The Moldoviţa Monastery (Romanian: Mânăstirea Moldoviţa) is a Romanian Orthodox monastery situated in the commune of Vatra Moldoviţei, Suceava County, Moldavia, Romania.
The Monastery was built in 1532 by Petru Rares, who was Stefan the Great's son. It was founded as a protective barrier against the Muslim Ottoman conquerors from the East.
It is one of the five monasteries in Northern Moldavia with frescoes painted on the outer walls.
Moldoviţa's frescoes were painted by Toma of Suceava in 1537. They are filled with yellow accents and are well preserved. The predominantly yellow-and-blue paintings on its exterior represent recurring themes in Christian Orthodox art: a procession of saints leads up to the Virgin enthroned with the Child in her lap, above the narrow east window; the "Tree of Jesse" springs from a recumbent Jesse at the foot of the wall to marshal the ancestry of Christ around the Holy Family; The "Siege of Constantinople" commemorates the intervention of the Virgin in saving the city of Constantinople from Persian attack in A.D. 626.
In 1607 Bishop Efrem of Rădăuţi built the solid precinct wall with three towers. The gate tower and the southeast corner tower are square, but the northeast corner tower is round. A vaulted gateway leads through the gate tower into the compound. The arch of the gateway is decorated with carved stone rosettes. In the northwest corner of the compound is a two-store building, the former "clisiarniţa", or treasury house. Now the building is the monastery museum.
The museum of the monastery holds manuscripts dating the 15th century, manuscripts which make references to the way the monastery school used to be organized and to any other general cultural activities.
Although the monastery is visited by hundreds of people daily, the nuns that live there can hardly be seen, as they lead a very reserved life. They either work in the household, in the painting and embroidery workshops or they use their talent to create icons in miniature from porcelain dust.
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