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Soroca District

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Soroca District

Soroca
District (Raion)
Flag of Soroca
Flag
Coat of arms of Soroca
Coat of arms
Location of Soroca
Country  Republic of Moldova
Administrative center
(Oraş-reşedinţă)

Soroca
Government
 • Raion President Mircea Martîniuc
Area
 • Total 1,043 km2 (403 sq mi)
Elevation 347 m (1,138 ft)
Population (2012)
 • Total 100,100
 • Density 96.0/km2 (249/sq mi)
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
 • Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)
Postal Code 230
Area code(s) +373 30
Car plates SR
Website www.soroca.org.md

Soroca is a district in north-east Moldova. Its administrative center is the town of Soroca. At 1 January 2011, the population of the region was 100400.

History

Soroca county Zemstvo, 1911

Ancient beginnings

Archeological evidence of prehistoric occupation dating to 35000 to 50000 years ago has been found in the Soroco region near the village of Rudi. In about 400 to 300 BCE, ancient defensive walls were constructed. From the 9th century to the 12th century CE, two cities developed. They were called "Farfuria Turceasca" and "Germanariul". In the 12th and 13th centuries, a genoese fortress appeared at Alchiona. In the period 1439-1457, villages are mentioned: Visoca, Vasilcău, Rudi and Pirlita.

The new town of Soroca

In the second half of the 16th century, Stephan the Great built a wooden fortress on the former Alchiona mount. The fortress was transformed into its present form between 1543-1546 during the reign of Peter IV Rareş. The creation of the town allowed for trade along the Nistru while providing protection from foreign invasion. For many years Soroca was a centre for arts and agricultural markets for the Principality of Moldova. At various points in time, Soroca was affected by wars with Tartars, Cossacks, Poles and Russians. Between 1684-1699, under control of the Poles, changes in Soroca were made. A deep moat was dug; a well was dug in the courtyard. 14 stone casemates inside . Gradually over time, with more stable rule, the town and its region lost military importance.

Soroca in the 19th and 20th centuries

In 1812, Soroca was occupied by Russia. The population became more varied as Russians, Ukrainians and Jews moved to the region. From 1849 to 1917 Soroca was governed as part of the Basarabia region of the Russian Empire. In 1918, at the conclusion of World War I, Bessarabia was made part of Romania. Until 1944, Soroca remained the administrative centre for this Romanian region. In 1944, as World War II reached its end, Soroca became part of the MSSR. Moldova became an independent state in 1991. Soroca has since remained an administrative region of Moldova.

Natural history

Geography

The main geographical feature of Soroca is the Nistru Plateau. The terrain is hilly with deep valleys, dales and ravines. Other features include a gently rolling plain to the north west and the Raut and Nistru rivers. The highest points in Soroca are Vadeni Hill at 347m and the Visoca Hill at 330m.

Soil

The soil is grey or brown to the height of the Nistru prominence. In other areas, the soils are humic-calcareous, chernozem, alluvial soils or swampy. There are active processes of erosion, karst, torrents of mud and sometimes, landslides in the Soroca district.

Climate

The climate in Soroca is temperate-continental. Winter is usually mild and short with an average temperature of -5 to 6 degrees Celsius. Summer is long and warm with an average temperature of 20 to 21 degrees Celsius. The average annual rainfall is 485 mm. Soroca has a suitable climate for farming cereals, sugar beet, tobacco and also for horticulture.

Fauna

Fauna in the district is typical of steppe areas. In the Nistru basin there are 68 species of fish. Most of Moldova's 270 bird species are present. There is both natural and introduced wildlife. The introduced species include 19 types of mammal, 37 bird species and 7 types of reptile. Native creatures include foxes, hedgehogs, stone marten, deer, wild boar, raccoon dog and wolf.

Flora

7 percent of the district is forested. Common trees include oak, hornbeam, maple, linden, ash and elm. Beneath the trees are hawthorn, hazel, cocksfoot, honey bear and others.

Natural resources

Granite can be found in Cosauti and building stone at Ocland, Vărăncău and Visoca. Cretaceous limestones and iron ores were discovered near the village of Vărăncău. Limestone, for instance in Visoca, is mined for chalk and chalk dust (which is used to make paint). Banks of chalk are also found throughout the Nistru, including in Cremenciug, Soroca, Vasilcău, Vărăncău and Cerlina. The limestone is extracted in Visoca.

Protected areas

Rivers

The Nistru river creates 93 km of the eastern boundary of Soroca. The barrier of the Nistru plateau means the tributaries are short (15 to 25 km). Water from the Nistru river is used for irrigation, public supply and industry. Reservoirs have been constructed to meet public demand. There are also 64 natural reservoirs.

Administrative subdivisions

Soroca has sixty-eight subdivisional areas and thirty-three villages containing thirty-four commons. The administrative centre is the town of Soroca.

Demographics

On 1 January 2012, the district population was 100100. 37.5 percent live in urban areas and 63.5 percent in rural areas.

  • Births (2010): 1051 (10.5 per 1000)
  • Deaths (2010): 1427 (14.2 per 1000)
  • Growth Rate (2010): -376 (-3.7 per 1000)

Ethnic groups

Ethnic group Population % of total*
Moldovans (Romanians) 85,659 90.18%
Ukrainians 4,752 5.00%
Russians 2,601 2.74%
Gypsies 1,564 1.65%
Jews 65 0.07%
Gagauzians 53 0.06%
Bulgarians 48 0.05%
Others 244 0.26%

Religion

Christians make up 98.4% of Soroca's population. The great majority (97.8%) are of the orthodox faith. Those of Protestant denominations make up 0.6% of the population while those of other religions or no religion constitute 1.6%.

Economy

Soroca hosts 24645 registered businesses. 62795 hectares (60.2 percent) of the total land area is used for agriculture. Arable land occupies 55 801 ha (53.5 percent) of the total agricultural land area:

Education

Soroca has about 58 educational

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