Two years before, I had already been to Curchi monastery in central Moldova. It had been a visit during the pandemic, and I had been one of very few people around. I am back to Moldova again, and my travel companion and I have decided to visit Curchi. We are arriving from Soroca in the north, and instead of taking the main road, we decide to drive a track straight through the landscape of this part of the countryside of rolling hills. We pass villages like Tirzieni and Breanova with some great vistas of green pastures and flocks of sheep. Even through the going is slow and cautious in our sedan, we consider the views a reward for our idea to divert from the logical route. Fortunately, the unpaved tracks are dry, we emerge on an asphalted road near Morozeni, from where it is a short drive to Curchi monastery.
The difference with my previous visit could not be greater. We are lucky to find a spot to park our car. There are souvenir sellers on the roadside. Families walking towards Curchi monastery. We follow the stream through the main entrance gate, and enter the grounds of the monastery. All the memories come back. The fountain with art works, the small church on the right, and the bigger one on the left. Behind, the buildings that are undoubtedly used by the monks. I remember that two years before, I had seen a lone woman dressed in black, standing between the trees, reading a bible. Now, we hear kids screaming, we see young couples with a stroller holding their baby, we see groups of people posing for pictures. When we enter the St Nicholas church, the smaller of the two churches of Curchi, a baptism is going on. A small baby is lying on the side, guarded by its mother, while singing is going on. Photographers take pictures of this important moment in the life of the newly born, the church is filled with buzz.
Some say that Curchi was founded by none other than Stefan the Great in the 16th century, but it is commonly believed that it was founded by the Curchi brothers in 1773. It was expanded, part of it was destroyed, it was used as a mental institution during the Soviet times, neglected, and reconstructed only in the last twenty years after a TV campaign raised money. We walk to the Naşterea Domnului church, the baroque icon of Curchi towering high above its grounds. It actually has the highest dome of Moldova at 57 metres. Here, a wedding is going on - we have seen another couple outside that will have to wait their turn. The newly weds get crowns on their heads under the golden altar of the mighty dome which is completely covered by colourful murals. We walk around the church, and walk towards the exit. One thing is clear: after decades of neglect, Curchi is more alive than ever before.
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Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Curchi monastery (Moldova). Clicking on the pictures enlarges them and enables you to send the picture as a free e-card or download it for personal use, for instance, on your weblog. Or click on the map above to visit more places close to Curchi monastery. Read more about this site.