City Legends and Myths

published by Bogoeva Elena

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"Places and Perspectives" Learning Circle
January-May, 2018
8V Form
"Petru Movila" Lyceum
Chisinau, Moldova
May 2018
City Legends and Myths
Legends about the origin of geographical objects or their names
These legends reflect the mentality of the population living in the region, the peculiarities of the local geographical space, the reflection of language features.
Radun, Belarus
Most likely, it takes its
name from the river

Starye Dorogy, Belarus
Once upon a time,there was a huge swamp.The people who lived on these swamps were called Dregovichi. They are said to be strong like bears and not to be afraid of going anywhere.But those big people disappeared over time. And those Dregovichi, who became smaller, could no longer walk in the swamps. They started to make roads to see if people lived beyond the swamp. They built new roads, and places were given different names. They once decided that one place would be called simply: "Dorogy" (Roads).
Legends about the origin of geographical objects or their names
Сhişinău, Moldova
A version says the name of the city comes from the Archaic Romanian word chișla (meaning "spring", "source of water") and nouă ("new"), because it was built around a small spring.

Edineţ, Moldova
Once the Jews, wandering along endless roads, discovered a beautiful place to live in. They called it Edineţ. The name comes from Eden (Paradise) and
Etz (tree). It turns out to be a "Paradise tree".

Legends about the origin of geographical objects or their names
Chişinău, Moldova
One more legend says that the city name was
formed the same way as the name of Chișineu
(alternative spelling: Chișinău) in
Western Romania, near the border with Hungary.
Its Hungarian name is Kisjenő that in its turn
comes from "kis" ("small") and the"Jenő",
one of the seven Hungarian tribes that entered
the Carpathian Basin in 896.

Edineţ, Moldova

A legend says one Turk, Edin by the name, was going to Europe, but on his way there was a small river. And Edin decided to build a bridge across the river. He built a bridge, then he decided that if there was a river and a bridge, then it was necessary to build a tavern where travelers could pass their time and rest before they set out to travel again. Well, no sooner said than done. Over time, this place became known as "la Edin". And people began to settle around the tavern. The settlement grew, became an important point on the trade routes.
Legends with ecclesiastic and religious content

                          Freckenhorst, Germany
A swineherd, Freckyo by name, saw frightening bright light among the trees in the dark forest for several times. His master Everword decided to see that mysterious light himself. 
The light indicated the outline of a house and of a man being about to measure the outline with a string. In his dream saint came to him and explained that in the light Everword had seen him measuring the house. The saint told him to set up the building in honour of God.
Everword erected the chapel (today's Petri chapel).
During their work, the workers found a stone showing the print of a human foot. Everybody was convinced that only Peter could have left his footprint there
The village itself got the name of Freckenhorst in honor of a faithful servant.

Thank you, Everword! Thank you, Freckyo!
Legends with ecclesiastic and religious content
Chisinau, Moldova
The rivalry between two boyar families of Mazaraki and Leu because of the ownership of the hill led to the death of Vasile Leu's wife.
Very soon she appeared in a dream to Vasily Mazaraki and said that "at the behest of God" she deprived the boyar's daughter of her sight until he built a temple on this hill instead of a manor. What Mazaraki did, and then his daughter began to see again.
Now it is the oldest historic building in Chisinau.

Legends about holidays
Radun, Belarus
Along the river Radunka there lived people glorifying life and expressing gratitude to their forefathers, celebrating the ancient pagan festival Radunitsa.
Ancient people considered this place "the center for the collection of the deceased souls", there was the concentration of all the magical, the abode of the gods. It is possible that the Radunitsa holiday has its name from the river Radunka, sacred for our ancestors.

The Radunitsa holiday is celebrated by Orthodox Christians in Russia, Belorus, Moldova, Ukraine, etc.
Legends about a happy country or a happy place, about utopian wealth, prosperity
Teleneşti, Moldova
Long, long ago, when the sky was clear and blue like sapphire, and the sun shone like the eyes of a lover, when beautiful fields, surrounded by green hills, stretched much longer than you could catch with the eye, when the bees, in their diligent flight, were buzzing in the garden smelling flowers of heaven, when the waters of the river were clearer than the tear flowing from the depth of the eye, a handful of people chose this place to live without a master and to walk proudly without bending their heads to another man. When the shadow of the valleys, the earth and the air of heaven were open to all, and life went smoothly like a dream,they built their houses under the edge of the forest that was warming and feeding them.
They were ingenious, they made the sweetest honey from all over the region. Their animals were quiet and well cared for, rewarding them with milk, wool, and meat. They were also very skillful in carving wood, in making carpets and other craftsmanship that attracted the neighbors.
Legends about a happy country or a happy place, about utopian wealth, prosperity

