VIII, 2012, 2

Princely Houses within the Monasteries from Moldavia | p. 39–58

15th–17th century, archaeology, monasteries founded by Moldavian rulers, princely houses


The archaeological excavations performed in the second half of the previous century within the restoration process of several monasteries from Moldavia revealed within their precincts the vestiges of some presumably princely houses. The ruins were discovered at the Bistriţa, Putna, Voroneţ, Slatina, Suceviţa monasteries, while the presence of some ceramic tile fragments at Probota and Moldoviţa lead to the hypothesis that also within these monasteries there had been princely houses. Most of these buildings lay on the south or southwest side of the precinct. Built on top of spacious cellars, the princely houses had ceramic-tiled wood stoves, with a diverse ornamentation repertoire, and some of them even had frescoed rooms (Bistriţa).

The princely houses underwent multiple evolution stages. At Bistriţa, Alexander the Good built the first such building whereas Petru Rareş built a second one on a different spot. At the Slatina Monastery there were built at the same time both the princely house, on the south side, and the so-called “Princess Ruxandra’s palace”, on the west side. The buildings on the north side of the precincts of the Moldoviţa and Probota monasteries, considered for a long time to have served as princely houses, proved to be sacristies. Most of these buildings have not reached us, being dismantled during fires (Voroneţ), natural calamities (the old Probota and Moldoviţa monasteries) or upon subsequent construction work (Bistriţa, Putna).