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20 lei 2009
Church of Căușeni
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22 mm diameter, 8 g, 92.5% silver, reeded edge
year 2009, circular inscription REPUBLICA MOLDOVA meaning "REPUBLIC OF MOLDAVIA" and the coat of arms of the Republic of Moldavia, in exergue denomination "20 LEI"
inside linear circle the church of Căușeni and inscription sec. XVII, circular inscription BISERICA "ADORMIREA MAICII DOMNULUI" DIN CĂUȘENI • meaning "DORMITION OF THE THEOTOKOS" CHURCH IN CĂUȘENI

Maximum mintage: 1000 coins

The coin was struck by the Czech Mint.

The event Moldova 650 was celebrated by the National Bank of Moldavia through the issue of a special anniversary set comprised by 4 values (church of Căușeni, Codex of Vasile Lupu, Moldavian chronicles and Moldavia 650).

About Bugeac and Căușeni or Căușani

The locality of Căușeni, south of the city of Tighina, on river Botna, is very old; in the time of Dimitrie Cantemir it was a borough, being controlled by Tatars from strains Orac Ugli and Orumbet Ugli (Descriptio Moldaviae).

The south of Moldavia to the Danube and the Black Sea has worn since the foundation of the principalities the name of Basarabia, bearing in mind that a strip of land belonged to the Walachian dinasty of Basarab before being conceded to Moldavia. Starting with 1484 in the times of Stephen the Great and ending with the first defeat of Petru Rareș in 1538, the region entered the Ottoman control over to the city of Tighina on Nistru in the north. The name of Basarabia was extended even from that time to this stretch of land, that also received the name of Bugeac. The name comes from Turkish, meaning corner or triangle, referring to the area between the fortresses of Ismail, Cetatea Albă and Tighina. The Ottoman brought Tatars there to support their rule and help control the principality of Moldavia, Căușeni becoming the Tatarian capital of Bugeac.

About the Old Church of Căușeni

The Christians in Bugeac were shepherded by the Metropolitan of Proilavia (Brăila, town in Walachia, at the time Turkish raya - territory ruled directly by the Turks, but with non-Muslim subjects).

The stone church Dormition of the Theotokos in Căușeni was built around 1760, being founded by metropolitan Daniil of Proilavia and Moldavian prince Grigore Callimachi (1761-1764, 1767-1769). According to the tradition, the contruction was erected on the emplacement of an older one, probably from the 17th century. The church's frescos, completely covering the inside walls, were painted in 1763 by painters Stanciu and Voicu.

The church is built to a large proportion, uncommonly, under ground level, so it looks very short. It is said that this was the rule for all churches in the Turkish raya's: the Ottoman rule did not allow churches taller than a horseman astride.

This detail is gently touched by poet Nicolae Dabija, in the poem Biserica din Căușeni :

Schitu-ntre vii și morți -

          stă ca un legământ.

Pe jumătate-n cer. Pe jumătate în pămînt.

Monastery between live and dead -

          stands like a vow.

Half in the sky. Half in the ground.

Another excerpt of Pietre vechi [Old Stones] by poet Alexei Mateevici is below:

În Bugeac, la Căușeni

Dorm strămoșii moldoveni,

Numai pietre de mormînt

Mai păstrează-al lor cuvînt.

In Bugeac, at Căușeni

Sleep Moldavian ancestors,

Only tombstones

Hold still their word.

The coin pictures above are present on the site through the permission of an anonymous donor. These pictures, like all other pictures displayed on Romanian coins / Monede românești, cannot be used in any circumstances to illustrate auctions or sales and cannot be posted on other web page without the permission of the owner.

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