Moldovița Monsatery , builded by Petru Rares in 1532 and painted in 1537, is a new establishment in the place – or, more precisely, near an old ruined one. Moldoviţa Monastery is located in Vatra Moldoviţei village, Suceava County. The founder Petru Rares built in 1532 the church with the patronage “Buna Vestire” which he enclosed with a strong defense wall with ramparts and guard towers. Above the main entrance to the Monastery is carved the old coat of arms of Moldova.
In 1537 the Moldovița Monsatery church was painted in fresco, both inside and out in post-Byzantine style, with some new elements characteristic of the church painting school in Moldova. The predominant color of the painting is golden yellow. Among the old objects preserved at the Moldovita Monastery, we mention two epitaphs from the time of Ștefan cel Mare, Ephrem Psalter and other manuscripts, as well as a stone house dating back to the time of Petru Rares.
Moldovita Monastery was an important center where ecclesiastical culture flourished in the XV – XVII century. Moldovita is the first monastery of Moldavia to which Slavic-Roman literature prototypes has arrived in the fifteenth century. Here was a true school of copywriters and miniaturists from which until today there are kept at the Dragomirna Monastery Library, a number of almost 50 manuscripts of great value, the majority of the XV century.
From the beginning of the 15th century, the ancient Suceava voivode fortress has the relics of one of the most famous saints honored from Moldova, namely Saint John. The current church of the monastery, dedicated to the Holy Martyr George, was begun in 1514 by the son of Ștefan cel Mare, Bogdan III cel Orb (1505-1517) and finished by Ştefăniţă (1517 – 1527) in 1522.
Until the second half of the 17th century, at the Monastery of St. John was the residence of Moldavian metropolitans. The church, being the metropolitan cathedral, with the necessary space for the ceremonies attended by the princely rulers, differs from the other voivodal constitutions by suppressing the tomb room. As with any metropolitan or archbishop’s center, there were skilled calligraphers, engravers in wood and metal, teachers of Moldovan language, greks and glory. A theological school functioned here as well. The relics of St. John, martyred in 1332, which were brought to Suceava in 1402 by Voivode Alexandru cel Bun, are preserved in the church. The church was painted outside and inside in 1534 during the reign of Petru Rareș. The painting was executed in fresco after Byzantine hermeneutics. It was cleaned by smoke and refreshed in the years 1906 – 1909 by the painter Iohann Viertelberger.
Suceava Fortress is a medieval fortress located at the eastern edge of Suceava (in northeastern Romania). It is located on a terminal spur of a plateau at a height of 70 m from the Suceava meadow. From here, you can see the entire valley of Suceava. It is preferred to use the name of the Suceava Citadel and not that of the Suceava Fortress, because in Suceava there were two fortresses: The Citadel and The Western Fortress (Şcheia Fortress), both of which were built by the ruler Peter I Muşat (1375-1391).
Suceava Citadel was part of the system of fortifications built in Moldova at the end of the 14th century, when the Ottoman danger appeared. The medieval fortification system consisted of fortified settlements (royal courtyards, monasteries with high walls, and strategically important citadels) for defense purposes, reinforced with stone walls, earth waves or a thick pit.
Suceava Fortress is made up of several components. Between the fortress and the rest of the plateau there is a defense ditch, whose walls from the plateau on the eastern side were reinforced with a counter-carp. Such a construction also existed on the south side, but it collapsed. A wave of artificial defense was built on the west and southwest side. In the citadel people could enter through an access bridge with a fixed part and another mobile, supported on two tall pillars of stone. The mobile part of the bridge could be rised in case of danger, but once there was a trap in which the uninvited visitors could fall.The inner courtyard of the fortress was defended by soldiers standing in specially arranged guard rooms.
The first foundation of Ștefan cel Mare, Putna Monastery was sanctified on September 3, 1470, and was erected on the site of an ancient hermitage of the sec. XIII – XIV. Today, in the museum of the monastery there are exposed manuscripts, objects of worship and ceramics from the medieval period. The collection of Byzantine-style embroidery is one of the most beautiful in the world.
In the beginning, the monastery was destined to become a princely necropolis. In the church were buried alongside Ștefan cel Mare (July 1504), his son Bogdan (ruler from 1504 to 1517), his nephew Ștefăniță (ruler from 1517 to 1527) and other members of the Mușat dynasty. The Putna Monastery initially had the interior and exterior paintings on gold. Because of landslides and invasion of the Cossacks, the church was rebuilt between 1653 and 1662.
In 2001, on the 10th of July – the same day when Ștefan cel Mare laid the foundation stone of the monastery in 1466, the church was repaired. On July 4, 1466, Ștefan cel Mare chose the place where the Putna Monastery Church was to be built, throwing the bow on the Dealul Crucii(Cross Hill). Six days later, on July 10, 1466, according to Putnas chronicle, the building of the Putna Monastery Church was started and it was finished in 1469.
How to get to Putna Monastery?
Suceava-Gura Humorului – Frasin – Mănăstirea Doroteia – Mănăstirea Moldovița – Pasul Palma – village Sucevița – village Marginea – Putna