Location: Agapia village, 45 km far from Piatra
Neamt, in Neamt Depression.
Description: The monastery’s name derives from the hermit
Agapie who founded initially a wooden hermitage in the place
called “Parents’ Orchard” at the end of
the 14th century (The Old Agapia). The monastery was restored
by the ruler Petru Rares (1541-1546), when it was built the
first Princely Church and after that it concerned two other
rulers Peter the Limp and Duca Voivode. It was during the
16th century when the Old Agapia was moved to its actual place
(New Agapia). New Agapia Monastery was built by hetman Gavriil,
brother of Vasile Lupu, the ruler of that time. Between 1858
-1862 the monastery was repainted by the famous Romanian painter
Nicolae Grigorescu, who was 20 years old at that time. The
monastery houses a valuable museum which displays icons, embroidery,
religious objects and a precious crucifix carved in cypress
Location: Viisoara village , 9km far from Piatra
Neamt, somewhere near the confluence of Viisoara River with
Bistrita River , at the feet of Cetatuia Hill.
Description: It was built during the rule of Prince Alexander
the Good. Along the time the monastery was consolidated and
some new buildings were added during the rule of Stephen the
Great (when the steeple and the chapel were built; he also
gave a bell on which Moldavia’s coat of arm appeared).
In 1554, the monastery was consolidated totally by Petru Rares
who brought numerous talented painters from Venice. The monastery
also houses a valuable museum which conserves precious religious
objects, icons and other original art objects. (This is where
the first Manuscript of Moldavia was written). One of the
attractions of the monastery is the making miracles icon of
Saint Ann (who is also the protector of the monastery) offered
in 1401 by the Emperor Manuel Paleologul to the ruler Alexander
the Good. Here, at Bistrita Monastery, the princely family
decided to bury some of his members: Prince Alexander the
Good with his wife, two children of Stephen the Great (Alexander
and Ana ) .
Location: in Vanatori-Neamt village, 16 km far
from Piatra Neamt in an aria covered by forests and orchards,
situated at the feet of Plesu and Debreanu Hills just at their
contact with Stanisoara Mountains, somewhere next to the confluence
of Neamt (Ozana) River with Nemtisor River.
Description: This monastery was built under the reign of Peter
I Musat (14th century). In 1467 the monastery’s church
was destroyed by a fire and after that it was restored under
the rule of Stephen the Great. In 1471 the church was seriously
damaged by an earthquake so Stephen the Great financed the
construction of a new one. This new church is today considered
to be a monument of Moldavian architectural style from Stephen
the Great’s era. Neamt Monastery houses also a valuable
library (18.000 volumes, many of them being written in Greek
and Slave), one of the oldest in Romania. Here was also founded
a School of penmanship and miniature, typography and a School
of Painting. The Old Art Museum still keeps many manuscripts,
paintings (one of them belonging to Nicolae Grigorescu and
being realized prior to those from Agapia Monastery), printings,
embroidery and golden and silver religious objects as well.
Location: Vanatori-Neamt village, Neamt County,
at north-eastern feet of Stanisoara Mountains, on the Secu
Description: In 1602, Nestor Ureche, the famous chronicler
Grigore Ureche’s father, built this monastery, whose
decorations remind us about the Wallachian architectonic style
(southern side of Romania). In 1821 the monastery was set
on fire by the Ottomans. Between 1821 -1825 followed a period
of restorations. After Tudor Vladimirescu’s Revolution,
it became an important centre of the fights sustained by the
Greek people against the Ottomans. The painting was restored
in 1850. The Art Museum houses a collection of embroidery,
carpets, religious objects, a wooden cross brought from Mount
Athos, manuscripts, printings, including the Homily of Bishop
Varlaam, the first book printed in Moldavia. Here, at the
Secu Monastery, the Bishop Varlaam and Nestor Ureche found
their resting places.
Location: Manastirea Neamt village, 25 km far
from Targu Neamt, on Secu Valley.
Description: Sihastria Monastery was founded around 1655 by
the Bishop from Husi and was restored in 1734. In 1821 it
was invaded and set on fire by the Ottomans, being repaired
Location: Varatec village, 45 km far from Piatra
Neamt, in Neamt Depression.
Description: Between 1781 -1785, the Nun Olimpiada settled
this monastery, on the foundation of an old hermitage set
up by noble Ieremia Movila. The present church was built between
1808 -1812 and represents a marvelous architectural achievement
combining Neoclassicism elements with features of the Moldavian
style from the beginning of the 19th century.
Location: Radauti , 38 km far from Suceava.
Description: Is the oldest religious monument made of stone
from the entire Bucovina. Built in 1360, on the place where
a religious settlement already existed, the church seems to
have been founded by Bogdan I, the first ruler of Moldavia.
There were other rulers who contributed to the enlargement
of the building, for example Alexandru Lapusneanu (who added
the porch in 1559) and Stephen the Great. The inner painting
is the result of several repaintings made in different periods.
The church shelters the Musat family’s graves, the first
family of rulers in Moldavia.
Location: Arbore village, 32 km far from Suceava,
on Solca Valley.
