Probota Monastery

The church, dedicated to the name of “Saint Nicholas”, was founded in a solitary region, surrounded by a village. The ruins of this wall are still kept under the name of “The Old Probota”. Then name of the monastery is Slavonic and means brotherhood. The name of Petru Rares is connected with the outstanding paintings which cover the exterior walls of the church, illustrating scenes from the Old and New Testament, such as:Last Judgment, Jesee Tree. The painting, although a great jewel of Probota was not the only one. One surely valuable icon screen stands between the sanctuary and the nave. As all churches with mural paintings from Moldovia, Probota on the three apses represents a unique theme: The prayers of all Saints.

The Last Judgment is represented on the whole east wall. Remarkable is the delicate face of Jesus-Judge. The Monastery porch has eight windows, four are huge and the other four are smaller. They were reopened at the ’30s restoration. Probota is emphasized by the presence of Grigore Rosca, who asks a painter to represent him in the exterior painting, mentioning: Grigorie egumen. The blue background is found in the whole exterior compositional, being with green – one of the most lasting colours.

Before the interior’s restoration, both in the funerary chapel and in narthex were dated iconostases from the 19th century. In the naos, the murals showing the Synods and the Calendar are original, but the votive portraits have been twice altered. It is worth to see “the votive painting” from the western wall of the narthex. Petru Rares is represented with model of the church in his hands, offering it to Jesus. Jesus is not represented on the Throne, but coming out from the clouds, blessing the church with His both hands.

The space of the tombs rooms is narrow and lighting through two quite small windows on the northern and southern walls. Probota Monastery has an impressive series of 21 funerary stones, three of them brought from the ruins of The Old Probota. The oldest and the most valuable of them belong to the founders: Petru Rares, his wife Elena and their son Stefan. Unfortunately, most of the tombs were robbed.

Rosca turned the monastery into a dynamic cultural centre, and in later centuries it attached many other religious savants, including Gheorghe Movila, Teodosie Barnovski and Mitropolitan Dosoftei. In 1550, Princess Elena and her sons ordered a 6m high defensive wall to be raised around the church. The princes’ residence and the bell tower stand in the northwest corner. Valuable books were offered by the founders of Probota. The most valuable one is “The Book of the Four Gospels”, given by Elena Rares in 1551.