Putna Monastery


Some 28km northwest of Rădăuţi, along a forested road dotted by traditional villages, Putna Monastery (1466–81) was built by Ştefan cel Mare, following his victory over the Turks at Chilia. About 60 monks live here. While Putna lacks spectacular frescoes, its royal inhabitants (Ştefan cel Mare is buried in the tomb room) keep it close to the Romanian heart. The graves of Ştefan's third wife, Maria Voichiţa, their two children, Bogdan and Petru, and Ştefan’s second wife, Maria, are here too.

Putna Museum, behind the monastery, houses one of Eastern Europe's largest Byzantine collections. Treasures include medieval manuscripts and the Holy Book that Ştefan cel Mare carried into battle. The largest of three bells inscribed in Old Church Slavonic outside dates from 1484, and was rung for royal deaths. The price of admission is included in the general monastery entry fee.