CULTURE AND HISTORY  /  CHURCHES and MONASTERIES

The Church The Saint and Great Martyr George – Bicaz

Not far from the confluence of the foster river Bistrița ( today surrounded by the big barage of Izvorul Muntelui Lake – Mountain Spring Lake) and Bicaz river, on a higher ground, near Piatra Neamț - Vatra Dornei road, there is the Church The Saint and Great Martyr George, from the parish of Bicaz city.

Here, the monk Damaschin Neagu built, at the beginning of the XVIIIth century a wooden hermitage, on the right bank of Bistrița river. Today, that hill has his name. This hermitage functioned for a certain period of time as a monks hermitage, then, as a nuns one. After one hundred years, in 1821, during Mihail Sturza’s time, with the Bishop Veniamin Costachi’s blessing, on the old hermitage place, it was built the present stone church, cross shaped, later the porch being added. The first founder was the Priest John the Confessor, helped by worthy priests like Theodore, Priest John, Pr. Nicholas, Pr. George and the psalm readers Constantine and John.

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The Hermitage Cerebuc - Bicaz

We can arrive at the Saint Ilie (Cerebuc) hermitage by travelling 7 km from the axial road that is between Izvorul Muntelui ( Mountain Spring) village and Durău. Cerebuc hermitage with the Saint Prophet Ilie’s festival is a monk hermitage that belongs to the Monastery from Ceahlău Mountain. This was founded on the place of an older hermitage in the year 1614, after that remaining as a fallow land and being refounded in 1996. The hermitage is situated 20 km far from Bicaz and belongs to Izvorul Alb (The White Spring) village, Neamț.

Presently, five monks are living there and the Superior is the abbot Gherontie Muntean. This hermitage played an important role in the maintaining of the hermitage tradition from Ceahlău Mountain, especially in the XVIIIth and XIXth centuries, perod when numerous recluses had their living there These recluses maintained for a long period the bell board and the bell on Ceahlău Mountain, as well as the traditional festival from the 6th of August, in this way, keeping a strong realationship with the other monastic establishments from the area.

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The Hermitage „ Cuviosul Paisie de la Neamț” („The Pious Paisie from Neamț”) - Capsa - Bicaz

In 1991, an old faithful lady donated to the Monastery of Tarcău a field for a church building. That year, the abbot of the monastery, Ioachim Rad, initiates the foundation of a hermitage here, in Bicaz, charging the hieromonk Modest Radu to manage the church building. In spite of the beginning inherent difficulties, from 1992 to 1995 informed that , the church was succesfully built, and then, painted.

On 13th of May 2001, the Abbot Priest Ciprian Zaharia informed that the cells buildings were also raised.

The Hermitage „Cuviosul Paisie de la Neamț” („The Pious Paisie from Neamț”) was blessed in 1997 and the hermitage church is built from brick.

The hermitage is now administrated by Bistrița Monastery.

5 living people; community life; Festival: Sfanta Treime(„The Holly Trinity”), ( „The Pious Paisie from Neamț”) ; Access: road Piatra-Neamt-Bicaz, Bicaz city, Capsa district; Abbot: Priest/Rector Gherontie Tibulca ; Adress: Bicaz, 615100, jud. Neamt;

The Monastery of Ceahlău Mountain

The Monastery of Ceahlău Mountain is situated on Ceahlău Mountain, at an altitude of 1700 m, nearby Dochia Chalet.

From the oldest times, around Ceahlău Mountain there were numerous hermitages or caves with hermits, monks and nuns. Some of them were distroyed by the fire, by the snow avalanches or by the rocks fallen over them. Only Monastery Durău survived over those times. The nuns hermitages are known from the speciality works: Casiana Ceahlău, - from the XVIIIth century – and abolished in the XIXth century; Răpciuni Ceahlău, with the festival of Saint John the Theologue, founded at the beginning of the XVIIIth century; Sofia Ceahlău, from the XVIIIth century, abolished in the XIXth century. For the monks, there were the hermitages: Saint Archangels Mihail and Gavriil – Răpciuni, founded before 1773, the transformed in parish in the XIXth century; Gura Bicazului, begun in the XIX th century, now vanished;The Saint Trinity from the Hills under Ceahlău, founded in 1599 by Ieremia Movilă, also vaished. By the time passing, in Ceahlău area only the Monastery of Durău survived.

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The “Pioana Maicilor”(The mother’s glade”) hermitage – Răpciunița

11 living people, community life;
Festivals: Saint Theodora from Sihla and God’s Mother’s Cover;
Access: from Ceahlău Village, in The Mother’s Glade, at the altitude of 1326 m;
Abbot: monahia Ioanichia Calin;
Adress: com. Ceahlau, 617125, jud. Neamt




The Hermitage of Stanile

The Hermitage of Stanile was foundedin the year 1988 and it belongs to Ceahlău Mountain Monastery.

The cells and the chapels are of brick.

