Atracții turistice - - Răchitoasa Monastery

At the end of the 17th century, the great manciple Ianaki ordered the erection in Răchitoasa of a small oak church, which was located near the current Răchitoasa Monastery.

A cross was built on the exact location of the ancient church’s altar. It served as church for the village cemetery. Later, in 1697, the great sword bearer Ilie Ianaki and his wife Theofana, daughter of the voivode Mihai Racoviţă, had today’s monastery erected.

The history of this monastery, the last in Romania having recovered its status lost 140 years before, covers four centuries. In his will, written in Romanian in 1704, the sword bearer Ilie Ianaki wrote: “those who would dare to interfere and tear down our work and site, let them be damned and cursed” or, as he makes it clearer, “let them be cursed by the Lord and all His saints. Amen!” Being incapable of administering the monastery, his son Gavriil, he rendered it to the Greek monastery Vatopedu on Mount Athos, in 1729.

Unfortunately, the church of the Răchitoasa Monastery was destroyed by the earthquake of 31 May 1739. Its latest renovation dates back in the 19th century.

According to Melchisedec Ştefănescu, bishop of Roman Town, in 1882, “this monastery was turned into a prison for bums and the wicked. The church is in a good condition, yet the rooms of the monastery, where the prisoners and the prison’s administrative staff live, are old, untidy and wet and they require urgent improvements if we do not want the prison to become a place of prisoners sentenced to death”.

What happened? The Răchitoasa Monastery, one of the biggest monasteries in Moldova at that time, was secularized under the reign of Alexandru Ioan Cuza and turned into “prison for bums and the wicked”. In other words, it became a “leper house”, as Father Eftimie told us. The last superior monk, who was Greek, hearing of Cuza’s laws, loaded the silverware and other valuable objects from the monastery and tried to cross them the Danube. He was stopped by the government, and the objects were returned to the monastery. Nobody knows now what happened to them.

What is certain is that almost 150 years later, the sanctuary in Răchitoasa regained its lost status. And they want to start over.


Visiting hours: The worship monuments may be visited at any time between 8 am and 8 pm.


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