Sunday, July 14, 2013


I've already sent 1 or 2 officials to Moldava but this is the 1st i received from there. 
This is the orthodox Church of St. Mary in Orheiul Vechi.

Foto: V. Galperin
MO-21175, sent by Vladimir.
St. Mary Church is part of the Orheiul Vechi Monastery Complex, located 10 kilometres to the southeast of Orhei city.
This monastery was carved into a massive limestone cliff.  The Cave Monastery, inside a cliff overlooking the gently meandering “Răut River”, was dug by Orthodox monks in the 13th century. It remained inhabited until the 18th century, and in 1996 a handful of monks returned to this secluded place of worship and are slowly restoring it. 
The cliff face is dotted with what seem to be holes; most of these are other caves and places of worship dug over the millennia, as this region was a place of worship for Geto-Dacian tribes from before Christ’s time. In all, the huge cliff has six complexes of interlocking caves, most of which are accessible only by experienced rock climbers and many of which are out-of-bounds for tourists.
In the 18th century the cave-church was taken over by villagers from neighbouring Butuceni. In 1905 they built a church above ground dedicated to the Ascension of St Mary. The church was shut down by the Soviets in 1944 and remained abandoned throughout the communist regime. Services resumed in 1996, though it still looks abandoned. - in:

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