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|— District (Raion) —|
|Country||Republic of Moldova|
|• Raion President||Mircea Martîniuc|
|• Total||1,043 km2 (403 sq mi)|
|Elevation||347 m (1,138 ft)|
|• Density||96.0/km2 (249/sq mi)|
|Time zone||EET (UTC+2)|
|• Summer (DST)||EEST (UTC+3)|
|Area code(s)||+373 30|
Ancient beginnings 
Archeological evidence of prehistoric occupation dating to 35000 to 50000 years ago has been found in the Soroco region near the village of Rudi. In about 400 to 300 BCE, ancient defensive walls were constructed. From the 800s to the 1100s AD, two cities developed. They were called "Farfuria Turceasca" and "Germanariul". In the twelfth and thirteenth centuries a genoese fortress appeared at Alchiona. In the period 1439-1457 villages are mentioned: Visoca, Vasilcău, Rudi and Pirlita.
The new town of Soroca 
In the second half of the 16th century Stephan the Great built a wooden fortress on the former Alchiona mount. The fortress was transformed into its present form between 1543-1546 during the reign of Peter IV Rareş. The creation of the town allowed for trade along the Nistru while providing protection from foreign invasion. For many years Soroca was a centre for arts and agricultural markets for the Principality of Moldova. At various points in time, Soroca was affected by wars with Tartars, Cossacks, Poles and Russians. Between 1684-1699, under control of the Poles, changes in Soroca were made. A deep moat was dug; a well was dug in the courtyard. 14 stone casemates inside[clarification needed]. Gradually over time, with more stable rule, the town and its region lost military importance.
Soroca in the 19th and 20th centuries 
In 1812, Soroca was occupied by Russia. The population became more varied as Russians, Ukrainians and Jews moved to the region. From 1849 to 1917 Soroca was governed as part of the Basarabia region of the Russian Empire. In 1918, at the conclusion of World War I, Bessarabia was made part of Romania. Until 1944, Soroca remained the administrative centre for this Romanian region. In 1944, as World War II reached its end, Soroca became part of the MSSR. Moldova became an independent state in 1991. Soroca has since remained an administrative region of Moldova.
Natural history 
The main geographical feature of Soroca is the Nistru Plateau. The terrain is hilly with deep valleys, dales and ravines. Other features include a gently rolling plain to the north west and the Raut and Nistru rivers. The highest points in Soroca are Vadeni Hill at 347m and the Visoca Hill at 330m.
The soil is grey or brown to the height of the Nistru prominence. In other areas, the soils are humic-calcareous, chernozem, alluvial soils or swampy. There are active processes of erosion, karst, torrents of mud and sometimes, landslides in the Soroca district.
The climate in Soroca is temperate-continental. Winter is usually mild and short with an average temperature of -5 to 6 degrees Celsius. Summer is long and warm with an average temperature of 20 to 21 degrees Celsius. The average annual rainfall is 485 mm. Soroca has a suitable climate for farming cereals, sugar beet, tobacco and also for horticulture.
Fauna in the district is typical of steppe areas. In the Nistru basin there are 68 species of fish. Most of Moldova's 270 bird species are present. There is both natural and introduced wildlife. The introduced species include 19 types of mammal, 37 bird species and 7 types of reptile. Native creatures include foxes, hedgehogs, stone marten, deer, wild boar, raccoon dog and wolf.
Natural resources 
Granite can be found in Cosauti and building stone at Ocland, Vărăncău and Visoca. Cretaceous limestones and iron ores were discovered near the village of Vărăncău. Limestone, for instance in Visoca, is mined for chalk and chalk dust (which is used to make paint). Banks of chalk are also found throughout the Nistru, including in Cremenciug, Soroca, Vasilcău, Vărăncău and Cerlina. The limestone is extracted in Visoca.
Protected areas 
- Baxani forest
- Cosauti landscape reserve
- Hill "Casca" from Cremenciug
- Nistru threshold from Cosauti
- Reef mounds near Visoca
- Rudi-Arionesti landscape reserve
The Nistru river creates 93 km of the eastern boundary of Soroca. The barrier of the Nistru plateau means the tributaries are short (15 to 25 km). Water from the Nistru river is used for irrigation, public supply and industry. Reservoirs have been constructed to meet public demand. There are also 64 natural reservoirs.
Administrative subdivisions 
Soroca has sixty-eight subdivisional areas and thirty-three villages containing thirty-four commons. The administrative centre is the town of Soroca.
On 1 January 2012, the district population was 100100. 37.5 percent live in urban areas and 63.5 percent in rural areas.
- Births (2010): 1051 (10.5 per 1000)
- Deaths (2010): 1427 (14.2 per 1000)
- Growth Rate (2010): -376 (-3.7 per 1000)
Ethnic groups 
|Ethnic group||Population||% of total*|
Christians make up 98.4% of Soroca's population. The great majority (97.8%) are of the orthodox faith. Those of Protestant denominations make up 0.6% of the population while those of other religions or no religion constitute 1.6%.
- Orthodox Christians - 97.8%
- Protestant - 0.6%
- Other - 1.1%
- No Religion 0.5%
Soroca hosts 24645 registered businesses. 62795 hectares (60.2 percent) of the total land area is used for agriculture. Arable land occupies 55 801 ha (53.5 percent) of the total agricultural land area:
- orchards - 6348 (6.0%) ha,
- vineyards - 134 ha, others - 512 ha.
- grassland - 11794 ha (11.3%)
- other - 512 ha.
Soroca has about 58 educational institutions catering for preschool to tertiary students. The total number of students is approximately 12023. Among others, there is a boarding school in Visoca; a special school in Soloneţ; as well as a temporary placement centre for at risk children. In Azimut there is "The Icarus day center for disabled children". In Dacia there is "The house of hope" for youth. Specialised areas of education include sports, teachers' training, agricultural training and a school for the arts. A vocational school has about 308 students.
Soroca lies in the North Red electoral region. In elections of the first decade of the twenty-first century, the PCRM achieved 50% of the vote in Soroca. See the table below for the results of the 2010 election.
|Parties and coalitions||Votes||%||+/−|
|Party of Communists of the Republic of Moldova||20,595||46.29||−2.36|
|Liberal Democratic Party of Moldova||9,816||22.06||+8.68|
|Democratic Party of Moldova||6,322||14,21||-1.88|
|Party Alliance Our Moldova||2,097||4.71||−5.86|
|European Action Movement||937||2.11||+2.11|
|Total (turnout 60.25%)||44,867||100.00||
The Soroca region hosts a number of cultural centres and libraries. There are also museums, art galleries and monuments. The region preserves objects of national importance and local importance. There are two monasteries: The Monastery of the Assumption in Cosuti and the Monastery of Rudi.
Soroca has a general hospital with about 375 beds. It is complemented by general practitioners, health centres and specialists.
- Emanuil Gavrilita - Lawyer, journalist and activist
- Eugen Coca - Composer and violinist
- Kira Muratova - Director, screenwriter
- Leonte Tismăneanu - Communist militant
- Luda Kroitor - Australian dancer, five-time world champion salsa, winner of the Australian show "Dancing with the Stars" (2008)
- Robert Steinberg - Canadian and American mathematician, known for his work on representation theory
- Samuel Bronfman - Canadian businessman, billionaire, philanthropist and founder of the distillery company "Seagram"
See also