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Paternal Heritage

P r i n c i p a l i t y  o f   B E R L A D



Romania – Vaslui County – Bârlad

Bârlad [bɨrˈlad] is a town, located in Vaslui county, eastern Romania.  It lies on the banks of the Bârlad River, which waters the high plains of Moldavia.

In the vicinity of the modern town are ruins of a Roman camp.  The town served as the residence of the princes of Moldavia in the 14th century, and ruins from that period remain popular tourist attractions. The Royal Church, first erected during the reign of Basil, has been rebuilt and restored numerous times since the 17th century.  Bârlad is also the site of the Vasile Pârvan Museum.  Named for Romanian archaeologist Vasile Pârvan, it houses an eclectic collection that ranges from Romanian folk art to exhibits on the town’s famous citizens.  The city is the birthplace of Romanian Domnitor (Ruler) and diplomat Alexandru Ioan Cuza.

The economy of the modern town is based on light industry, notably textiles. Pop. (2010 est.) 69,049.  At Bârlad the railway from Iași diverges, one branch skirting the river Siret, the other skirting the Prut; both reunite at Galați. Along with a maze of narrow and winding streets, Bârlad features several notable modern buildings, including the hospital administered by the Saint Spiridion Foundation of Iași.


Scholars continue to debate the origin of the city’s name. The Hypatian Codex mentions a market town called Berlad, and some historians, influenced by a document Bogdan Petriceicu Hasdeu published in the 19th century, have tried to link this town and its inhabitants (variously considered Romanians, East Slavs or an amalgam) with the Moldavian Bârlad. Ioan Bogdandemonstrated that the Hasdeu document was false, thus invalidating the hypothesis. Like Siret and Suceava, the medieval town took its name from the adjacent river, but nothing more can be said for certain. Constantin Cihodaru linked the name, of possible Hungarian origin, to a Slavic word (berlo — “rod”, “cottage” or birlo — “swamp”), to which was added the Hungarian suffix -d, also found, for example, in the names Cenad, Arad, Tușnad and Tășnad. Supporting this notion is the historic presence of a significant Hungarian community, with traditions recalling the fight against the Tatars in the mid-14th century.


During World War II, Bârlad was captured on 24 August 1944 by Soviet troops of the 2nd Ukrainian Front in the course of the Jassy–Kishinev Offensive.

source: Britannica / Wikipedia

Bârlad 1134 – Prince Berladnyk  granted the  Berlad Charter  to the merchants of Mesembria.

In pre-historic times Moldavia was inhabited by Synthians and Thracian tribes [Getae, Dacians], who established an independent state in the 1st century BC.  From 106 – 273 AD, Southern Moldavia was part of the Roman Empire, which built Trajan Walls there.  From the 3rd century on it was invaded by many nomadic peoples, including the Goths, Huns, Avars, Bulgars, Maygars, Pechenegs, Cumans and Tatars.  From the 4th century on, particularly from the 6th, the East Slavic Antes settled there.   In the 9th and 10th centuries Moldavia was colonized by the proto-Ukrainian Tivertsians and Ulychians, who founded the towns of Perischen, Teyhen (now Bendery, or Tiaghina) and Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi.

In the 10th century, the territory of Moldavia came under the domination if Keivan Rus’, and from 1200 to 1340 it was ruled by the principality of Galicia-Volhynia.  Important trades routes from Galicia to the Black Sea passed through Moldavia and Galician merchants founded the town of Malyi Halych (now Galati).  In the 12th and 13th centuries a separate principality populated by fugitives of Galicia-Volhynia called Berladnyky (named after the Moldavian town of Berlad), existed in Southern Moldavia.  It’s most notable ruler was Ivan Rostylasvych, who became known as  Prince Berladnyk  .  In 1134, on an anniversary, Berlad is recognised as per the Letter: Berlad and the Berladnyky.  

Berladnyky (or Byrladnyky), peasant (smerd) or burgher refugees in Kyivan Rus’ who in the 12th century settled in the lower Danube region between the Seret (Siret) River and Prut River near the town of Berlad (Bîrlad).  The Berladnyky are first mentioned in the Hypatian Chronicle for 1159 in connection with the attack of a 6,000-man force led by the exiled  Prince Berladnyk  on Kuchelemyn and Ushytsia, cities of Halych principality. In 1160 the Berladnyky captured the city of Oleshia on the Dnipro River but were defeated eventually by the Kyivan prince Rostyslav Mstyslavych near the town of Dtsynia.  After the 13th century the Berladnyky are no longer mentioned in the chronicles.

The Soviet Union recognised the principality of Berlad as ‘a special principality belonging to the lateral line of Galician princes

source: Ukrainian Encyclopedia  /   /  Encyclopedia of Ukraine: Volume III: L-Pf