Pilgrimage to the Caves Monasteries of Moldova

Pilgrimage to the Caves Monasteries of Moldova

   Hermitage ''Assumption'' (Old Orhei, Butuceni)          Tipova Monastery                                 Saharna Monastery    Total distance (round trip) : 260 km Duration: 10 - 12 hours

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This tour is tailored for those people who are eager to see ancient churches either for purely aesthetic reasons or motivated by the desire to look deep into the past in order to be spiritually inspired by the cultural achievement of the past ages. Monasteries and convents of Moldova are of both the religious and doubtless cultural and historical importance. Many Moldovan monasteries are the unique monuments commemorating the successes achieved by the local rulers at war; most of the monasteries were simultaneously fortresses protecting the community and the local residents from attacks of the Turks and Tatars. The famous monasteries from Moldova represent a touristic destination you must reach at least once in your lifetime. This journey will present you the opportunity to visit some of these pearls of church architecture and experience the spiritual wealth of the people living in this area… Saharna: The monastery complex is situated in one of the most picturesque gorges on the right bank of the Dniestr river near Saharna village, 8 km away from the district center of Rezina, 14 km from the railway station of Ribnitza and at approximately 110 km to the North from Chisinau . The first settlements on the steep banks of the river of the same name were founded by the Gets and are dated to II century B.C. At that time also was erected an earth mound with three earth and one stone bastions and a ditch as well. Standing on the rocky slope you would easily imagine how commercial ships of Bysantium, Greece and Rome anchored here, and merchants from Poltava, Iasi and Kiev came together at Saharna for trading. From the rocky tops you can see beautiful scenery. Covered with forests, the Saharna river canyon as long as 16 km with a large number of more than 30 rapids and cascades will pleasantly surprise even a sophisticated traveler, who is looking for a comparable experience outside Moldova. The largest cascade falls down from a height of 10 meters and it is as wide as 5 meters. It is not Niagara Falls yet, but still impressive for those who have seen it. Here there is a pilgrim's biggest attraction of Moldova, the relics of the martyr Saint Macarii. That is why in 1777 the Trinity Monastery was erected there. A little bit later a stone church in old Moldovan style with a beautiful wall fresco was constructed. It was closed in 1964 and only in 1991 after a 27-year recess was the Monastery opened again. Today 20 monks and brothers with the archimandrite Adrian as head live there and it is open seven days a week per visitors.

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