Iasi, 28 Stefan cel Mare Street, Iasi county. Convent for monks
Dedication day: “Saints Three Hierarchs”, 30 January.

 The church of The Three Holy Hierarchs is one of the most remarkable and beautiful monuments representatives for the Romanian medieval art. This masterpiece was constructed by the most skilful masters of the Romanian architecture, who took over several ornamental motifs from the Moldavian fabrics and transposed them into stone blocks. In 1635, Paul of Alep underlined the fact that the church “amazes the mind of those who look at it”, while in 1659, Evlia Celebi, a Turkish traveler, who experienced a similar astonishment while contemplating this beautiful establishment, observed that “nobody can find the right words to describe it”.
 The monastic establishment was founded by Vasile Lupu Voivode over a period of five years (1635-1639), and as is write in the votive inscription that is placed above the entrance door and that dates from 1639, “it was consecrated  by Archbishop Varlaam himself, on May 6th, 7147”, means, in 1639.The church was masterfully constructed of carved stone.
 The entire facade is covered with fine pieces of stone embroidery and is sculpted in high relief in horizontal rows that are embellished with spiral twists, squares, diagonals, rosettes, etc. Each row is provided with a peculiar ornamental motif, an architectural element that grants the monument an outstanding value. The interior of the church impresses by its rich decoration and by its unique architectural design.
 The paintings inside the church were executed by the most famous painters of the epoch, between 1641 and 1642 (two local Moldavian painters, Nicolae and Stefan Zugravul).
 Because of several fires and earthquakes, the original paintings ware severely deteriorated. Unfortunately, only the few segments that are exhibited in the Gothic Hall have been preserved until now. 
 Within the monastery there is the tomb of Vasile Lupu Voidode; also, there were laid the earthly remains of Dimitrie Cantemir – the great Moldavian Voivode and scholar (who ruled between 1710 and 1711) – that were brought here two centuries later (in 1935). In an adjacent niche there were laid the earthly remains of Alexandru Ioan Cuza, the first Prince of Romania. Here the holy relics of Venerable Mother Parascheva were brought on June 13th, 1641 they were kept inside the monastery until 1889, when they were removed in the newly constructed Metropolitan Cathedral of Iasi (which had been founded by Metropolitans Veniamin Costachi and Iosif Naniescu).
 One great Orthodox event took place in the Gothic Hall of the Church of The Three Holy Hierarchs: the Holy Synod of Iasi, which was held on 15th, September 1642.
 Following the advice of Metropolitan Varlaam, Vasile Lupu, the founder, originated a High School in the monastic cells of the Three Holy Hierarchs Monastery for the study of historiography in Romanian (the first one). In 1824, in the rooms of the Gothic Halls there were accommodated the following educational institutes: an Elementary School, a four-year Gymnasium and the Preparatory School that was attended by the renowned Moldavian story-teller Ion Creanga, who had been registered as a pupil on 10th, January 1864.
 In 1643, Metropolitan Varlaam printed his study, A Romanian Study Book, in the printing house of this monastic establishment. This book was very important in shaping of the Romanian literary language. Another study that was printed here was A Book Called the Answer to Calvin’s Catechism, in 1645. Also here was printed the well-known code of laws by Vasile Lupu, in 1646, and was entitled A Romanian Book from the Royal Code of Laws and from Other Counties Sponsored in its Entirety by Vasile Voivode, Prince of Moldavia.
 Over the succeeding centuries, the Church of The Three Holy Hierarchs was severely damaged by several fires and earthquakes. In 1882, extensive repairs and restoration were commenced under the direction of the French architect Lecomte de Nouy, who modified the establishment to a great extent. Unfortunately, the great fire in 1916 inflicted widespread damage on it, and this time the restoration activities were resumed at the expense of the state. It was started again in 1958.
 A painting workshop, which is called “The Holy Apostle and Evangelist Luke Workshop”, has also been accommodated within the monastery. As a consequence, in the Gothic Hall, exhibitions of icons and religious art works are frequently organized, side by side with concerts of church music that are held here, too.

Category: Monasteries of IASI
Added: Aug 30, 2010
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