Bistrița Monastery

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Bistrița Monastery
Mănăstirea Bistrița
Manastirea Bistrita11.JPG
Church of the Bistrița Monastery
Basic information
Location Bistrița, Neamț County, Romania
Geographic coordinates 46°57′28″N 26°17′21″E / 46.95778°N 26.28927°E / 46.95778; 26.28927Coordinates: 46°57′28″N 26°17′21″E / 46.95778°N 26.28927°E / 46.95778; 26.28927
Affiliation Eastern Orthodox
Country Romania
Ecclesiastical or organizational status Friary
Status Active
Leadership Metropolitan of Moldavia and Bukovina
Patron Dormition of the Mother of God
Architectural description
Architectural type Classic Moldavian
Founder Alexandru cel Bun
Groundbreaking 1402
Completed 1407 (first documentary attestation)
1498 (bell tower)
1546 (defense wall)
Direction of façade South
Length 40 m
Height (max) 45 m[1]

The Bistrița Monastery (Romanian: Mănăstirea Bistrița, pronounced [ˈbistrit͡sa] (About this sound listen)) 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 Lăpușneanu).

The miraculous icon

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.

During the year 1855 the monastery underwent major reconstruction under the lead of the famous architect Carol Benesch.

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

Other burials[edit]


  1. ^ "Mănăstirea Bistrița (Neamț, România)". OrthodoxWiki (in Romanian). 
  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]