Being part of Moldova, Transnistria has a lot of places of interest that attract tourists from all over the world. For example, Alexander Nevsky Church is the oldest temple of Transnistria, but Bendery Fortress is the main military heritage of the territory. Chitcani, a small village 6 kilometers from Tiraspol, is the place where the all-male Noul Neamt Monastery is located - another historical spot of Moldova. This place of peace, also known as the Chitcani Monastery, is very beautiful and means a lot for the cultural life of our nation. What to do and how to get there? Let's get all the details.
The Noul Neamt Monastery represents the sequence of the Zaprutsky Nyametsky Lavra of the largest cultural and educational centers of medieval Moldova. When the monks were forbidden to worship Slavonic language in this church, they were forced to go away and move to the present Chitcani village, where they founded the Noul Neamt Monastery in 1859. The new monastery was a protest against the measures that were taken in Romania of those years. Noul Neamt was a part of Bessarabia back then, but it was also a part of the Russian Empire since 1812. After almost 150 years, in May 1962, the Soviet government closed the monastery and relocated a tuberculosis hospital and a museum of the Military Glory there. Unfortunately, the buildings of the monastery were robbed quite often, so there are not so many icons, books, church utensils, and equipment left on the premises.
The reopening of the monastery was held in 1989, and after some years, Moldavian authorities decided also to open there a Romanian language school for Orthodox priests. Currently, the Noul Neamt Monastery is under Transnistria control. The ensemble of this spot consists of 4 churches: Summer Holy Ascension Cathedral, Winter Assumption Church, Saint Nicholas Seminary Church, and Holy Cross Refectory.
The figures of monks were carved in the trunks of the Assumption Church; however, due to the huge robberies, they were lost. Nowadays, the monastery ensemble has even a hotel for pilgrims, a church museum, and a library, where a number of documents, miniatures, ancient books of the 15th and 19th centuries, and icons have been preserved.
To get to the Noul Neamt Monastery in Chitcani, you can take a bus from Bendery or Tiraspol, that goes once every 15-45 minutes through the forest, crossing the fields and countryside. Due to some inconsistencies with the borders, you may even cross the border of Moldova - so it's better to have your passport with you. In addition, you should take cash in local currency: about 100 leis for sure (~5 euros). Don't miss this real place of peace right on the border of our beautiful country - you will never regret it!
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