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Moldova :: Cave monasteries from Moldova. Tipova

At the moment on the territory of Moldova about 10 cave monasteries are located. The scientists believe there were many more, but the majority of them were lost forever.

Cave monasteries, the natural ones, or the ones created by men, served as shelter from the Christendom enemies. One of the biggest of its kind (not only in Moldova, but in whole Eastern Europe) activates as a museum in Tipova. In some of the caves, former monasteries, nowadays churches were opened. We mean ground monasteries from Saharna and Japca, as well as from Orheiul Vechi (about Saharna we wrote in the column dedicated to „Moldova’s holy places“, about Orheiul Vechi we wrote in the homonymous column). All these locations can be visited.


Directly in the rock above Dniester, at 100 metres high, little lower than the ground located on the top, the most mysterious cave monastery was digged. Probably, the first cells were chopped between 10th and 12th century. At the end of 12th — the beginning of 13th century, the monks extended their place, building the second level, where another 15 cells were made, as well as the dining room, the belfry, a new church and a household room. All the rooms were connected throuh galleries. The monastery continued to develop till the 18th century, by conquering new space from the rock.

In present days two icons were found in the monastery and the building itself was partially restored. The restoration crew says that the ghost of wife of Stephen the Great appears here frequently... I guess this is worth verifying!

The surroundings of Tipova are endowed with a trully rich natural scenery. The location itself strokes the eyes. The view from the top of the hill simply takes your breath away. But the pearls of Tipova natural wealth are the cascades, the most beautiful in Moldova. That is why, the trip to Tipova consists not only of visiting the monasteries, but walking to the cascades, to a fairy-tale land, too.

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