Orhei Vechi Monastery and Archaeological Complex

The Orhei Vechi (Old Orhei) archaeological complex is an open-air museum situated between the villages of Trebujeni and Butuceni, 60 km northeast of Chisinau.
This territory has been inhabited since early times. In this place many cities were built. The first city founded here was called Orhei. The name Orhei means “fortification”. Then at the beginning of the 14th century, the Golden Horde conquered this territory. The name of the archaeological reservation derives from the name of that medieval city, thus "Old Orhei".
The museum complex Old Orhei is a system of historical monuments and natural landscapes. It consists of a few promontories. The central promontory in Old Orhei is called Pestere. Its name derives from the many caves carved in it ('Pestere' is Romanian for 'caves'). The Butuceni headland is part of the Old Orhei as well. Together with the Pestere promontory it creates a complex harmony from every point of view. The Butuceni promontory is great from both the geological and esthetic points of view. It has many calcareous slates, spacious caves and small grottos. The wonderful view and ancient traces are impressive.
Old Orhei is famous for the cave monasteries located there. This zone was ideal for the primary monasticism of early Christian community. It was isolated from the outer world. At the time when Christians came here, there were been smaller and bigger caves in the calcareous rocks cut by pre-historic tribes living on this territory. At Old Orhei there are several monumental stone constructions which are of interest to both scientists and ordinary people. The oldest fortified construction at Old Orhei is the Gaetic fortress. It is located on the Butuceni promontory. The fortress is connected to the surrounding area by a narrow passage. In case of attack, it was easy to block access. The place was ideal for building a fortress.
Another construction of great interest is the Medieval Fortress. It was constructed when the Golden Horde conquered this territory. The city here became oriental and was named Shehr al-Cedid. The wooden fortress was destroyed. A new stone fortress was raised its place. It had two rooms and underground tomb. The building also had a patio. After the city was liberated from the occupation by Golden Horde, this building became the residence of the magistrate of Orhei district. After that time patios were often added to local Moldovan houses. The tomb was turned
into cellar. Cellars also became a common feature of local houses. This building was destroyed, possibly in 1510 when Tatars torched the whole city.


Location

50 km distance from Chisinau in Butuceni Village, Orhei

Accessibility

The cave church works every day, including week-ends.
Access for disables is not provided.

Contact

Tel : +373 (235) 5-60-42, 5-60-05, 22-60-37

Entry Fee

No

Activities

Religious service

Festivals or Events

Gustar Festival in held in the region

Saharna Monastery
Saharna Monastery is located 8 km from the town of Rezina, 45 km from the town of Orhei and 120 km from Chisinau. The monastic complex is a nature reserve. Its territory contains 670 ha of land and is under government protection.
Initially the monastic complex embodied a small hermitage – Horodiste and a small church dug into the rock honoring of the feast of the Annunciation. In 1776, the monk Vortolomeu Crungul and several other monks came from Russia and settled the complex. They repaired the church and its cells. The hermitage church was built in 1776 in honor of the feast of the Assumption.
In 1863, Abbot Serafim built another church for winter services and a series of cells were built. It was in honor of the feast of the Holy Virgin Mother of God.
From 1776 – 1919, there were twenty-four different abbots who led the monastery. The Saharna Monastery was closed in 1964. All the monks were expelled. It was then used as a store-house for a boarding school. The Holy Trinity church was used as a hospital warehouse. The church for winter services served as a dance hall. It functioned as such until 1990, when at the request of local citizens, the monastery was reopened.
In 1992, all monastery cells including the refectory, canteen and the priory were refurbished.
The Saharna Monastery is medium-sized. Its hermitage does not have any architectural significance, but it has an indisputable historical value. Recently it has been renovated and new frescoes were painted.
The hermitage church comprises of an altar carved in rock, separated from the rectangular nave by a small iconostas. Some cells are contained in the building site. The front monastery wall was built from rock, so the current wall was also made from stone blocks.
The rock monastery was restored in 1991 – 1994. The four monastery cells located at the church were renovated in 1997. There is a narrow cave near the monastery. According to a legend, monk Vortolomeu, the monastery founder, took refuge in the stone cave.
Saharna is also famous for its waterfalls. The river Saharna has 22 waterfalls. One of the most beautiful is very close to monastery, falling from a height of 10 meters and forming a deep pool which is called the "Gipsy Hole".


Location

120 km distance from Chisinau and 8 km from Rezina

Accessibility

Opening hours: 5:45-20:00 every day, including week-ends

Contact

Tel: (+ 373 254) 78737
E-mail: contacts@manastirea-saharna.md
Web: www.manastirea-saharna.md

Entry Fee

No

Activities

Religious service, walking through woods to visit the waterfalls

Festivals or Events

Trinity Fest

Tipova Monastery
Located in the area with the same name, Tipova Monastery is one of the oldest monasteries in Moldova. The monastery is carved in stone on a bank of the Nistru River.
The monastery is comprised of three monastic complexes. The first complex consists of a church named for the feast of the Holy Cross and some cells. It is far from the other two and hardly accessible. The foundation of the complex dates from XI – XV centuries. In the second monastic complex is the church of St. Nicholas. It was carved in rock the in XIV – XV centuries. The third complex dates from the XVI – XVIII centuries and encompasses 18 separate rooms joined via an interior passage.
In 1776, the hermitage and its cells were renovated by the monk Vortolomeu, the founder of Saharna Monastery. In 1842, the hermitage was destroyed. The monastery land was given to the Capriana Monastery and the hermitage to the Saharna Monastery, which managed it from 1842 till 1919. In 1912 the church situated on the hill was restored by the monk Inokentie. In 1919, under the leadership of Archimandrite Mitrophor Sofronie Neaga, of Saharna Monastery, the Tipova hermitage obtained independence.
But in 1949, the complex was closed and dispossessed of its lands. The monks took refuge at other monasteries. The complex on the hill was taken over by local agricultural concerns. The church became a tobacco warehouse. The hermitage was cleared out and demolished.
In 1990, a group of archeologists from Saint Petersburg found a skeleton in the monastery basement, dating from the end of the XV century.
In 1994, Tipova Monastery was renovated. Only the exterior side of the Holy Virgin Assumption temple was restored. The church is medium size, with a rectangular shape and a belfry located above entrance. There is a fresco on the walls with floral decorations.
According to an old legend, the great lord Stefan cel Mare married one of his wives in the Tipova monastery. She is also buried there. Another legand says that the Greek mythological poet Orpheus died at Tipova Monastery. He was buried in the cascade valley. It is easy to recognize his grave, as there are six aperture slabs on it.
Besides the cave monastery, the area also has beautiful nature. The hills around the monastery are covered with forests where you find many narrow paths. It is also near the Nistru River and a small tributary, Tipova, which forms some waterfalls.


Location

100 km from Chisinau in Tipova village

Accessibility: opening hours, disabilities access

Every day, including week-ends
No disabilities access

Contact

Tel: +373 254 31 244
Tel: +373 254 31 255
GSM: + 373 (0) 79624877

Entry Fee

No

Activities

Religious service

Festivals or Events