Secu Monastery

Set at the foot of Mount Vasan and near the Secu river, the monastery has the shape of a medieval fortress with thick walls, defense towers and high towers. The monastery hosts a treasure, which historian Nicolae Iorga called “the great wonder of Secu”, and which contains manuscripts, prints, precious metal objects of great value from the historical and artistic point of view. 

The monastery museum presents valuable objects, such as the Holy Air donated by Nestor Ureche in 1608, a Gospel printed at the Neamț Monastery in 1821 with silver elements, two ark donated by Safta Brâncoveanu, made of gilded silver or a silver cross from the year 1592. But one of the most precious gifts received by the monastery is the icon of the Mother of God “Cypriot”, which was originally in the Church of St. Nicholas in the Neamt Fortress.

The story of the Secu treasure is interesting because it had to be taken to Russia in 1916, but a monk hid it in a secret place, he refused to disclose to the authorities. Thus, the Secu treasure can now be admired by visitors, while the rest of the Romanian Treasure remains in the hands of the Russians.

The origins of this place of worship are in the 1500s, when a group of hermits settled on these places, who founded the Zosima Hermitage. In the 17th century it shows an important development, and at the same time defense walls and the church in the courtyard of the monastery are built by Nestor Ureche. The monastery complex has undergone changes over the years. The greatest damage was done in 1821 during the battles of the heretical revolutionaries with the Turks. The last battle won by the Turks led to the burning of the monastery.

The current ensemble was built gradually, the last renovations, constructions being made a few years ago. In some places, the stone wall is 3 m thick and 9 m high. It has towers at the corners and on the side of the entrance. One of the towers was arranged as a house by the founders of this place, the family of the boyar Ureche.

The architecture of the church of the Beheading of St. John the Baptist presents both Moldavian and Wallachian elements.