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Sihastria Monastery – Neamt County

24 September 2009 No Comment

manastirea-sihastria-neamtSihastria Monastery is located in the north part of Neamt County, at 22 km of Targu Neamt, on the road that goes toPipirig and Vatra Dornei. The secondary road that goes to the monastery it’s about 15 km, runs nearby Ozana river and crosses the valley of the brook called Secu. After 4 km you reach Secu Monastery and after another 3 km you’ll see Sihastria Monastery.

Address: Vanatori village, Neamt County, postal code 617500

Tel: +(40) 233 25 18 96     +(40) 233 25 18 97
Fax: +(40) 233 25 19 78


The Patron of Sihastria Monastery: “Naşterea Maicii Domnului – The Birth of Virgin Mary” (8 September)

Year of construction: 1655 by the monk Atanasie

Short history of Sihastria Monastery

The first church of Sihastria hermitage was built in the year 1665 by Vaarlam Motoc. After that, appear the first cells and the other buildings. The place chosen for the buildings was called “Poiana lui Atanasie (Atanasie’s Plain)” because this was a quiet and hidden place where a monk by his name Atanasie lived and prayed. Here there were 7 monks that came from Neamt Monastery seeking the solitude of prayer.

At the beginning of the XVII century because of the Tartars Sihastria hermitage becomes almost a ruin. In the year 1734 Bishop Ghedeon of Roman builds a new church larger and stronger. In the year 1821 together with the burning of Secu Monastery the hermitage from Sihastria is also burned.

With the help of Veniamin Costachi, in the year 1824 begins the reconstruction of the hermitage – the project lasted  2 years. They received help from Neamt Monastery where many of the religious objects displayed later at Sihastria Monastery were handmade.

In the year 1837 they built a chapel, for the religious service during the winter, two buildings of cells in the east and north side and in the year 1842 they build a pipe that brings water into the monastery. In the year 1941 there was a big fire that destroyed many of the buildings, forcing the monks to go to other monasteries nearby. In the year 1942 Sihastria Monastery has a new abbot: father Cleopa. With the help received from Neamt Monastery father Cleopa manages to build all the cells by 1944 .

Images of Sihastria Monastery

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Sihastria Monastery Sihastria Monastery

Click here to see all the photo albums

He also manages to reinforce Sihastria Monastery with his strong belief and in 1946 they build a new chapel. He is send to be abbot at Slatina Monastery , together with another 23 monks but he returns to Sihastria Monastery in the year 1964.  Father Cleopa becomes an icon and a saint among the living. Sihastria Monastery is well known to all pilgrims because of the life of this great priest and monk.

The main church of the monastery, “The Birth of Virgin Mary” was painted by Protos Bartolomeu Florea and sanctified at 16 October 1988. In the year 1998 here was also build the Cathedral St Teodora. The cathedral is an imposing building, with golden icons and three towers.

The Heritage of Sihastria Moanstery

Sihastria Monastery has a wealthy collection of religious objects and a library with historical and cultural value. We can talk here about the icon of Virgin Mary with Baby Jesus that was painted in the XVII century on wood and covered in silver. The library contains over 1000 books printed between the centuries XVII and XVIII – many of these books were printed at Neamt Monastery.

The cemetery of Sihastria Monastery and its church

Sihastria Monastery is a place where pilgrims from all over Romania came to visit the cemetery where father Cleopa is buried and to take a small amount of the holy oil from his cross.

The church of the cemetery was built between 1987 and 1999 by respecting the architectural plans of an old church in a village called Hlapesti. The icons that are inside the church are the original ones from the church in Hlapesti and the wall that separates the altar from the rest of the church was painted by Archim Vartolomeu Florea. The church was sanctified at 7 August 1999 with the patron of “The Resurection of Jesus” and “St Joan the Evangelist”. Here, in this church, the service is held only on Saturdays for the monks that are “sleeping” in the cemetery.

The location of the cemetery was established by father Cleopa between 1944 and 1945 when he moved here the remains of the monks buried into three cemeteries of Sihastria Monastery. Here we can see lots of pilgrims every day that come to pray at the grave of father Cleopa and Paisie Olaru.

Sihastria Monastery is a place filled with light and holy spirit where time seems to stay still. The moment you enter the monastery you can almost feel the traditions and the prayers. It’s so quiet – every step you make seems to disturb the serenity around you. Sihastria Monastery is truly a holy place among Romanian Orthodox churches where you can see the work of God.

See the accommodation possibilities from Neamt County

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