Walking through the historic streets of Chisinau, sooner or later, you will definitely see some high walls and the trees behind them. If you try to find the entrance to that park, you will never find it because it’s not a park – it’s the biggest stadium in Moldova. Well, in our case, the biggest abandoned one.
No tourist maps have this spot, because for the last 15 years at least it is growing wild.
I always have fun with my tourists when we pass by. I ask them what they think is there, behind those walls. The most common answers are cemetery, park, and hospital.
The National Stadium of the Moldovan Soviet Socialist Republic was built in faraway 1952. It was a big contemporary sports arena, but as with most Soviet infrastructure of the 20th century, it became just a ruin. Nowadays, the Municipality doesn’t have the money and any plan for reconstruction.
Several years ago, Chisinau ”exploded” when rumors appeared about the American Embassy in Moldova having a plan to rebuild the stadium into the third-largest embassy in the world! Most of the citizens wanted the stadium back or another park, but not the Embassy.
Despite all this, the National Stadium in Chisinau is one of my favorite spots. It represents an architectural beauty of Soviet times, a symbol of Moldovan bureaucracy and the place where nature defeats the city.