Transnistria: Bendery

The small town of Bendery is actually the second largest in Transnistria after Tiraspol. It surely looks like not much has changed here since the Soviet Union days – same drab buildings and atmosphere. Bendery is located in the western bank of Dniester and is the only town on this side of the river, controlled by Transnistria – it’s only steps from here to the checkpoint to Moldova. The town is actually quite old, first mentioned in 1408, back then a border outpost between old Moldavian kingdom and the Crimean tatars. Centuries later, the town changed hands multiple times during Russo-Turkish wars. Today, Bendery is another time-warp town of the realities of a breakaway unrecognized state – you won’t find international chains here, your ATM and credit card will not work, and there are hardly any souvenir shops.