Bistrița Monastery

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The 15th-century bell tower
The tomb of Alexandru cel Bun
Moldavian Coat of Arms
The icon of Saint Anne

The Bistrița Monastery (Romanian: Mănăstirea Bistrița, pronounced [ˈbistrit͡sa]) is a Romanian Orthodox monastery located 8 km west of Piatra Neamț. It was dedicated in 1402, having as original ctitor the Moldavian Voivode Alexandru cel Bun whose remains are buried here.

The church is historically and archaeologically valuable. It shows features of Byzantine architecture, is richly ornamented, with a 15th-century entrance door of fine craftsmanship and detailed frescoes.

The monastery is surrounded by 4 meter high stone walls built during Petru Rareș's reign (1541–1546), the original ones being destroyed in 1538 by Suleiman the Magnificent's army. Also from the same period dates a chapel located north of the monastery. The inner court bell tower had already been erected in 1498 by Ștefan cel Mare. With his extensive restoration of the monastery in 1554, Alexandru Lăpușneanu is also considered to be a ctitor. Thus, the monastery is considered to have been donated by 4 voivodes of the Mușatin dynasty (Alexandru I, Ștefan III, Petru IV, Alexandru Lăpușneanul).

A remarkable item preserved here is the miraculous icon of Saint Anne given as a present to the monastery in 1407-1408 by Voivode Alexandru I's wife, Lady Ana. According to tradition,[note 1] the icon was given as a "patronage gift" to Lady Ana by empress Jelena, wife of Manuel II Palaiologos, emperor of Constantinople. The icon was restored in the 18th century and in 1853 was placed in a new section, made of carved and gilded wood, of the kliros.

The monastery was an important cultural center for calligraphers, miniaturists and chroniclers. The monastery's museum hosts an important collection of medieval art.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ And an 18th century manuscript by Metropolitan Gheorghe of Moldova and Suceava, now kept at the State Archives (Arhivele Statului), Piatra Neamț

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 46°57′28″N 26°17′21″E / 46.95778°N 26.28927°E / 46.95778; 26.28927