Some Will Agree That This Is A Market Too ... Others Will Be Upset!
August 2019 · 6 min read
Today I will try to bring up a topic that could stir controversy. Maybe not ... but I'm curious how it will be received. I haven't seen many posts in this regard and I don't know why they are avoided. Some of us are thinking of telling about shopping and markets on this Friday. This Friday it's about travel, history, life and shopping! I mean #travelfeed and #marketfriday.
I consider myself a man attracted to the visual arts. I tend to use a lot of photos in my posts. Because a picture can be better than a thousand words and because words are heavy for me, especially in a foreign language.
We start on today's trip and I have to specify the place. Romania, an average country in the European Union, a former communist country. It's been less than thirty years since we broke the chains of communism and totalitarianism. The city is Iasi, a city where I am more tourist than inhabitant. It's a city full of history and is the second largest in Romania. It is a city full of churches and monasteries and this made me want to talk about it.
Unlike churches that are in every neighborhood, almost on every street ... the monasteries are real fortresses, especially on the hills on the outskirts of the city. They are surrounded by thick and high walls that impede access and view of the inner courtyard. These monasteries were built in the sixteenth century and are now considered historical monuments.
You can read here, in a few words, the history of the place and the monastery.
Around this monastery, in hundreds of years, houses were built and so it was integrated into the city. I did not have enough space to photograph in a whole picture the walls of the monastery as well as the imposing tower from the entrance to the private area.
This is the entrance and heavy gate that allows access or prohibits it. These large walls of defense were made to protect the community of monks as well as the surrounding inhabitants against the frequent attacks by the Tatars and Turks.
As soon as you enter the inner courtyard everything changes. In the seconds you pass the entrance you have the impression that hundreds of years have passed. Peace is the master everywhere. Nothing moves and the wind blows gently and spreads a pleasant smell of grass, wildflowers and myrrh.
The feeling of peace and peace is overwhelming and at first you do not understand what is happening ... where are the worries, problems and daily agitation.
Inside the fortifications we find two imposing buildings. Buildings built hundreds of years ago and, of course, repaired and cared for by the nuns who live here.
The first one that appears in front of us is the place where the nuns live and work. The kitchen, the bedrooms and the workshops where they work. They mainly deal with embroidery. In fact it deals mainly with the prayers and the church ritual and then with the other activities.
Some details of the entrance to this house, it has a specific name that I don't know.
The old paintings on the walls have not withstood the passage of time and have deteriorated. There were vague traces ...
We admire the garden stand on the terrace of this stone house. A pleasant and peaceful place.
The central point of interest, the reason why this place is so protected by the massive stone walls is the monastery church!
I suppose most of you have never entered an Orthodox Christian church, especially one that is hundreds of years old. So I will try to lead you in. My words can not describe much and that is why I rely again on images.
Impressive is a small altar found in a support column. I really liked! I have never seen anything like this before in the monasteries I visited.
The most famous Romanian monasteries are painted on the walls, inside and out. The painting on the exterior walls is specific to the medieval Romanian monasteries. Here, at the Galata monastery the walls are not painted. I don't know why. I show you a little of the interior walls.
Because the icons painted on the wall are missing, icons like paintings have been placed. They are very old and valuable!
Before leaving the monastery we can leave a list of relatives and friends for the nuns to pray for them (and for us) during the religious service. It is a custom in the Orthodox Christian or at least in Romania. I don't know how it is in other religions but I guess they are similar practices. So we have to write the list and try not to forget someone, my wife knows best to do this.
Now I have to explain the unusual title of this blog. Because until now there was no reference to a market. Well, in any such religious place, whether historical or tourist monument or not ... there is something for sale! This is also a market even if it refers to only one kind of products, religious: icons, candles, religious books, different souvenirs. It's right that these communities can earn some extra money ... but that means, in my opinion, that here is a small market.
We pass through the fortified door with nails and then we reach the monastery garden again.
Upon leaving the church I again admired the great walls, now seen from inside the garden.
There is much to see in the wonderful garden ... a little fountain!
A bell that was once in the entrance tower ...
... and a tree child raised from the dead father's trunk!
The pleasant and quiet walk and visit of the monastery is coming to an end. Once inside these walls, in the monastery garden you feel not only the turmoil of the modern world but also the fiery heat of summer. Inside the monastery it is a coolness that no air conditioning installation can give.
A few steps and we will skip several hundred years again and find ourselves in our modern world. Not that we would really like it but ... we have no choice!
On the other side of the walls. The sun sends us the rays of fire. We still have a few minutes to recite the history of this place.
Back to our ordinary life, back to the city and our home.
Thus we spent several hours in Galata Monastery. I made this presentation for potential tourists in Iasi. Tourists who have also read this blog. Although it is quite difficult to get to this place if you are not a local, any tourist in the city center arrives here by taxi or Uber in ten minutes. It does not cost more than $ 5. That is why I wrote this blog for #travelfeed, maybe it will be useful for someone to have not only cheap accommodation, food and drink. There is also interesting history almost for free!
A flower, always a flower, now flowers from the monastery! This is how our friend Denise, @dswigle, gets used to ending her #marketfriday postings (actually she is the initiator of this challenge).