NEAMT Monastery - Vanatori commune, Neamt county

NEAMT  Monastery

Vanatori commune, Neamt county. Convent for monks.
Dedication day: “The Lord’s Ascension”, 40 days after Easter.

Founded by Petru Musat Voivode in the 14th century and then by Alexandru the Good Voivode. The main church of the holy establishment was founded by Stephen the Great in 1497.
Within the monastery grounds there stand two churches and two chapels: the main church, whose dedication day is “Ascension of the Lord”, dating from the 15th century; the church of “Great Martyr George the Trophy-Bearer”, dating from the 19th century; the “Dormition of the Birthgiver of God” chapel, dating from the 18th century.
The architecture of the main church follows the Moldavian architectural pattern, which is characteristic of the epoch of Stephen the Great.
The original paintings have been preserved in the altar, in the naos and in the burial chamber, whereas in the porch and pronaos the paintings were executed during the reign of Petru Rares Voivode.
In 1997 (on the commemoration of five hundred years since the consecration of the church) was completed the restoration of the paintings, of the altar and the burial chamber.
Because some unprofessional restoration activities had been made before the 20th century, the medieval aspect of the monastery declined considerably. The most recent renovation of the whole establishment, which took place between 1954 and 1961, restored also initial appearance of the church and of the fortress as well. Metropolitans Iustin and Teoctist, helped the monastery to recover its former beauty, which we admire now.
The museum of the monastery shelters a collection of religious art items, a printing-room, a collection of icons and liturgical objects. The establishment owns the largest monastic library in Romania – holding eighteen thousand volumes – and a lot of extremely valuable manuscripts (out of which two hundred are in the   Slavonic language, over eighty in the Greek language, and over one hundred and fifty in the Romanian language), all of them dating from the 14th  through the 19th centuries.
The Neamt Monastery has had a great contribution to the development of culture and art in medieval Romania. A school for calligraphy and miniaturists that was founded by Gavriil Uric was also accommodated within the monastery. In the 17th century here lived the famous chroniclers Macarie and Eftimie, and Father Paisie Velicikovski (in the 18th century). In the year 1808, Veniamin Costachi set up a printing press on the premises.
In front of the monastery there stands a holy-water font, which constitutes a particularity of this monastic establishment; the consecration of the water is performed on the dedication day. Inside the church is a miracle-making icon of the Theotokos, which was donated to Alexandru the Good Voivode by a member of the Paleologu family.
The holy relics that were discovered in 1986 (when the pavement on the main alley, which leads to the church, was removed), of the burial chamber where there were buried the earthly remains of the resident monastics and of the soldiers who had fought to defend this area, as well as of the eleven church bells, which are renowned for their unique sound.
The monastery also shelters the Metropolitan printing house (where there are employed both resident monastic and lay workers). A carpentry workshop (for making wooden objects and structures) and a workshop for making objects of iron have also been accommodated within the monastery.
The Theological Seminary of the Archdiocese of Iasi is also located within the monastery. In this holy establishment several of our hierarchs took religious vows: Metropolitan Nestor Vornicescu, Metropolitan of Oltenia, Pimen, Archbishop of Suceava and Radauti, Epifanie Norocel, Bishop of Buzau, Gherasim Cucosel, and Ioachim Mares, Bishop of Husi.

The followings sketes have been affiliated to the Neamt Monastery:
- Icoana Veche (Old Icon) Skete - Vanatori commune, Neamt county. It is at a distance of approximately six kilometers from the Neamt Monastery, that the icon of the Theotokos (which belonged to the monastic establishment) remained buried in the ground from 3rd, June 1821 until 28th, October 1822 – lest it should be destroyed by the Turks or Greeks during the rebellion at the time. In 1923, Father Iosif Craciun, a monastic resident, constructed a small church on the premises, which was called The Icoana (Icon) Skete, and which unfortunately collapsed when the disastrous earthquake in 1940 struck the area. For three years, from 1969 until 1972, Ioan Buluc tried to revive the former monastic life of the holy establishment.
- Icoana Noua (New Icon) Skete - Vanatori commune, Neamt county. In 1946, this skete was initially constructed as living quarters for the monastic residents of the Neamt Monastery, who were making a living from raising cattle and sawing logs. The Abbot’s house and the chapel were constructed later, in 1951. A belfry that was provided with three towers was also erected. All construction looks as an old monastic location. The dedication day is “The Transfiguration”.
- Vovidenia Skete - Vanatori commune, Neamt county. It was founded by Ioanichie, Bishop of Roman, in 1754. The church (which was constructed of brick) was erected between 1849 and1853. The former monastic life of the skete was revived after 1990. A refectory and a group of monastic cells have also been constructed on the premises.
- Skete of Saint John the New of Suceava (Bolnita) - Vanatori commune, Neamt county. Father Neonil, the abbot of the skete, laid the foundation of a church building that was constructed both of brick and stone in 1843. The patron saint of the chapel that is located within the skete is “Saint John the New of Suceava”. The skete offers religious assistance to olds, sick and disabled monastic.
- Skete of the Apostles Emperor Constantine and his mother Helena – Baiceni village, Iasi county. It was founded after 1990. The dedication day is The Apostles Emperor Constantine and his mother Helena”.
- Pocrov Skete – Vanatori commune, Neamt county. It was founded by Pahomie, Bishop of Roman in 1714. The dedication day is “Protection of the Mother of Good”.
- Skete of Holy Apostles Peter and Paul – Branistea village, Neamt county. It was founded in 1999.

Category: Monasteries of NEAMT
Added: Aug 30, 2010
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