After our visit to Saharna Monastery, we have to make a pretty big detour for our next destination - even though Tipova Monastery is some 10 kilometres to the south as the crow flies. We drive a lovely road through the countryside, and just can't get enough of the enormous fields with sunflowers that can be seen in abundance here. At the end of the road, we park the car, and walk to a small, modern orthodox church. After a quick look inside, we find a trail going towards the river. We follow it, and as it descends on the east side of the cliffs, we enjoy the views over the landscape below us. We see the Dniester river deep below us, and the lower, flat lands of Transnistria on the other side. We reach a viewpoint after short climb, where we take in the views. Then, we hike down, pass some caves, and arrive at an opening at the foot of the rockface. We have arrived.
The woman behind a small table makes us buy the tickets, and makes a fuss about my camera, trying to charge me more than a normal entry. I refuse to pay, and we just walk in. There are several rooms with barren walls, and small images of saints. A big metal cross stands against a wall. Overall, we are disappointed with what we see. It is nothing compared to the spectacular rock churches elsewhere in Moldova. Yet Tipiva Monastery is famous if only because the national hero, Stefan the Great, married here. We decide to take the trail downhill, towards the river. We pass a sign warning against snakes. When we arrive at the river, we see trash, and there is no trail to go back to the entrance. We decide to climb uphill again, and this turns out to be a good decision. We first make a short stop at the main complex of Tipova Monastery, where the ticket lady still seems to be in a bad mood. Then, we take a different path.
Soon enough, we pass under another rockface. We see large monastic cells. Stairs take us up, and there is also some climbing involved here and there. It turns out that the cells are deep, and there is a string of them. To get from one cell to the next, you have to squeeze yourself through a narrow hole in the rock. The further we go, the narrower the holes seem to be. I have to take off my backpack, push it through the hole, and then crawl through it myself. The man-made cells are like huge balconies, with a great panorama of the river landscape and Transnistria. When we walk on, we see some more cells, and then see narrow steps leading up the rock face. It is not easy, but we manage to climb up, and end up on the higher trail we had taken on our way to Tipova Monastery. From here, it is an easy walk back to the car.
Around the World in 80 Clicks
Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Tipova 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 Tipova Monastery. Read more about this site.