The largest rocky monastery of Central Europe in Tsypovo

Vladlena Martus | Live the World

November 23, 2022

Moldova hides a lot of secrets, including mysterious stories about the old monasteries and temples. One of the most wondrous places in my country is the Tsypovo Rocky Monastery, that is located on the banks of the Dniester River. It is named after the nearby village Tsypovo. This place is one of the most famous and popular touristic attractions of Moldova among foreign tourists not only because of the weird stories but also because it's the largest rock monastery in Central Europe. Tsypovo was founded in the 6th century. There are also a lot of legends about this monastery and the surrounding places. So, let's follow the path into the mysterious world of this peculiar spiritual centre.

Tsypovo medieval village 

Tsypovo is a small village which hasn't changed a lot since its first mentions in the year 1746. The nature, the atmosphere and the landscapes of this rock monastery have preserved the special atmosphere of a medieval village. Bright and tiny houses, stone fences, wells, and beautiful flora - all of that represents the history pages of the Moldavian past. Near the village, if you come through the dense thickets, you will get to the splendid bank of the Dniester River and have a possibility to enjoy the fresh air and an unbelievable view

© Wikipedia/Анатолий Зубанюк

Monastery's glorious days

The Tsypovo Rock Monastery's palmy days fall at the beginning of the 18th century. At that time, a large reconstruction and expansion of the monastery began. Along with this, the main church "Adormirea Maicii Domnului" (Assumption of the Virgin Mary) was divided into several separate rooms to serve as a reliable refuge for hermit monks. In the Soviet period, the Tsypovo Monastery was closed; however, in 1974, its ruins were taken under the protection of the state. In 1994, the temple was returned to all of the believers and parishioners together with the resumed divine services. Recently, a huge rebuilding has been carried out, and now everyone can visit the territory of the Rock Monastery in Tsypovo at any time. There you will find a lot of interesting things, besides the typical church attributes, like pages of the monastery's glorious days. 

© Wikipedia/Andrei Szocs

The natural landscapes of this place make people admire their beauty and originality. Tourists can visit the impressive gorge of the Tsypovo picturesque reserve and enjoy many beautiful waterfalls. Believe me; it’s breathtaking! Once you visit the unforgettable Monastery of Tsypovo, you will always have a desire to return to this place again.

© Wikipedia/Alex

Tsypovo mysteries

Let's speak about the main and the most mysterious property of Tsypovo - it is the largest rocky Orthodox monastery in Moldova and one of the largest in Central Europe, as it's carved into a giant cliff. This place of interest can rightfully be considered quite special. Just imagine that the whole monastery is hidden in the rocks. When visiting, try to look at it from the opposite side: it appears like an array of limestone, shining in the middle of the mountain, with dark window openings. You will be astonished and, perhaps, intimidated. Today, 18 spacious cells are preserved here. They are located in 3 levels on a steep cliff. it is a rare example of a multi-level stone building that is a real treasure of our country. 

© author

The stories that surround the Tsypovo Monastery are very mysterious. Fairy tales and mystical legends make this place very attractive for people interested in extrasensory perceptiontranscendental disciplines, and etc. One of the legends says that the ancient hero Orfeus descended into the realm of shadows for his Euridika right here, in Tsypovo. In addition, it is generally accepted that the exiled Roman poet Ovidii found his last refuge here, in the cells of the temple. Some eyewitnesses tell about the many-voiced male choir, heard at night from the underground. Others speak about the walls of the ancient city that are visible here only when the fog comes out. I am sure that these stories make visiting Tsypovo that much more interesting. 

© iStock/Mimadeo

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