Comrat is the capital of the Autonomous Territorial Unit of Gagauzia. It is situated in southern Мoldova, in the central part of the Budjak steppe on the Ialpug River. Comrat has a population of 30,000 people; 70% are ethnic Gagauz, a Turkic people who came to the area from Bulgaria in the early-1800s. The Gagauz people speak a Turkish dialect and also Russian; most are Orthodox Christians. In addition to the Gagauz, Comrat was settled by Bulgarians, Greeks, Jews and others. The first official reference to the city dates to 1789. Today, the city’s economy is sustained by agriculture and agro-processing. In and around Comrat there are several big wineries, a canning factory, a dairy farm, etc.
Wine: Comrat is situated in an important Moldovan winemaking region. Many wineries are located around the town and within the territory of Gagauzia, e.g. Tomai Vinex, Chirsova, Comrat Wines, Kazayak-Vin , Taraclia Wines. While most of these wineries do not actively receive tourists, locals can often arrange wine tasting for guests.
Culture: Within Comrat there are a number of cultural attractions, museums, monuments, and Churches, waiting to be discovered.
- National Gagauz History and Ethnographic Museum. A museum dedicated to Gagauz history and culture. Contact details: Lenin str. 162, Comrat, Moldova; tel. (+ 373 298) 23 356 / 22 694
- Gagauz Art Gallery
- Monument of Lenin (in front ofthe Gagauz Culture House)
- Monument to Tank Men
- Monument to the Afghan War Soldiers (sculptor, А. Caracioban)
- Monument to the Liberators (sculptor, Dubinovsky)
- National Gagauz University (Komrat Devlet Üniversitesi)
- St. John Orthodox Cathedral
- The Avenue of Fame of the Gagauz Nation
- Turkish Library in the name of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk
- Victory Square
Gagauz cuisine is unique. It draws on the nomadic past of the Gagauz people; many dishes feature milk, cottage cheese, and meat. It is spicier that traditional Moldovan food. Bread is an important part of the Gagauz diet, as are pastries with sheep’s cheese. Some of the most popular Gagauz dishes are: gözleme, hand-rolled sheep cheese pastry, and mandgya, a sauce with meat and red pepper pasta. And, of course no Gagauz feast is held without wine.
By car: Comrat is 90 km south of Chisinau. The journey normally takes 1 hour and 30 minutes. If driving to Comrat from Romania, the closest border posts are Cahul-Oancea and Leuseni-Albita. If driving to Comrat from Ukraine, the closest border posts are Basarabeasca and Bolgrad.
By bus: There is regular bus service between Comrat and Chisinau and other cities and towns in Moldova. Check the online bus schedules (in Romanian) for details; make sure you select Gara de Sud Chisinau, the station serving destinations in the south. Select Comrat station to find information about return trips to Chisinau or other destination.
- Hotel Altin Palace, Lenin str. 204E, Comrat, Moldova, Tel: (+373 298) 27 700, Web: http://altinpalace.com.md
- Hotel Aina, Pobeda str. 127A, Comrat, Moldova, Tel: (+373 298) 22 841
- Hotel Yunosti, Pobeda str. 52, Comrat, Moldova, Tel: (+373 298) 24 447 52