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Bisericani Monastery – Neamt County

24 September 2009 No Comment

manastirea-bisericani-neamtLocation: The monastery from Bisericani is placed in the area of the mountain Pietrosu, at an altitude of 650 m, and at 12 km west from Piatra Neamt, on the national road that links Piatra Neamt with Bicaz. The road goes up in a series of serpentines, while you discover the whole splendor of the valley of river Bistrita. At one point you’ll discover the towers of the monastery, almost hidden behind the trees.

Address: sat Scaricica, village Alexandru cel Bun, Neamt County

Tel: +(40) 233 24 17 21

The Patron of the monastery: “Buna Vestire” (25 of March) – “Buna vestire” means in literal translation “The Good news” and it celebrates the news of the birth of Jesus

Construction year: approximately 1520 by Stefanita Voda

Short history

At first, the place where we find today the monastery, it seems that there was a hermitage of Bistrita Monastery. Only in 1498, Joseph left the monastery from Bistrita and together with other monks began to build a church here.

The first solid church made out of stone was built in the reign of Stefanita Voda (1517-1527), nephew of Stefan cel Mare (Stefan the Great). The monk Joseph also built a church of wood whose traces are seen today at about 200 m from the present church. The service was held like in the Monastery of Studion from Constantinople – that was the only place at that time, in the country, holding that tradition.

The wars conducted by Stefan cel Mare forced the monks to leave the place. As they were traveling through the Valea Rea (The Bad Valley) they had a vision of the Virgin Mary telling them to go back. In memory of that happening there is an icon placed in an old oak where believers from all over the country come and prey.

Among the founders of this monastery we can also find Alexandru cel Bun (Alexander the Good), Stefan cel Mare (Stefan the Great), Stefan Voda (Prince Stefan), Petru Rares and Alexandru Lapusneanu. In the first decades of the XVII century the estate of the hermitage Bisericani expands rapidly. Due to this rapid expansion the hermitage becomes a monastery – this was one of the richest on Bistrita Valley. In the same period are also built the towers and the enclose walls and in 1637, in the time of Prince Vasile Lupu, the entrance of the church with the bell-tower above it. In 1786 the church is restored to the ground and the only thing that was preserved was the entrance with the bell-tower built in 16737.

In the first half of the XIX century the last constructions from the monastery complex are built. In that period all the buildings were made out of stone and brick and they also built the abbot’s house and a chapel in the south-east corner. In the year 1821 the monastery Bisericani was robbed and a part of the old precious things were gone missing. In 1863 the monastery is deserted and loses its most important income sources. The thesaurus of the monastery is wasted, all the buildings become a ruin and the number of monks diminishes rapidly – for this reason in 1880 the monastery is abandoned by the last monks.

In the year 1885 in this place will be organized a prison that will function up until 1905 when the place is turned into a hospital. From that moment on, numerous buildings were built or demolished which makes it difficult to really know how the monastery looked.

Between 1959 and 1991 the place was a hermitage of the monastery Bistrita and after 1974 Protosinghelul Atanasie Cismanu (Protosinghel: rank in the church hierarchy) continues the religious life in this place. In the year 1991 the hermitage receives again the rank of monastery and becomes independent. Beginning with the year 1993 when abbot becomes Serafim Mihail begins the reconstruction of the church the old cells and a stable.

The church of the monastery is well known for the wall that separates the altar from the rest of the church which is decorated with very beautiful icons and where the rich chromatic of the ornaments is in contrast with the icons painted on more plain colors. Another feature of this wall is the beauty of the holy doors that are sculpted in a very beautiful way on the part facing the church.

See the accommodation possibilities from Neamt County

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