Description: Arbore Monastery was built between the 2nd of
April and the 29th of August 1503 by Luca Arbore and it was
conceived as the chapel of the landowner’s court and
as his family’s resting place. The church has a rectangular
shape and it has no steeple as it was built by a landowner
(only the princely churches had the privilege to have a steeple).
The painting was realized later, in 1541 by Dragos Coman and
its background is green. The monastery’s painting repeats
themes become classical: The Doomsday, the Constantinople
Siege. The church shelters Luca Arbore’s grave, the
most important Gothic funeral monument from Moldavia. The
church is a UNESCO protected monument.
Location: Mitocu Dragomirnei village, 12 km
far from Suceava.
Description: Dragomirna Monastery was built between 1602 -1609
by the future Bishop of Moldavia, Anastasie Crimca. Between
1627 -1635 during the rule of Miron Barnovschi, because of
the frequent Turkish assaults, the monastery was strengthened
with defence walls and towers which contributed to its present
fortress–like appearance. The stone carved belt with
its three branches, alternately twined, which surrounds the
church in its median part and the church’s steeple with
its rich geometrical and floral ornamental motifs draw the
Location: Manastirea Humorului village, 5 km
far from Gura Humorului, Suceava County.
Description: Humor Monastery was built in 1530 by the chancellor
Teodor Bubuiog, replacing an old one. In 1535 the mural painting
was realized by Toma from Suceava, a famous painter of that
time and has as its central motif Constantinople Siege. The
dominant colour is brick-coloured red. In 1641 the ruler Vasile
Lupu added the belfry. Humor Monastery houses a valuable collection
of icons dating from the 16th century. Humor Monastery is
a protected UNESCO monument.
Location: Vatra Moldovitei village, in Campulung
Description: Moldovita Monastery was built between 1402 -1410
by Alexander the Good. At the beginning of the 16th century
the monastery fell down because of a landslide. In 1532 the
ruler Petru Rares built a new monastery 500 m south from the
old one. At the same time he surrounded it with a strong defence
wall and guard towers. The outside painting was realized in
1537 by Toma from Suceava. On the southern wall we can admire
the Siege of Constantinople, the Tree of Jesus and the group
of some famous ancient philosophers. Moldovita Monastery houses
a valuable museum which proudly displays the Golden Apple,
a prize presented by the International Journalists Association
to all five Moldavian monasteries with external mural paintings
for highly recognized artistic and cultural value. Moldovita
Monastery is a UNESCO protected monument.
Location: Putna village, 72 km far from Suceava.
Description: Putna Monastery was the first monastery built
by the ruler Stephen the Great. The actual construction took
place between 1466-1469. In 1481 the monastery was fortified
(now were added the defence wall and the Gate Tower). In 1484
it was badly harmed by a fire but in 1498 Stephen the Great
financed the restoration. Destroyed during an assault in 1653,
the monastery’s church was rebuilt between 1654-1662
during the rules of Vasile Lupu, Gheorghe Stefan and Eustratie
Dabija. The only building left from Stephen the Great’s
era is the Exchequer Tower. The church shelters Stephen the
Great’s tomb, those of his two wives: Maria Voichita
and Maria de Mangop and also those of his descendants up to
Petru Rares. The icon brought from Constantinople by Maria
de Mangop is considered to be miracle-making. The museum of
the monastery has a vast collection of manuscripts and other
religious books, icons and religious objects.
Location: Sucevita village, 49 km far from Suceava.
Description: Sucevita Monastery was founded by Gheoghe Movila,
Bishop of Moldavia between 1581-1584. Later, his brother,
Ieremia Movila fortified the monastery by adding the defence
wall and the towers. The painting was realized by two painters,
Ioan and Sofronie between 1595-1596. The external painting
has as its dominant colour the dark green. On the northern
wall it is depicted the Ladder of Virtues, which symbolizes
the fight between the right and wrong and on the southern
wall appears the Tree of Jesus. Sucevita Monastery is the
resting place of Movila family. The monastery’s museum
is one of great value and displays among other things some
pieces of embroidery made of golden and silver threads, silk
threads and pearls dating from the 15th or 16th century. The
most important are the portraits of Ieremia and Simion Movila
and an epitaph made of pearls. Sucevita Monastery is one of
the five monasteries which were awarded with the Golden Apple
by the International Journalists Association for it’s
Location: Voronet locality, 38 km far from Suceava.
Description: Voronet Monastery was built only in 3 months
and 3 weeks in 1488, being founded by the ruler Stefan the
Great. In 1547, under the supervision of the Metropolitan
Bishop Grigore Rosca, the porch was added. The inside painting
was realized between 1535- 1543, but the international fame
of the monastery is due to the outside painting realized in
1547. Voronet is considered to be the “Sistine Chapel
of the East” due to its magnificent frescoes, especially
the ones on the western wall, a representation of the Last
Judgement. “Voronet Blue” has been added to the
world’s lexicon of art alongside colours like “Titian
Red” of Rubens and “Veronese Green”. The
steeple has two ringing bells which were given to the monastery
by Stephen the Great and when they are pulled they seem to
call the founder’s name. The monastery shelters the
tomb of Grigore Rosca, the Metropolitan Bishop and the one
of Saint Pious Daniil the Hermit. Voronet Monastery is a protected
Location: in Iasi, on Cetatuia Hill situated
in south-eastern part of the city.
