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  • Mănăstirea Stelea
    Mănăstirea Stelea © Alex Petrescu

Mănăstirea Stelea


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Str. Stelea 6
cent. XV-XVI
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A reference monument for the art of Romania from the 17th century, the Stelea monastic complex, which includes: the church (1645), the bell tower, the body of cells, the abbot's house (the Nifon house) and the enclosure walls, is the foundation of Voivode Vasile Lupu of Moldova, since 1645, being built as a sign of reconciliation with Voivode Matei Basarab.

Built in a triconch plan, with towers on the nave and pronaos, with a closed porch, the Church dedicated to the Resurrection of the Lord, presents the facades of plastered brick masonry, supported on seven massive buttresses, being divided into two registers, decorated with arched arches and a girdle of stone, typical Moldavian, that surrounds the entire church.

Since 1990, the holy place was reactivated as a monastery of monks, after a long period of time it did not function as a place of worship, rehabilitating a body of cells. Since 2004, at the initiative and with the blessing of the Most Reverend Father Archbishop and Metropolitan NIFON, the Diocesan Museum of the Archdiocese of Târgovişte (completely rehabilitated in 2016) has been operating at the Stelea Monastery, which includes numerous cult objects representative of the mountain Orthodox spirituality. Among these we mention: the frontispiece of the catapetesma of the Strâmbeanu Church (18th century), an icon of the Mother of God from the Dealu Monastery (17th century) and the festive icons from the wooden churches in the Cobia area, an icon of Saint Hierarch Nifon (1853), old liturgical books, such as: a Molitfelnic, dated 1782, Triod 1862, or Gospel from Radu cel Mare, together with several liturgical objects from the 17th-19th centuries. The museum space is arranged in five rooms of the "Nifon House", recently restored, and illustrates the spiritual and cultural role of Orthodoxy in the history of the Romanian nation, emphasizing the contribution of the Holy Voivode Martyr Constantin Brâncoveanu.

At the initiative of His Holiness the Archbishop and Metropolitan NIFON, starting in 2001, the church was consolidated and rehabilitated, the painting was restored, the artistic stone components were cleaned, a new body of the church was built, the roof of the church, museum and the bell tower, the Hall of the Holy Hierarch Nifon, Patriarch of Constantinople and Metropolitan of Wallachia was built (2016), the wall fence was built around the monastery premises, the Abbot's House was rehabilitated, in which the Diocesan Museum was inaugurated and the landscaping was carried out of the court (2016).

In the year of salvation 2017, the tenth day, His Eminence Archbishop and Metropolitan NIFON, surrounded by a distinguished council of priests and deacons, performed the consecration service of the monastery church, in the presence of national, county and local authorities, as well as thousands of believers from the Diocese and the country. The community of the monastery is guided by Pcuv. Protoss. VICENTIE Bigu.

Text taken from the history of the monastery displayed at the entrance


Stelea Church was built by Stelea Spătarul in 1580. After two unsuccessful attempts by Vasile Lupu to conquer Wallachia, he establishes diplomatic relations with Matei Basarab.  As a gesture of reconciliation, each lord builds a lodge in the other's land.  Thus, Basarab raised the Soveja monastery in the Putna area, while Vasile Lupu rebuilt, in 1645, the Stelea Church in Târgoviște.

 The church illustrates a harmonious combination of mountainous and Moldavian architectural features, representing a simplification of the Church of the Three Hierarchs in Iasi.  In addition to the Slavonic inscription, with the characters carved in stone, which frames the coat of arms of Moldova above the portal at the entrance to the pronaos, one can admire today the paintings on the pendants of the two towers, the paintings in the pronaos and the lateral apses of the naos, as well as the plant decoration  stylized.  The wooden casket, made in the middle of the 18th century, is a notable work of art.

 Paul of Aleppo, who had been lodged here, saw it in 1653: "grand and tall, having two elegant towers with several arches, for the polishing of which, it is said, 700 Venetian thalers were spent".

 From the old collection of furniture, there are two royal chairs in Brancoven style, one of which highlights the coat of arms of the Walloon Region on the back.  There is preserved a disk given by Mrs. Stanca, the wife of Mihai Viteazul, with a Slavonian inscription engraved on the edge, and a silver chalice considered holy, traditionally attributed to Vasile Lupu.

 Of the buildings of the monastery, only part of the cells has been completely preserved.  These cells housed a mentioned Greek school from the end of the 18th century until 1840, where Vasile Cârlova, Ion Heliade-Rădulescu and Grigore Alexandrescu studied.

 Recent archaeological excavations have revealed the remains of constructions from the 15th and 17th centuries.  The entire ensemble has been restored.

 Source: Bucharest-Brașov on variants (Ministry of Tourism, 1976)
Alex Petrescu
4 years ago



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