Agapia Monastery is one of the largest nuns monastery in Europe. About this place, the Romanian writer Alexandru Vlahuță said in 1910 that is “a unique artistic treasure, a wealth of heavenly life, so beautiful, so clean and so powerful”. Agapia is located only nine kilometers from Târgu Neamţ, in the middle of the forest.
The first documentary mention of the monastery dates from 1437, from the time of Ilieş Vodă. Due to the difficult terrain, back in 1600, the monks from Agapia moved to the valley and built a church around which the monastery that we see today developed.
A special cultural value is given to the monastery by the frescoes painted by Nicolae Grigorescu during 1858-1861, when the artist was about 20 years old. Grigorescu (the most famous Romanian painter) used the villagers as models for the saints and was inspired by the great Renaissance artists.
The wooden Church of the Assumption impresses with its simplicity, elegance, but also with the beauty given by the shape and the natural material used to cover it.
Once here, it is worth visiting the museum arranged inside the monastery. Here you can see old icons and crosses, manuscripts, embroideries, or at the workshops where the nuns, candlesticks, candles, but also photos of the writers who passed by this place of worship.
Also, in the workshops of the monastery, the nuns weave carpets, they paint icons of a special beauty.
The monastery is a true gate to spirituality. One of the 200 monastic houses in Agapia, inhabited and fully functional, can be visited by tourists. It’s what’s called the Agapia Vivant Museum, unique in Europe, where you can get to know the everyday life of nuns, you can see them while praying or embroidering.
You should also admire Agapia’s very old monastic houses, still in function today, which testify to the continuity of monastic life in this part of the country.