Situated in a wonderful natural frame, Văratec Monastery is, without a doubt, one of the best known and visited monasteries in Moldavia. Among the builders of this edifice we do not hear of any ruler or prince of Moldavia, as the tradition speaks about a certain Nun Olimpiada, under whose control starts in 1781 the erection of the first church in Văratec. In the 19th century here are built three churches, in 1808, 1844 and 1847. The actual building complex in Văratec Monastery was erected after 1900, after a great fire affected the previous edifices.
Built in stone and brick, having two round spires, the church in Văratec combines Moldavian traditional forms with Neo-classical elements. The church was first painted in 1841, but the actual Neo-Byzantine frescoes date from 1882. Inside the church, the altar is separated from the rest of the church through a wonderful iconostasis sculpted in yew wood and gilded, work of a great artistic value, executed in 1816.
Since 1860, in Văratec Monastery have functioned different schools and workshops for embroidery, carpets, knitting, sewing and decorative arts, most of them still functioning nowadays. These workshops are run by the nuns at Văratec, who dwell in their own houses in the monastery village.
How to get there:
Văratec Monastery is situated 38km north of Piatra Neamț. Take DN15C in the direction of Târgu Neamț and after 35km turn left to Văratec Monastery.
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