Listed in Monasteries/Churches, Sights in Romania

Overview

The imposing and famous Putna Monastery is located about 30 km northwest of Radauti and 67 km from the city of Suceava, near the Putna River. The monastery and the village with the same name are surrounded by wooded hills and wild landscape offering a great place to relax.

Stephen the Great, ruler of Moldavia, built Putna Monastery (with an unusually large church for its time) between 1466 and 1469 to serve as a place of burial for him and his family. Just three years after the monastery was completed, a fire destroyed it, but it was immediately rebuilt. It was destroyed again in 1653 by the Cossack army of Timuş Hmelniţchi. The current church was built in 1662 on the foundation of the old church.

Although the current church follows the plan of typical Moldovan churches dating from the fifteenth and sixteenth century, it also has many architectural and decorative features that are specific to churches in the seventeenth century. The exterior walls don’t have smooth facades, but have two rows of unpolished arches which surround the building: the small ones are located above the rope made of stone and the high ones beneath it. Twisted rope motif was first met at the church of Dragomirna Monastery.

The tall windows of the exonarthex, three on the west façade, one on north and one on south façade, follow the shape and size of the high arches. Their tops are decorated with complex motifs engraved in stone. All other windows are much smaller with pointed arches and square frames carved in stone. Usually, the church had a window on each apse, but here are three windows for each apse, another late influence. Also, the spire is different because it has two floors.

Access to the church is made through the two side doors of the porch, enclosed with stone portals. Above the massive door that lets you pass from the porch into the narthex, you’ll find an inscription which reminds of the reconstruction works of the church.

Painting of the church is new, being made ​​between July 31, 2001 and July 31, 2010 – painting the church was a great achievement considering that the monument was unpainted for more than 2 centuries.

From the buildings that are part of Putna Monastery, Treasure Tower is the only one preserved in its original form. It was built by Ruler Stephen the Great in order to accommodate and forward through troubled times, the treasures crafted by the monks from Putna Monastery. This way, in 1976 was arranged a very rich monastery museum, which houses one of the most important collections of byzantine embroidery worldwide. Old manuscripts, embroidery with gold, silver and silk, precious metal objects give us a vivid picture of what it meant to live for Christ. Also, under the western eaves of the church can be seen two old bells, from the time of Stephen the Great.

When planning the visit to Putna monastery, you should consider around 2-3 hours because you should not only visit the monastery with its museum but also the surrounding hills which can be a real delight from spring to autumn.

  • Address
    DC47A, Putna, Suceava County
  • Opening hours

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