Saharna is one of the oldest monastic settlements on the territory of Moldova, and it is situated on the river Saharna, about 110 km away from the capital city Chisinau. An important point to clarify is that the monastery itself is not named "Saharna". The complex consists of the rocky Annunciation Church and the Holy Trinity Temple. Still, almost everybody call it Saharna Monastery, as it is placed in the village Saharna. The architecture of the churches does not stand out among other monasteries, but an indisputable historical value, mysterious artifacts, gorgeous landscapes and cave cells make the tourists and pilgrims lose themselves in Saharna Monastery.
Holy Trinity Monastery was founded in 1776 by the monk Varfolomey Chungu, who came from Russia. According to the legend, before the constructions of the monastery have started, Varfolomey had spent 40 days fasting, praying and hoping that the God will show him the place for the monastery. The legend claims that on the 40th day, the old monk saw the shining figure of Saint Maria on the top of a rock, where she pointed the place. When Varfolomey had reached that place, he saw Saint Maria’s footprint on the stone. This artifact was carefully kept through the generations. Today, you may find it inside of the chapel, on the Grimidon Rock.
The rocky mountain church is still an enigma for the scientists because the information about the monastery’s creator and the foundation have been lost. The Annunciation church is hidden in a narrow and deep cliff and is surrounded by the waterfalls and cascades, falling into the Dniester River. Inside of the stone monastery, you may find an altar spaded in a rock stone, separated from the rectangular nave by a small iconostas.
The best time to explore Saharna is definitely the summer. You may enjoy an old stone pool with freezing water or be amazed by an unforgettable walk through the waterfalls. Saharna is quite well-known for its waterfalls. Some of them are reaching 10 meters of height. Out of 22 waterfalls, the most exciting one is the waterfall that forms a deep basin called “Gipsy Hole”.
In order to catch an emotional outburst, climb up to the top of the Rock Grimidon. A fantastic view to the Codru Wood will take your breath away. Here, you may as well find an old massive cross and wonder the panorama view to the villages around. They say that if you walk three times around the massive wooden cross, any wish you dream of will come true. I don’t remember if my dream came true, but I definitely remember a long line of volunteers willing to make a wish.
The trip to Saharna, without any doubts, will fascinate you by the beauty of majestic Codru Woods and relaxing melody of gurgling water that flows among the stones. Come to Saharna and take a dip at its holy waters and lose yourself in the picturesque valley of Saharna Monastery.
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