A boy lived in those times among these people, who for his talent to make cheese was called Teleme.
One day he treated a noble man traveling with his beautiful daughter to salty cheese and other things Teleme made himself .
The young people fell in love at first sight. The nobleman liked Teleme,but he could not give his daughter the permission to marry a simple shepherd. So the boy gathered the most beautiful sheep and cattle, fished in the river the fattest fish, filled a few pots with honey, some jars with black and white wine, took a little salted cheese, which only he could prepare so tasty, took the most aromatic wax, apples, plums, walnuts and many other goodies that were in abundance in that countryside and started his way to the lord of the country, Stephen the Great.
He brought all the goodies to the king. Stephen the Great wanted to see the worthy man. Introducing the boy, a servant  misspelled his name and called him Telene. The boy told the king about his problem. Stephen the Great thought it over for a log time consulting with scholars, then ordered to call the place the boy came from "Telenesti" and declared he would speak to the nobleman and those lands would be the wedding gift.
Years have passed by but the two lovers are still remembered for their courage to defend their love and build their happiness.
Telenesti, Moldova
Social legends: the legends about justice, about observance or violation of traditions.
Radun, Belarus
Once upon a time there lived two wealthy farmers in the village, Antony and Fyodor. The former was much older, much richer, more successful and not greedy. The latter was envious and wicked. And he had a dream to become much richer than Anthony.
Once Fyodor came to Antony and was invited to dine. He ate a lot and drank wine . But clever Antony realized that his neighbour had come with
black thoughts. He cut his trousers with a knife into small pieces. In a minute the village watched the drunk Fyodor going home almost without trousers.
He decided to kill Antony. He came to Antony's house for several times but every time some people threw him out and beat with long rods. And the whole village could hear him crying. Fyodor did not want to give up. He asked his people to help him.
They took swords and knives with them, as if they were going to a real war, and surrounded the house of Antony.
Fortunately Ganetka, Antony's wife, woke up just at the very moment and heard a suspicious noise.

Social legends about justice, about observance or violation of traditions.
She woke her husband immediately. Antony
understood everything, called his workers and ordered his people to charge the guns with salt and stand at the doors and windows.
When the sun rose, unexpected guests were driven out in disgrace. Fyodor was the last to leave Antony's yard.
And this time he was almost without pants. Tears streamed down his face. He was ashamed.
But Andony said:" How many times do I have to remind you to consult with clever people!"

Antony died long ago, but the memory of him remained in the name of the village. "Radun" originates from the clever and instructive word "radiitsa“ that means “to consult, to ask for advice”.

Urban legends about  underground cities, labyrinths and bunkers
The most widespread Chisinau urban legend is the one about “subterranean” city. It assumes the existence in different districts of the city of a number of bunkers connected with tunnels. Depending on the storyteller’s imagination, the length of tunnel network may vary from several hundred meters to tens of kilometers.

Chisinau, Moldova
Urban legends about mysterious houses
The Red Mill is one of the most mysterious buildings of Chisinau.
According to a legend, during the reconstruction of the mill after the fire of 1901the builders bricked up a girl in one of the
walls for the reliability.
True or not, it is not known, but after that the mill worked for
100 years.

Chisinau, Moldova
Like any other self-respecting city, Chisinau is famousfor ghosts and spirits incredible rumors and legends of which go up to this day.
In a house half-gone underground (because of close groundwater) according to legend, there is a ghost of a woman without a head.

Myths, widely held but false beliefs,  typically involving supernatural beings or events.
In the park at the Chisinau Tubercular Clinic there are lilac bushes that bloom even in the late autumn, when leaves fall
from all the trees. It is said that this is the work of a forest nymph, which gives sick people hope for recovery.

Chisinau, Moldova
Conflicts will disappear between lovers if the couple, holding hands, pass through the "bridge of lovers" in the park "Valley of the Roses."
For health and vigor of spirit and body, you must drink spring water or wash your body in the spring of Tamara. The place is said to be the most energetic place in Moldova. Some people say they see the column of light above the spring.

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