3 living people, community life;
Festival: Saint Antonie The Great;
Access: at the altitude of 1400 m, on Ceahlău Mountain, near Mountain Ceahlău Monastery;
Abbot:ierom. Vichentie Patatu;
Accomodation:4 places;
Adress: Bicazu Ardelean village, 617065, Neamț county

The Church from Izvorul Muntelui ( Mountain Spring) Parish – Bicaz

This church has as protectors The Saint Eperrors Constantin and Helen and Saint The Great Martyr Pntelimon.

It is situated in Neamț county, Bicaz city, street Izvorul Muntelui, on the river with the same name, at the half of the road between Bicaz (6 km) and the chalet Izvorul Muntelui (6 km) at the foot of Ceahlău Mountain, on the main touristic route that leads to the mountain.

Izvorul Muntelui village- street of Bicaz city in the present – was formed mainly from Transylvanian orthodox Romanians refugees during and after 1877, who settled here and founded this village; later, between 1955 and 1958, there also came here displaced families from Cârnu, Secu and Izvorul Alb. The name of this village shows that it is longly crossed by a mountain river of which spring we find at the foot of Ceahlău Mountain.

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Mother of God’s Birth Monastery - Potoci

The church was built due to the effort and substantial contribution of the married couple John and Alexandrina Ciucanu, main founders, and also to the contribution of the faithful villagers of the two villages under the pastorship of the worthy - mentioned Priest Stelian Cărpușor, rector of the church between 1973 and 1979.

The blessing of the holy place took place on 26th of September 1976 and was made by P.S. Calinic Botoșăneanu – vicar bishop of the metropolitan church of Moldavia and Suceava- the so-called church of those days – having as witnesses an impressive number of faithful people from Bistrița Valley. These people came to witness such a rare event but so important for their souls during that difficult period. The efforts of the church’s raising were long and hard, at the beginning only the building of a belfry being approved, but, with God’s will and care, the works were finally finished.

Between 1980 and 1988 the one who served in the church as a rector priest was Amarinei Alecu and, beginning with 1988-1998 the priest Șfarghie Florin did this. Between 1998 and 1999, the parish was served by the priest Dăscăleanu Cristian, and on the 1st of August the parish has a new priest, Anghel Ion.

Petru Vodă Monastery

Although it was constituded recently (the end of the XXth century), The Monastery Petru Vodă – achieved in such a way that seems like the medieval style – already began a pilgrimage place for hundreds of thousands of faithful people. Following the DN (National road) 15 B from Poiana Teiului to Târgu Neamț, from Valea Largului, from the left, there is a right branching of 10 km towards Petru Vodă village.

From Valea Largului, the way can be continued by buses on the route Durău-Târgu Neamț till the first station in Petru Vodă ( after the bridge crossing across Hașca river). It is also possible to take the buses from Târgu Neamț to Durău to arrive in Petru Vodă, situated at 39 km West far from Târgu Neamț city.

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The Monastery of Durău

It is situated in the balneal resort in Durău, in the eastern part of Ceahlău, 5 km far from Duruitoarea waterfall of which name it borrowed (according to the tradition). Because of its isolated settling and natural position in Modavia, Durău Monastery has been for a long time the most wanted monastic settlement.

The present church was built on an old nuns hermitage place existed here even from the beginning of the XVIIth century. In 1802 this monastic settlement was transformed in a monks hermitage dued to Moldavia Bishop’s suggestion and help ( Veniamin Conachi). An old document from Durău mentions in 1802 that this heritage from Ceahlău’s foot was under the submission of “the valley stone monastery”.

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Tarcău Monastery

Tarcău Monastery is situated on Tarcău Valley, about 43 km far from Piatra-Neamț city, between Brateș and Ardeluța. We can arrive here on the secondary road emerging to south ( about 16 km) from the road Piatra-Neamț - Bicaz, 5 km far from Bicaz.

BThe church from Tarcău Monastery that carries the festival of “ The Sunday of all the Saints” was built in 1833 by the hieromonk Avramie. From the beginning, the church was provided with forests, fields, and mills on Tarcău in order to assure the income sources necessary to the twenty monks living here. The bell - tower’s spire was built in 1868 and the cells were remade between 1967 and 1968. With the time passing, the monk’s number diminished, that is why Tarcău Hermitage turned under Bistrița Monastery obediance.

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God’s Raising Hermitage – Brateș

15 km far from Gura Tarcăului, in the backwoods, on the valley of Brateș river and its flooding in Tarcău water, there is the village with a new community – Brateș.

The faithful people of Brateș wanted to have a church and they asked for Moldavia and Bucovina Metropolitan seat’s blessing on the 16th of March 1947. The Metropolitan seat gave the blessing and asked for the Abbot Veniamin Talpău from Tarcău Hermitage to deal with the building of the church. Helped by many believers, mentioned in the rotive in the church porch, after six years, they have managed, to finish it. The blessing took place on the 10th of May 1953, when the church received God’s Raising dedication day. The first servant of the church in Brateș was the Abbot Veniamin Talpău (1910-1992), whose effort was for building the lovely place. After 1989 the church was transformed in hermitage.