Description: Cetatuia Monastery was built between 1668 -1672
by the ruler Gheorghe Duca in worship of the Holy Tomb from
Jerusalem. From the beginning the monastery was fortified,
being surrounded by defence wall and towers. First thing that
strikes you is the fact that the entire monastic architectural
ensemble is totally preserved. Within the monastery’s
walls we can find the princely palace, a typical fortified
building dating from the 17th century. On the southern side
of the monastery are situated the wine cellars which preserve
the wonderful wines obtained from the monastery’s vineyard.
On top of the tower called “The pilgrim’s dinner”
we can admire a beautiful view of Iasi city. The inner painting
of the church was made by Mihai, Gheorghe and Toma from Ioannina
(Greece) in post-Byzantine tradition. The Tree of Jesus and
the Final Judgement representations are almost unspoiled.
In 1682 Duca Voda installed a printing press at Cetatuia Monastery
which produced books for Orthodox Christians for the East.
The Galata Monastery
Location: in Iasi, on Galata Hill.
Description: Galata Monastery was founded by Petru Schiopul
(Peter the Limp) between 1582 -1584 and was named after the
famous Constantinople’s quarter, where the Moldavian
princes stayed during their visit to the Ottoman Court waiting
for the Sultan’s approval of their rule. Surrounded
by a strong wall with an imposing belfry, the monastery’s
church is an exceptional architectural achievement, a synthesis
of Moldavian style with elements of Byzantine style. In 1762,
due to a fire, the church’s original painting was destroyed.
The church was repainted in the 19th century. The structure
of the ground floor and the cellar are the only things left
from the old church. The restoration works from the 70’s
have revealed some princely tombs (Despina and Vlad, two children
of Petru Schiopu and Maria Amirali, the prince's wife).
Location: in Iasi.
Description: Golia Monastery was founded by the great boyar
Ioan Golia in 1564. The church was rebuilt on a greater scale
by Prince Vasile Lupu between 1650 -1653 and finished by his
son, Stefanita. The church is made of white stone. The Golia
tower is 30 m high. The painting restored for several times,
preserves few original frescoes. Damaged during the fires
in 1687, 1732, 1822 and seriously affected by an earthquake
in 1738 the monastery’s church underwent numerous restorations.
In 1786, because the princely courts were burnt, Golia became
metropolitan residence and Prince Gavriil Calimachi moved
here and spent the last years of his life. Gone to ruin after
the secularization (1863), the monastery was closed between
1900 -1947, until 1992, when it eventually became a missionary
Location: in Dolhasca village, 20 km far from
Pascani, Suceava County.
Description: Probota Monastery was first built by Stephen
I Musat and after that rebuilt by Stephen the Great. In 1465
Stephen the Great buried his mother, named Oltea and his wife,
Evdochia de Kiev, in 1467. In 1530, ruler Petru Rares built
a new church on the ruins of that old one, known as “from
the glade”. The monastery was fortified in 1550 and
became the resting place of ruler Petru Rares and of his family.
The painting dates from 1532, one of the best representations
being “the Apocalypse”. The monastery has a valuable
collection of icons dating from the 16-17th century. Probota
Monastery was an important cultural centre. This is where
some famous well-read men were educated: Dosoftei, Grigore
Rosca and Gheorghe Movila.
Location: in Razboieni village, 18 km far from
Piatra Neamt, Neamt County.
Description: The church was built by Stephen the Great between
1495 -1496, in honour of all the soldiers lost during the
battle from White Valley ( the 26th of July) when he and his
army were defeated by the Ottomans led by Mohamed II. The
church has no steeple and the ornamentation was realized with
disks made by pottery.
Location: in Tazlau village, 34 km far from
Piatra Neamt, Neamt County.
Description: Tazlau Monastery was founded by Stephen the Great
between 1496 -1497. In 1497 were added the defence wall and
the two towers. The church preserves the original ornamentation
made by bricks and stoneware. Extremely valuable is the wooden
carved door made by master Cozma, door which is considered
to be a masterpiece of the ornamental art.
Location: in Pangarati village, 15 km far from
Piatra Neamt, Neamt County.
Description: The monastery was first built by Stephen the
Great in 1461. Destroyed in a fire, the church was rebuilt
by Alexandru Lapusneanu in 1560. The church has no steeple.
The monastery houses a collection of old art.
Location: in Ceahlau village, at the feet of
Ceahlau Mountain, one hour away from Duruitoarea waterfall.
Description: Durau Monastery was founded by a daughter of
ruler Vasile Lupu. The present church was built between 1830
-1835. Between 1935 -1937 the church was painted in wax by
the famous painter Nicolae Tonitza.
Location: Rasca village, 21 km far from Falticeni,
Description: Rasca Monastery was built in 1542 by Petru Rares
and was painted in 1552 by the Greak painter Stramatello Cotronas.