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Buhalniţa Monastery

19 February 2015 No Comment

IMG_4063Buhalniţa Monastery is in Hangu, about 50 km from Piatra Neamt, on Route 15, after we pass Bicaz and move towards Vatra Dornei. Place of worship, Buhalniţa monastery has two patrons: of the Entrance in the church of the Virgin Mary and of Saint John the New of Suceava  and is founded by Prince Miron Barnovschi (1626 -1629 and 1633). Another sanctuary that existed before, is attested from the year 1458, built by Stephen the Great, given to the Neamt Monastery. Perhaps it was in an advanced state of decay when Miron Barnovschi, as a sign of reverence for the monks of the Hermitage Buhalniţa, built the new church in the wall, in the year 1627. After the year 1640, Prince Vasile Lupu (1634 -1653) endowed monastery with large estates, mills and ponds, making it one of the most prosperous settlements in Moldova. Since 1715 the monastic community faces a difficult period of its existence, because Moldavia Ruler, Nicholas Mavrocordat (1709-1710 and 1711-1716) worships the monastery with all her income, to the Patriarchate of Alexandria (Egypt). The situation changed from the year 1863, when during the reign of Alexandru Ioan Cuza occurs secularization, the monastery was converted into a parish church. Also by the secularization law, from the year 1865, here works a primary school for children locals. In the year 1958, due to the construction of a hydroelectric dam and reservoir in Bicaz, the church was demolished and moved where we find today, on the side of the mountain, in the current Buhalniţa village in Neamt County. Since its founder did not had time to deal with embellishment, the monastery remained white (both exterior and interior). Meantime was brought out of Egypt a beautiful iconostasis with expressive and very beautiful icons, icons that are kept today, along with pews (dating from 1600), carved with zoomorphic motifs by Pastor Gregory, considered true works of art with unique value. From original furnishings it have been preserved some pieces of wood that can be admired, such as choir hierarchical encrusted with zoomorphic motifs inspired by the popular theater masks used in specific Bistrita Valley. The Church is unique in Moldovia in that the steeple is located exactly on the half of the roof and its architectural form is a goose egg. The entrance door, which preserves the original stone frame decorated with moldings, intersecting corners, represents a unique in Romanian church architecture. Considered the support of the Christian Orient tried by the Islamic conquest, the monastery was one of the few worships foundations, who not only sent gifts in the East, he also received, from Egypt, the Greek abbots brought iconostasis of the church, which through zoomorphic motifs and plants specific to Nile delta, makes it unique in the country.

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