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Buhalnița Monastery

Buhalnița Monastery is situated in Hangu village, about 50 km far from Piatra Neamț, on DN 15, after Bicaz, towards Vatra Dornei. A religious place, Buhalnița Maonastery has two dedication days: the one of Mother of God’ s entrance in the church and that of Saint John the New One from Suceava, being the foundation of the Voivode Miron Barnovski (1926-1629 and 1633). Another place existed before, is being attested since 1458, raised by Stephan the Great and gifted to Neamț Monastery. Probably that was in a serious degradation when, Miron Barnovski, piously for the monks in Buhalnița Hermitage, decided to build the new mure church, in 1627.

After 1640, The voivod Vasile Lupu (1634-1653) endowed the monastery with wide estates, mills and lakes, making it on of the most prospere settling in Moldavia.

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Saint Pahomie Hermitage – Hangu

From the very old times there have been a spiritual life in Hangu. There was first The Solitary Hermitage, founded in the XVth century. Rebuilt in the XVIth century by the Pious Peon, it becomes a monastery of monks community, having its dedication day the one of The Holy Ghost Descent. In 1639 the monastery is rebuilt by the cup-bearer Gheorghe Coci. Later he becomes a succursal monastery of Alexandria Patriarchate, and, after the secularization of the monastery’s wealth, it becomes a chrism church.

the Hangu area also existed Buhalnița Monastery caleed Hangu Hermitage with its dedication day of Mother of God’Entrance in the Church. It was rebuilt in 1627 by Miron Barnovski. From the XXth century it becomes a chrism church. The Abbot of Bistrița Monastery, the Archimandrite Ciprian Zaharia wanted to revive the monastic life in Hangu, he refounded the hermitage in 1998. A monks community is formed, and, under Abbot Justin Măzăreanu’s lead and the believers’ help, in 1999 the building started.

After 1640, the voivod Vasile Lupu (1634-1653) endwed the monastery with wide estates, miils and lakes, transforming it in one of the most prospere settlement of Moldavia.

A small chapel and a shelter for living people were also built there.

2 living humans, community life
Dedication day: Acoperamantul Maicii Domnului, Cuviosul Pahomie cel Mare
Abbot: hierommonk Iustin Mazarianu
Adress: com. Hangu, 617240, jud. Neamt ces: sos. Bicaz-Poiana Largului, la 12 km de com. Hangu

Saint George Wooden Church – Galu – Poiana Teiului Village

The wooden church from Galu is situated in the village cemetery and has as its dedication day the one of Saint George. It dates from 1918 according to a note we can find above the porch, but a note from a Gospel printed in Bucharest saying that...” it was given…at the church of Galu village…on 8th of November 1780”. There are thus more suppositions that the church would be older than it was believed, and, on 1818 a repairing work occurred or the present church would be built on an older than 1780 year settlement.

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The wooden Church from Bicazu Ardelean – Pârâul Caprei

From DN 12C Bicaz – Lacu Roșu (The Red Lake), Bicazu Ardelean village, to Telec, on a asphalted road, we can arrive to the wooden church in Pârâul Caprei that has as a dedication day the one of Saint Dumitru.

In this exquisite yew tree wooden church built on a yew tree foot the service was made constantly, until our days. It is the oldest Christian - Orthodox church on Bicaz Valley, from Bicaz Chei to further than Bicaz, to Pângărați, the only wodden church of our county wholly painted inside. Therefore, the wodden church from Bicazu Ardelean is one of the most valuable historical monuments in Neamț county.

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Pângărați Monastery

Pângărați Monastery is situated in Neamț county, in a fairy land, being surrounded by conifers and deciduous forests, on the left bank of Pângărați river, about 13 km far from Piatra-Neamț , following DN15 (Piatra-Neamț - Bicaz) on the right, the road is asphalted and passes in front of Hidroelectric station of Stejaru.

The monastery’ s name comes from the name of a hermit called Pângărație who lived during the XVth century’s years near the river to which he gave his name.

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Bisericani Monastery

Bisericani Monastery was built in 1498 by monk Joseph on the place of an old wooden hermitage dating from Alexander the Good’s period. Ștefăniță Voivod (1517-1527) is the one who built the first stone church in Bisericani. In the XIXth century the cells, the abbot’s room and the chapel were built. After the monastery’s wealth secularization from 1863, the monastery becomes a ruin, and later, it becomes a prison.

In 1905 the monastery is transformed into a sanatorium. Between 1924 and 1930 the monastery is restored.

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Saint Apostle Peter and Pavel Church – Hangu

“ With Father’s will,the Son’s help and the Holy Ghost’s prepetration this church was raised in Audia village, Hangu village, with its dedicated day of Saint Apostles peter and Pavel, in the salvation year 1918”; it was built by the believers of this place, the Priest being John Pântescu. Along the years the church building has been repaired many times, the last repairing being in the grace years 1989 and1996. Between 1994 and 1995 the saint place was painted in fresco by the painter Vasile Anghelache. The repairings and the painting are the foundation of this parish’s flocks, helped by Abbot Nifon Burlacu from Sihăstria Monastery. The saint place was dedicated in the salvation year 1996, on July month, 14 the day, by The Saint Bishop of Moldavia and Bucovina. May The Lord God to pray in the book of life opened in heaven from the beginning of the world, for all those who built and kept over times this saint place.” (The rotive of the church)