Probota Monastery


Religious & cultural monuments

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Less known for the “uninitiated” ones, Probota Monastery completes the list of Bucovina jewelry and it is the religious place where Stefan cel Mare’s (Stephen the Great) mother was laid to sleep for eternity.


The Probota Monastery was also included on the list of historical monuments in the Suceava County in 2004.


The settlement is located at short distance from Falticeni – less than 30 kilometres – in Probota village, which currently belongs to Dolhasca city.


Although the present construction dates from 1530, the history of the place started ever since the days of Peter I, who built a wooden monastery on this land dedicated to “Saint Nicholas”. Later on, Alexandru cel Bun (Alexander the Good) built, a little downwards, a stone church with the same patron.


So it happens that, years later, Stefan cel Mare’s (Stephen the great) mother, Oltea, was buried in this church, as a nun under the name of Mary.


Due to the advanced decay, Petru Rares abandoned this place and in 1530 he built the monastery in which we can pray today.


It would take another 20 years for the inside walls, the towers and cells to be completed. Moreover, in the North, the Voivode built a Royal House of stone.


For a long time the monastery has been marginalized because of Petru Rares’ decision to turn it into a necropolis, as the tombs of rulers Petru Rares and Stephen Rares, were here, as well as the tomb of Her Royalty Elena Rares and other royal family members of Moldavia.


However the real degradation period started at Probota in 1677, when the Metropolitan Bishop Dosoftei entrusted it to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem. Greek monks came to the monastery, but they have not used the place at its complete value, instead they have destroyed the architecture, building some of the windows and painting over the great paintings that covered the interior walls.


As if fate was not sad enough, after the secularization of Alexandru Ioan Cuza (Alexander John Cuza), Probota Monastery was dissolved, and “St. Nicholas” church becomes the parish church of the village. The buildings begin to deteriorate, and a fire in the early 20th century destroyed the cells.


Only many years later, when 400 years since the death of Stefan cel Mare (Stephen the Great) were commemorated, the settlement was brought to the attention of people when the tombstone of Mrs. Oltea, mother of former ruler, was brought in the church.


Several operations of the restoration and rehabilitation of buildings followed, and almost a decade later, in 1993, the “Saint Nicholas” Church within the Probota Monastery was included on the list of world-wide cultural patrimony, along with six other churches such as: Arbore (Tree), Humor, Moldovita, Patrauti, Suceava and Voronet, in the group called “the Painted Churches of Northern Moldavia”.


It is interesting that the nuns here have very many non-religious activities such as: painting, tailoring, decorating eggs and taking care of the orchard and vegetable gardens. All these provide them a decent living.

Images from Probota Monastery

Pictures from tourists who have visited this location

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