55 Orthodox Sacred Cloisters are opened in Moldova as of yet: 22 monasteries and 6 cloisters for monks, 24 monasteries and 2 cloisters for nuns, and 1 monastery for Old-Believers. The territories of present-day Moldova have been historically attracting people of faith who believed this land to be consecrated. To the turn of XVIII century the country saw more than 30 monasteries and cloisters opened.
Every cloister has a proper history that can reveal multiple captivating events. All the cloisters are located in the most picturesque places of Moldova, in deep forests or onto mount slopes, by cascades of lakes or rivers, inside canyons next to waterfalls, onto mount summits and even in the heart of villages and towns.
The first monasteries in Moldova were carved inside rocky mountains. One of the oldest onland cloisters to have survived till nowadays is Varzaresti Monastery (Varzaresti settlement, Nisporeni district). While, the forerunners of monastic live in this country are Capriana Monastery (Capriana settlement, Straseni district), Hancu Convent (Bursuc settlement, Nisporeni district), Japca Convent (Japca settlement, Floresti district) and many others.
Distinctively beautiful are Curchi Monastery (Curchi settlement, Orhei district), Calarasovca Convent (Calarasovca settlement, Ocnita district), Noul Neamti Monastery (Chitcani settlement, Slobozia district, Transnistria), Rudi Convent (Rudi settlement, Soroca district), Suruceni Convent (Suruceni settlement, Ialoveni district). Four cloisters of Calarasi district form a cross to be marked from the height of bird’s flight: Harjauca, Frumoasa, Hirboveti, Raciula. As a rule, visitors are eager to sightsee all four cloisters at a time. Saharna Monastery (Rezina district) is often visited by people in hope to heal themselves: a unique mountain spring is hosted by the place. Besides the cloister, in Saharna one may sightsee a waterfall, a cloister carved in a rock and ancient monuments of archaeology.
Cloisters-villages are of interest either: cells of monks are placed in village houses in contrast to usual separate premises especially constructed for residence. For example, Raciula Convent (Raciula settlement, Calarasi district) or Hirova Convent (Nicolaevca settlement, Orhei district), where the roofs of houses are constructed of cane by old Moldovan tradition.
In 1950s-1960s the cloisters of Moldova were liquidated. The only survivor was Japca Convent. To the turn to 1990s monastic life was revived. Monastic gates are always open: for both people of faith and visitors interested in the past and present days of Moldova.