We got used to the monasteries usually being situated somewhere far away from the city, where the city noise is not a problem and where everything is quiet and in peace. However, in Chisinau we have a true holistic center, a monastery, that is surrounded by traffic jam and constant loud honking of cars. It's the Monastery of Saint Teodor Tiron or, how we, locals, call it - Ciuflea Monastery, located right in the heart of Chisinau.
The Ciuflea Monastery represents the white stone temple with nine golden domes. They were built by two brothers - Teodor and Anastasie Ciuflea. As I mentioned before, monastery's common name comes from honoring the architects, although it's official name is the Monastery of Saint Teodor Tiron. The building of the cathedral began in 1854 and lasted for four years. The founders of the temple are buried near the southern wall, as it's written on one of the marble plates, situated on the monastery walls. In 1972, the capital's government made the first repairs inside and outside of the cathedral to enlarge its scope. Ever since then, people come here to pray, to lighten the Easter cakes, to light the candles, or to immerse in the peace and calm.
Nowadays, the territory of the monastery includes newly constructed social and administrative blocks, churches for nuns and listeners, Museum of the Church Art, kitchen, refectory, the briefing, and other necessary rooms for the life of the monks. Being one of the youngest monasteries, the Ciuflea Monastery is the only monastery in the whole Chisinau! By the way, even if the monastery is very young, its main church is referred to as one of the oldest Chisinau churches. Throughout the whole monastery, you can note the beautiful, elegant structure of the building. All of the constructions are made in the Russian-Byzantine style, still attracting the eyes of the passing locals. In the 19th century, the church became a real salvation for the surrounding residents of the city. Even though now this monastery is situated in the city center, a century ago its location was a remote suburb, where the poorest of the people huddled in their shacks. Poverty and the remoteness of the temples badly influenced moral character, so religious working class became restless. After the construction of this church, everything changed for the better.
Ciuflea Monastery is not known in my city just because it is located in the heart of Chisinau. There are a lot of reasons why this temple is known and easily recognizable by the locals. Here, the monks and priests are casting the demons out of the people! For example, if you or your closest one have anxiety and experience mood changes, you may have an issue with the demons! Just kidding, but extremely religious Christians sometimes take those things too seriously. Secondly, people who were buried to in the monastery's area gave money for this church to be built. Just imagine that! Today, this place is the sacral part of the city, a holistic center of the city, right in the heart of Chisinau. People call the square on which the church stands as the Ciuflea Square.
The church services and prayers are conducted every day in the morning and evening, according to the monastic schedule. The Psalter is read every day and night for health and for the repose of those for whom they are ordered. Services are usually conducted in the official and the Church Slavonic languages. The entrance is free for everyone, but please note that women should cover their heads with handkerchief or scarf.
Cover picture © credits to iStock/frimufilms
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