By: The PH Team
Transnistria is an unrecognized country, internationally recognized as part of Moldova. The country, once part of the Soviet Union, is said to be the best remaining example of the USSR today.
Transnistria has adopted many of the state symbols and culture of the Soviet Union, and as such has become a magnet for international tourists and enthusiasts interested in Soviet and communist history.
1) Remnant of the Soviet Union
Transnistria is known for its likeness to the Soviet Union. It is a country stuck in a Soviet time-warp and offers tourists a glimpse into its communist past.
The country is home to the only remaining flag in the world still equipped with a hammer and sickle. In addition, Transnistria is known to have a large and authentic collection of statues of Vladimir Lenin around the country - including in front of the country's parliament building.
But why stop there? the country might also be home to the last remaining Soviet military parade, which still take place every year on the country's independence day.
2) FC Sheriff Tiraspol
FC Sheriff Tiraspol, commonly known as Sheriff Tiraspol or simply Sheriff, is a football (soccer) club based in Tiraspol, Transnistria.
Formed in 1996 as Tiras Tiraspol, the team was renamed Sheriff the following year, taking its name from the company Sheriff - the second biggest company in the unrecognized country.
Sheriff owns a long list of industries in Transnistria. The company owns chains of gas stations, supermarkets, a construction company, a publishing house, a tv channel, a hotel, a Mercedes car dealership, an alcohol factory and other companies and agencies - giving Transnistria the unofficial name of 'the land of Sheriff.'
Although FC Sheriff is a team from Tiraspol, the capital of Transnistria, the club actually plays in Europe (UEFA) as a Moldovan team.
Since the team also hosts the best stadium in both Moldova and Transnistria, the Moldovan national team has been known to play home games at Sheriff Stadium in Transnistria - a very unusual arrangement indeed.
3) The Transnistrian Ruble
The Transnistrian Ruble is the unrecognized currency of an unrecognized country. Yes, Transnistria has its own currency that has no value anywhere else in the world!
This means that upon entry to the country, all foreign currency must be exchanged into local Transnistrian Rubles (businesses cannot accept anything else).
Upon exiting Transnistria, the currency which bought all of your necessities during your trip, is now no more valuable than monopoly money and is not recognized as legal tender anywhere in the world.
4) Abandoned Places
During the Soviet Union, Transnistria was home to most of the heavy industry within the Moldovan SSR. As such, after the dissolution of the former country, the newly independent Transnistria was left with all of the existing infrastructure.
Due to years of neglect, mismanagement and inability to keep operating certain industries, the country has been left with a large collection of abandoned and authentic Soviet factories, buildings and other infrastructure.
5) KVINT Brandy
KVINT is a winery and distillery based in Tiraspol, the capital of Transnistria. Founded in 1897, the company produced only vodka until 1938, when it began producing brandy.
The company is the oldest commercial enterprise in the region that is still in operation. Locals consider KVINT a national treasure and a symbol of their country. In fact, the KVINT factory is shown on the 5 Transnistrian Ruble banknote.
In addition to its local fame, KVINT was widely considered the best brandy of the Soviet Union and still is in many post-Soviet states.
KVINT is one of Transnistria's largest exporters. The company exports its products to countries around the world including; Italy, China, Russia, Israel, Ukraine and other post-Soviet states. In addition, KVINT brandy has gone to the Vatican and has also been taken into space.
These products are exported however, under the 'Made in Moldova' label and not Transnistria, according to international law as Transnistria is not a recognized country.