XVIII, 2022, 1

An Unknown Manuscript from Putna Monastery (1856) | p. 39–52

Chesarie Dracinschi, Iraclie Porumbescu, opening of the princely tombs, Putna Monastery, Sevastian Gheorghiescu


The present paper discusses a novel manuscript written at Putna Monastery, which is part of the collection of the Romanian Academy Library. The book, entitled O mânuducere prin sfânta monastire Putna (“A Guided Tour of the Holy Putna Monastery”) was written by novice Chesarie Dracinschi in 1858. The author had been appointed as teacher at the monastery school and wanted to make a textbook or a guide of the Putna Monastery history, to use in his teaching. The work is in fact a historical writing, compiling oral narratives and written sources from the books existing in the monastery to which the author added the facts seen, heard and lived on place. The first three chapters contain information on the history of the holy place and its founders, a description of the interior of the church, with its tombs, furniture and patrimony. This information is mostly reproduced after Hieromonk Sevastian Gheorghiescu’s writings. The fourth chapter is a detailed description of the opening of the princely tombs on November 12–17, 1756 – a text originally written by priest Iraclie Porumbescu and corrected and completed with what the author personally noted during those days. The novice’s conscientiousness and critical spirit, as well as the richness of original details make Chesarie Dracinschi’s book a source worthy to be considered by researchers interested in the history of the Putna Monastery in the second half of the 19th century.