Harjava Ascension monastery

Distance from Chisinau: 70 km
Trip to the excursion place: 1-1,20 hours
Duration of excursion: 4 hours

The Harjava Ascension monastery is located in Calarasi area. Originally it was founded in 1740 as the monastery in the deep oak forest where inhabitants were hiding from attacks of Tatars.
According to the local legend the monastery was founded by monk Harju who saw the Holy Mother in his dreams three times, and She told him to found the sacred monastery. According to the legend, the monastery was constructed with material support from the landlords of the village Sipoteni on the granted earths earlier belonging to them and landlords from the village Hiriseni.
Archaeological researches of 1999 established that the monastery originally was located on the mountain top (approximately 700-800 m to the southwest from the today location), on two small and extended terraces arisen in the extreme antiquity as a result of landslips. From three sides the terraces are protected with deep, somewhere 3 m deep, artificial ditch. Here there was more extensive (about 10 hectares) ancient settlement limited from the West with the high steep of the landslip. The wooden Assumption temple was constructed in the middle of XVIII century in the center of the upper terrace with the financial support of one of the church wardens, Mihu Bulat. The lower terrace was housing the two-storied rectangular adobe - brick construction of cells, refectory and other premises.
In the beginning of XIX century the monastery received the monastery status. Due to the remote location on the steep mountain and landslips the brotherhood decided to shift the monastery to the new place, to the foot of the mountain near to the mud sources. With the efforts of abbot Tarasiy in 1814 here there was constructed a new wooden temple. Old one was moved in 1821 to the village Hiriseni where it exists and until now.
From all side except the north, the monastery is protected with hillsides, but, despite it, during the Tatar invasion all wooden constructions (churches and monastic cells) have been destroyed, and the monastery was restored only in the middle of XIX century. First the cells and winter church St. Spiridon (1836) were reconstructed, then, in 1848  the Ascension church was erected and round this church all the other constructions were built. 
Earlier the structure of the monastic complex included the terrace garden with ponds, arbors, fountains and vineyards which attracted a lot of visitors. The garden, unfortunately, did not survive in it former form, however the wood surrounding the monastery today, makes no less impression and, certainly, is worthy of visiting. 
Besides, the monastery territory has «Youth Source», known for the curing properties. 
In Soviet period there was the large sanatorium constructions of which structures are now used as the household premises. In 1993 the complex was returned to the church, and since 1995 this is the men's monastery. 
Sights in vicinities:
• Source with curative water
• monastery Reciula,
• monastery Harbovet
• monastery Frumoasa   
Recommendations for the tourist
• convenient footwear and clothes
• headdress against the sun
• camera
• women are recommended to be in clothes covering shoulders and a skirt below knees
Services of the guide: Russian, Romanian, English, German languages
Transport services: Minivan, Minibus, Bus  

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