The forests of Bison Land are home to the second largest ensemble of places of worship, after Mount Athos. Each chapel, monastery has its own story, offering unique experiences.
The Hermitage of Saint Daniel Sihastru
A favorite place for hermits, the hermitage is built in a meadow on a mountain peak. You can get here on the paths: either one that goes on the ridge, or a winding path, which goes up and down the slopes of the mountain. The pilgrims who come to the skete can help to build the place by taking the path entrance, from the road that connects the Sihăstria Monastery to the Sihla Monastery, a bucket with building material.
The Vovidenia Hermitage
Located near the Neamț Monastery, it has always been a suitable place for temporary or permanent withdrawal for some monks. It is a place that abounds in silence. The proof of that is the Mihail Sadoveanu Memorial House which is situated in the immediate vicinity of the hermitage, a house that was used by the author for creation. The area is also called the Poiana Tranquilis, as the writer called it.
The Pocrov Hermitage
Located in a meadow with secular forests, 4 km from Neamț Monastery, Pocrov hermitage is one of the oldest monastic buildings in Neamț county. The road leading to the hermitage passes through places of unparalleled tranquility and scenery and stops in a meadow of impressive beauty. People who have visited the Pocrov hermitage say that “this is the place where you close your eyes and stretch out your hand, touching God’s outstretched hand.”
Icoana Veche (Old Icon) hermitage
Six kilometers from the Neamț Monastery, in a dense forest which seems deserted, you can find the Icoana Veche Hermitage. History says that, because of Etheria, the Icon of the Virgin Mary given to the voivode Alexander the Good by the Byzantine emperor Ioan Paleologul, about 600 years ago was hidden here. In the place where, various objects together with the Icon of the Lord’s Mother were hidden, a cross was erected, marking what happened. In 1992, the chapel burned down completely, the foundation stone is expected to be laid again in 2012, and the year 2017 brought about the completion and consecration of the new Church of the Icoana Veche Hermitage.
If you want to follow the holy paths of those who have lived only through prayer, walk through the forests around the Neamț Monastery where hermits who left behind only places spiritually charged, the Church of Icoana Veche Hermitage will spiritually charge you with humility, patience and wisdom.
The Icoana Nouă (New Icon) Hermitage
Between the impressive and old monastery of Neamț and the Icoana Veche Hermitage, there was a meadow called “Valea Icoanei”, the place where the locals once kept the cattle. With the patron saint , “The transfiguration of Jesus”, the church was built of brick and stone-plated, for it to be subsequently decorated with a fresco painting. Tourists who have stopped at the Icoana Nouă Hermitage, say that the hospitality and kindness of the people in the monastery are special, the settlement itself being a dream in connection with the love and faith for Christ.
If you stop at the Dragoș-Vodă Reservation, you can also go to the Cărbuna Shrine, located not far from the main road. Located in a plantation of secular oak trees and a special natural setting, the Cărbuna Hermitage is the place of remembrance and prayer for the heroes of the Romanian nation during the two world wars.
If you choose to seclude yourself from the world for a few moments, at 4km from Neamț Monastery you will have a spiritual trip to the Braniște Chapel. Although close to the main road, the place is loaded with sacerdotal and spiritual tranquility. The very entrance of this hermitage gives you the feeling of meeting with God.
The Agapia Veche Hermitage
Two kilometers from the Agapia Monastery, among the towering trees of the forest, the Agapia Veche Hermitage stands guard. You can reach this place by car on a cobbled road, or on foot, on a marked path that crosses the forest. The trip to Agapia Veche helps you discover and learn about the monastic beginnings, along with other pilgrims who climb the path to the hermitage, though the beautiful surroundings.
The Poiana lui Ioan Hermitage
In the Neamț Mountains, 3 km from the Sihăstria Monastery, there is the Poiana lui Ioan Hermitage. The road to the skete can be traveled by car or on foot through a secular beech and coniferous forest. The “Road of the Cross” as it has been called, is marked with trunks on which pictures with scenes from the last days of the life of Jesus on earth are painted. The last scene is depicted on the icon placed in the church, on the altar, an additional motivation to get here.
The Nifon (Ulysses) Hermitage
Far from the urban civilization, through a beech forest, we arrive to the Saint Nifon Hermitage. Here nature is intertwined with the kindness of those who serve. The Nifon hermitage was built after the founding of the Secu Monastery, by a monk by the name Nifon, who came from Mount Athos. Hidden in the heart of Neamt, the Nifon Hermitage awaits you with a kind of tranquility which is rare to chance upon.