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Cricova is an underground city. The streets have a total length of more than 120 km and one move around in this maze with an electric mini-bus. Along the streets, there are barrels or bottles of wine. The streets have the names after the kind of wine there stored or produced.

Tunnels have existed under Cricova since the 15th century, when limestone was dug out to help build Chişinău. They were converted into an underground wine emporium in the 1950s.

Half of the roadways are used for wine storage. This "wine city" has its warehouses, tasting rooms and other facilities underground. It goes down to 100 meters below ground and holds 1.25 million bottles of rare wine. The oldest wine dates back to 1902. The temperature is maintained at about 12 °C all year round (which is perfect for wine). The winery was used for hiding Jews in wine barrels during the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union.

Legend has it that in 1966 cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin entered the cellars, re-emerging (with assistance) two days later.

The "Grand Cellars of Cricova" house a varied collection of wines, The National Oenotec. The unique exhibits ("Jerusalem of Easter" vintage 1902, the liqueur "Jan Becher" vintage 1902) together with other 158 brands from Burgundy, Moselle, Tokay, the Rhine, are in the collection of the establishment as well as of Moldova in general, comprising nowadays a total of about 1.3 million bottles. (From Wikipedia)

One can have a wine tasting here. I was not interested in it as I do not drink any wine.

For the Polish Trekkers - wina Tuska in Workshop.
Wordplay: Wina Tuska means the Wines of Donald Tusk or Donald Tusk fault.

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Additional Photos by Malgorzata Kopczynska (emka) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 11179 W: 148 N: 28394] (134838)
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