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50 lei 2012 - Soroca Fortress
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30 mm diameter, 16.5 g, 99.9% silver, grained edge
year 2012, circular inscription REPUBLICA MOLDOVA meaning "REPUBLIC OF MOLDAVIA" and the coat of arms of the Republic of Moldavia, in exergue horizontal line and denomination "50 LEI"
an image of the fortress and inscription "CETATEA SOROCA" meaning "SOROCA FORTRESS"

Issuing date: 10th of October 2012

Mintage: 2000 coins

The coin belongs to the series Monuments of Moldavia, together with the 50 lei coin from 2008 featuring the Oak of Stephen the Great from Cobîlea, with the 50 lei coin from 2009 featuring the Struve geodetic arc and with the 50 lei coin from 2010 featuring the Orheiul Vechi nature and cultural reserve.

The fortress of Soroca is also represented on the 100 lei of 2007 coin issued by the Republic of Moldavia and dedicated to prince Peter Rareș, and on a commemorative silver coin of 100 rubles 2007 issued by Transnistria (self proclaimed state on the eastern strip of the Republic of Moldavia) as member of series Old Fortresses on Nistru.

About the Fortress of Soroca

The first information about the fortress of Soroca appearred in documents from the late reign of Stephen the Great and the Holy. The fortress was made of wood and earth at the time. Between 1543 and 1545 prince Peter Rareș rebuilt the fortress in stone.

The fortress of Soroca is circular, with four round towers and a rectangular gate tower. The inner diameter of the fortress is 26 meters wide.

As result of the Polish king John Sobieski's campaign of year 1691, the North of Moldavia was occupied by the Poles. A Polish garrison was then installed at Soroca. The efforts of voivod Constantin Cantemir to conquer back the fortress concluded with no result, as we learn from the chronicle of Ion Neculce: "In the seventh year of his reign Cantemir-voivod prepared himself with his army, and went to take the fortress of Soroca [...]. And they stood around the fortess some weeks, beating the fortress, having mounds and tunnels. They stormed too strongly and could not take it, and many army perrished then, when Turks and Moldavians gave assaults. And not so much army was inside the fortress, like two, three hundred dragoons and Cossacks; only that they from the fortress hit in man only, and those from outside could not spoil anything." Through the treaty of Carlowitz in 1699 the fortresses and monasteries occupied by the Poles were returned to Moldavia.

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