19 10/2016

Monastery Curchi

Curchi Monastery is one of the most important architectural monuments of Bessarabia, and it is also considered to be one of the most beautiful and famous monasteries of the region. 

It is located in Orhei forest near Curchi village, approximately 14 km southwest of the town of Orhei. The monastery is situated in the Vatici valley on a bank of the Vatic River between rich hills covered with forests, gardens and orchards. The monastery is a real gem, offering silence and peace. 

The monastery has a rich religious and cultural past spanning more than two centuries. It was founded in 1773-1775 and became one of the richest, most beautiful, and largest monasteries in Moldova. 

Several churches were build on the monastery’s premises: St. Demetrius, a wooden church built in 1775 by Ioan Curchi; Naşterea Domnului, a stone church built in 1810; the winter church of St. Demetrius built in 1844; the summer church Naşterea Domnului built in 1872; and the winter church of St. Nicholas (unfinished), built in 1936-1939. 

Monastery's main church, the cathedral Naşterea Domnului (1872), was built in baroque style, inspired by the church of St. Andrew in Kiev, which was designed by Italian architect Bartolomeo Rastrelli. The cathedral has the highest dome in Moldova, rising to a height of 57 meters

 During the World War II, a fire at the monastery destroyed the icons and gilded iconostasis inside the church. In addition, two of the four original belfries were destroyed. In 1943, the cathedral was repainted. Unfortunately, from 1959-1995 the monastery was used as a psychiatric hospital. During this time, some repairs were made in 1993, but it was largely neglected until 1999. 

The monsetary was reopened in 2005, but still badly in need of repair. Then in 2006, under the patronage of the former President of Moldova, a large fund-raising campaign, "Curchi Monastery: From Ruins to Elevation”, was organized to support the restoration of the monastery. Today the monastery is undergoing a complete renovation.