Neamt county

Posted on 2020-01-05    Category Places to visit

Neamt County

Between the neighbouring counties, Suceava to the north, Harghita to the west, Bacau to the south Iasi and Vaslui to the east, lies the county of Neamt, situated in the north eastern part of Romania, in the region called Moldova. The country territory is partially the oriental carpathians and partially the Moldova plateau. Besides the mountains we should mention the Bicaz Gorges, the touristic sites are also numerous: the citadel of Neamt, the resorts Baltatesti and Oglinzi, the tourist resort Durau, the old monasteries, Neamt, Agapia, Varatec etc.

Agapia Monastery  In the village 12 km south west of Tg. Neamt we find Agapia monastery today inhabited by nuns dedicated to the Holy Archangels Michael and Gabriel. A historical and religious architectural monument painted on the inside by the famous Romanian painter Nicolae Grigorescu (1858-1860) in Neo Classical style but with innovative elements. Agapia monastery owns a valuable museum collection of medieval and religious art and a library which comprises many old books. On the southern side we will find the chapel to The birth of Virgin Mary, and outside the boundary of the monastery there are the churches of the Assumption  of the Virgin and Saint John the Baptist.Agapia is one of the most famous and well known monuments in this part of the country, visited by a large number of tourists longing to see an ancient place of faith and culture. Built successively in the XV-XVIIth centuries by the hermit Agapie, by the ruler Petru Rares and by the wife of ruler Gheorghe Duca, the monastery church has been restored entirely during recent years.

The tourism and relaxation resort Durau  At an altitude of 780-800 metres, at the foot of mountain Ceahlau situated at 100 km from Piatra Neamt we find the tourism and relaxation resort Durau, frequented by tourists since the XVIIIth century. On one of the routes within the Ceahlau Massif the tourists can admire Duruitoarea Waterfall (25 m high) with an impressive flow and a deafening noise (where it gets the name from). The tonic effect  stimulating sub alpine climate, the fresh air without pollution, the ozone – rich atmosphere represent the main natural factors of treatment here. The resort is recommended for rest and the treatment of asthenic neurosis, of weakness, anaemia, and for recovery after intense physical or intellectual effort.

The memorial house Ion Creanga (John Bough) Built in 1830 by Petrea Ciubotariul (the shoemaker), the grandfather of the great storyteller the house where Creanga was born and spent his childhood, it became a museum in 1951. Being one of the most visited memorial museums, it represents, beyond its historical and sentimental significance an actual product of folk architecture, typical of the period and of ethno-cultural values. The exhibits displayed here characterize the simplicity, common sense and modesty of the Moldavian peasant, generating a strong feeling of humility, not only beause of what they represent in respect to the memory of the writer Ion Creanga (1837-1889) but also because they are authenthic testimonies of the folk traditions of the inhabitants from this part of the country.

Neamt Monastery  In the XIVth century the Moldavian ruler Petru Ist Musat (1375-1391) built instead of the wooden church, stone church dedicated to the Ascension of Christ. The bell tower was built by the ruler Alexander the Kind, at the beginning of the XVth century, and the actual church dedicated to the same Ascension of Christ, by the ruler Stephen the Great between 1485-1497. Stephen the Great rebuilt in this way the stone church of Petru I-st Musat. This church of Neamt Monastery is the biggest and most expressive church of all the foundations of Stephen the Great and Saint, the most interesting and representative monument of the Moldavian architecture of the XVth century in overall plan and internal structure. The builder, knew how to assemble together the most valuable elements of the earlierachievements joining the tree conches nave.

The plane of the church built by Stephen’s orders established the classical type of the monastic church having a burial chamber between the nave and ante nave lobby. Into the original plan was added on the south side of the altar during Ilias Voda time, a space for preserving the priests clothes. The church has ornaments in the upper parts made from enamel bricks applied on the walls. On the upper part of the wall exists two lines of  small windows one of them having traces of paint. The exterior decoration of the church keeps the Moldavian style resulting from the mix between the Byzantine elements (enamel ceramics) and Gothic (doors, windows, counterfort) adapted to the Moldavian style.   The interior picture distinguishes the times. In the altar, the nave and the burial chamber belongs to the Stephen the Great period. The one from prenave and porch belongs to the style from the time of Petru Rares (XVIth  century) The entire ensemble of paintings was repainted colour over colour in 1830. Today, the painting from the church is being restored to the painting from the time of Stephen the Great. The Neamt monastery was also a centre of culture and art. Starting in the XVth century here was founded a school of calligraphy and miniaturists, one of the best beeing the monk Gabriel Uric who wrote on parchment with outstanding miniatures the Four Gospels from 1429, the original beeing kept to Oxford - United Kingdom. Here was written the two chronicler Macarie and Eftimie, the chronicles of Moldavia during the time of Petru Rares and Alexander Lapusneanu. From this monastery came many people of art and culture.  Inside, the monastery exists also the St. George monastic church built between 1959-1960 which was initially in to the middle of the inner courtyard. But it was demolished and rebuilt on the east side. In this church are found the old iconostasys of the altar from 1798 and the icon of Virgin Mary with three hands. The third hand belongs to St Damaschin. It is an icon responsible for miracles. The unknown saint from Neamtu it was a person buried inside the inner courtyard of the monastery. On 24th May 1986 his tomb was discovered by accident. In the alley which goes from the bell tower to the church, the stone and the cement was broken and risinge. Digging there to see the cause of the stone rising the monks discovered the bones of a monk. We have the certainty that the people which have a life loved by God after the death will be honoured by God.