Tsipovo, part one.

(This post has a Russian version.)

I said there’ll be two more posts coming up – I lied. There will be four – two parts for Tsipovo, and two parts for Saharna.

I’m sure there’s a wealth of information on Saharna online (haven’t looked it up yet) – at least there definitely is, compared to Tsipovo. Tsipovo – or Tsipova – is a place that many people talk about and many seem to have visited, and yet it remains largely unpopular, as far as cultural and religious sights go in this country.

Indeed, it’s not as ‘fancy’ as the aforementioned Saharna, for example. It’s not as vast as Orheiul Vechi, though it too has cave complexes and ‘miracle’ places. Perhaps it’s a bit harder to get to? But how hard can it be to get to any Moldavian location?

Technically, Tsipova is a village in the Rezina region. One of the sights in the village is the monastery, and this is what this post is about. I haven’t set foot in the actual village.

The monastery was founded in the 6th century. (What?!) It saw Stefan the Great marry Maria. The 18th century was the monastery’s renaissance time, and a little under two centuries later the Tsipovo monastery was closed for service, much like most other religious places in the Soviet states. The services in Tsipova resumed in 1994. Wikipedia tells me that in 2012 the Tsipova monastery has undergone restoration, but from where I stand, there’s still a way to go. This place is certainly not as ‘rich’ as many other religious sights in the country. Plus the restoration of a place like this always faces certain problems. You need to preserve the authenticity. Yet you need to make the place safe and attractive.

I’m not saying it’s unsafe now, but it’s certainly not a place where one should bring small kids, for example. There’s nowhere to hide form the sun. The way up – and down – is actually quite difficult. There are a lot of places on the ground of the Tsipova monastery where you should watch your step. It’s worth it, but not for a five year old.

Anyway! Onto photos.

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When we’ve just stepped off the boat, we inadvertently crashed someone’s private picnic party. It was totally random.

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Steadily climbing up. Here’s our boat from above. And higher up we go.

Continue reading Tsipovo, part one.

Old Orhei: In the Cliff.

Finally, the reason most people even want to visit Old Orhei¬†— cells in the cliffs. If you’re able, I definitely recommend that you climb inside them, though you do need to be careful, especially if the weather is wet, as it had been during my visit. I actually nearly fell down, because I slipped on the mud. Thankfully one of the uni mates grabbed my hand before I rolled all the way down. Nearly dragged the poor thing¬†down with me. I’m still so sorry about that!

Some of the pictures posted here are blurry, but I still wanted to put them up to give you at least a bit of an impression of what to expect.

Continue reading Old Orhei: In the Cliff.