Situated in the middle of the downtown area of Chișinău, the capital city of Moldova, stands this statue and memorial to their best loved king, St. Stephen.
St. Stephen ruled for 47 years, longer than any other monarch dedicated to their country, not part of another power. Surrounded by very powerful enemies such as the the Ottoman Empire, the Kingdom of Poland, and the Kingdom of Hungary, Stephen was able to maintain his independence by fighting numerous wars and building strong fortresses on his borders.
He was sainted in 1992 by the Romanian Orthodox church because of his dedication and love for his country and the church.
Everywhere you go in Moldova you will see portraits, statues, and tapestries depicting St. Stephen. Children memorize poetry to honor his memory. He is well-loved.
What I love about this photo of his statue is that it not only shows him bestowing his power, but everyday life goes on around him. His subjects, if you will. We have a policeman and a passerby in the frame with him and the many wreaths of flowers that often decorate his statue.
You cannot go to Moldova and not learn about St. Stephen, a Moldovan hero.