It is one of the oldest settlements (1410, though, other sources also mention the year 1496) in the Lower Dniester area, dating back to the times of Alexandru cel Bun. Meanwhile, archaeological digs in the region suggest that the village has been populated for over 14 millennia. Traces of cultures from various periods, such as the late Paleolithic, Bronze, and Roman periods, as well as the time of great migrations, were found here. Olanesti is also found on the 1641 map of the Italian geographer Samsone.
It is believed that the name of the village comes either from “olane” (tiles), made of burned clay by the craftsmen from village to cover the roof of the houses, or is of Alano-Eastern origin being in connection with the name “răzești”, which would mean “man of the nation”, “free householder”, who were engaged in agriculture and cattle breeding.
A beautiful village legend says that “when the dragons attacked the Moldavian land, it caused a lot of mayhem; they would steal and destroy everything, they would take the girls to a place only they knew. Yet, a brave young man from the village, in one of the fights, has stricken the dragon freeing the girls from the hidden mysteries of a big mound”. After freeing the land of the dragons, he found the love of his life here, and to this day, the Mound of the Dragon can be found in Olanesti, and the locals frightened, try to avoid it.
EXCURSIONS AND LOCAL VISITS ■
2 beaches on the bank of Dniester River, the former river port, the ponds of Mihalcea, picturesque valleys with lakes, powerful springs, the Emperor’s Forest, etc. , at the shrine on the old Moldavian Road, at the old halt (1410), where one can still find old houses, old cellars, the mill, but also legendary places: Dragons’ Mound, at the old mound, Emperor’s Forest, etc.;
■ the new “St. Parascheva” church, which was built in 1990, incorporating elements of the national romanticist style, on a place with a special history. Here, in the XVI century, there was a small church made of clay and reeds, which was destroyed by the Turks. The church was rebuilt, once again, using clay and it was only in the XVIII century that it was reconstructed out of wood. In 1832 the “St. Parascheva” church was built here using stone this time, but it was also destroyed in 1973. Likewise, during the Soviet period, “St. Constantin and Elena” church (1912) was demolished, as well as the manor house of the Greek boyar and the natural lakes of the Dniester River. Picturesque landscapes can be captured in different parts of the village. The local museum inside the “B.P. Hasdeu” High School, the park from Olanesti village of about 800 ha, sophora trees, Japanese acacia, other exotic tree species, which according to the local legend were planted by M. Kutuzov’s armies who stayed here one winter (around 200 years ago) can all be found here.
THE SILVIAN NATURAL RESERVATION “OLANEȘTI”
The reservation occupies a forested segment fenced from three different sides by a meander of the Dniester, which covers an area of 108 ha on the western border of Olanesti village. Here, various tree species such as the white poplar, Euro-American poplar, ash, pedunculated oak, elm and willow tree are protected being harmoniously combined with hake and couch grass meadows. The reservation preserves the specific biodiversity of meadow forests, which improves the microclimate and the hydrological regime, maintains the high flow of rivers, favors the increase of groundwater reserves, protects the waters from pollution and the banks of the river from landslide. Thus, the forest vegetation has been kept in an almost natural state without major human intervention here. It is recommended to visit the reservation during the spring-autumn period while the vegetation is thriving.
T. Anthoci (embroidery),
S. Burdiugov (sewing combined with beads),
V. Spinenco (osier plaiting),
Nadejda Sciur (crochet, leather),