited to discover the beauty of the banks of the Prut River in the Republic of Moldova. This picturesque area is known for its idyllic landscapes, where the river Prut flows quietly through the hills


Photo Gallery

photos by Iurie Sveț – www.hikeme.club

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