Bârnova Monastery

The Bârnova Monastery, around which the whole community developed, was built between 1626 and 1666 by the voivodes Miron Barnovschi and Eustratie Dabija, on the site of an old wooden church dating back to 1603.

Hidden in the secular enclaves of Iaşi, the monastery is protected by fortified walls, with ramparts. For the first time in Moldova, in the churches of Barnovschi-Voda, there is the bell tower attached to the church, located above the porch. This is a fortification element, provided with ramparts for rifle shooting and a secret cell, in which the church’s priceless items could be hidden in time of distress.

Since 1663, when the monastery was dedicated to the Patriarchate of Jerusalem, and the holy place was managed by Greek monks for 200 years. In 1728, Gregory II Ghica built new stone houses, a wall of enclosure with defence towers, crenels, and a guard arbour. He has settled temporarily here with all the courtiers in order to avoid the epidemic of the time. In 1863, as a result of Prince Cuza’s law of secularization of the monasteries, the domains and assets of the monastery became state property, while the palace of Daphina Dabija, the wife of the founding prince, was transformed into a village school and a parish house. Between 1908 and 1945, the sanctuary became a parish, then became a monastery for nuns. During the Communist period it became a parish again, and since 1991 it has regained the status of a monastery.

Photo by