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

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Additional Photos by Malgorzata Kopczynska (emka) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 13046 W: 139 N: 33749] (153890)
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