Capriana is considered one of the most ancient monasteries in Moldova. Just try to imagine. It was settled up six centuries ago in 1429 in the heart of majestic Codru Wood. It should not surprise you, but nearly every citizen of Moldova knows this monastery as a religious place to visit when it comes to inward peace, freethinking and recuperation. It is surrounded by the most beautiful forest massifs, which makes the atmosphere around very special and peaceful. This monastery might be considered the most important one, as it was the residence of the metropolitan of Moldova for a long time. Capriana Monastery has an essential value for Moldavian history, which can also be proved by its image on the banknote of “One Lei”. The fact that the biggest monastic library was saved in Capriana Monastery makes this place really outstanding. It is very often said that here is the cradle of Moldavian culture, i.e. the language, architecture and music.
You might hear a lot of different versions concerning Capriana Monastery's foundation. For example, according to the historical document from February 10, 1429, the first church-warden of the monastery was Alexander the Good (Alexandru cel Bun). He donated the monastery together with several villages (that were part of the monastery's property) to his wife - princess Marena. Some sources state that the governor Stephen the Great had built the monastery and further was patronizing it and enlarging the territory by building new churches inside. When it comes to legends, you may find a lot of different ones, but it is hard to identify the reality, as all of them explain the origin of this place and it sounds extremely truthful.
It is hard to imagine, but the monastery was donated several times to different governors and even foreign religious institutions. In 1698, Antioch Cantemir, brother of Dimitrie Cantemir has presented Capriana Monastery to the Athos Monastery in Greece. Here were living different famous people, like the chronicler Eftimy and some of the first poets of Moldova. The USSR period is considered to be the time when all the religious institutions had suffered. Capriana Monastery was no exception. It sounds absurd for us today, but at that time in 1947, all the monks were expelled, and the monastery turned into a sanatorium for children and TB patients. However, in 1989, the monastery was open again and recuperated.
When you visit the Capriana complex, you enter the inner yard and have a nice view of the green and clean courtyard with some cats, you feel the fresh air from the nearest wood and enjoy the view of the supplementary buildings and white churches. The St. Georg Church is a must stop. It was built in 1907 in the late baroque style. You will be magnified by it as soon as you enter the curch. It is an inexpressible pleasure to experience the ceremony inside the church. People who want to find some artifacts to enrich their knowledge can address themselves to the Capriana Library, as it was the biggest one in Moldova. Here, you may find some valuable manuscripts that were donated by the country rulers and many lists and catalogs, which began with Stephen the Great era. As soon as you come to the Capriana, you definitely have to spend some time in Codru Wood, that may remind you of the silent hills of Switzerland. Here, you fell yourself differently. You may admire the plentiful forests, chilly air, amazing landscapes and unbreakable silence.
The moment you realize you got tired of urban life in the noisy civilization, feel free to come to Moldova to see Capriana Monastery. You can be sure that your soul will reach the harmony and your brain will get rebooted. You may also use the moment and see the cradle of our culture.
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