Wednesday, 3 August 2016

13 years in a cave

Moldova doesn't have a lot in the way of sights. The few must-sees include the sprawling, chaotic market in the capital, Chisinau; the world's biggest wine cellars; and the cave monastery at Orheiul Vechi. Sometime in the 13th century a band of monks carved a monastery into the cliffs overlooking a river in a remote corner of Moldova. The monks left more than a century ago and the Soviets closed down the nearby church in the 1940s. Now, however, both the church and the underground monastery are in use again. I had a chat to the monk, Brother Ifiemi, who has spent the past 13 years living in the cave and asked him how he survives the winter - he told me he just wraps up more. Brrrr.

Inside the cave monastery. 

There isn't much headroom in the monks' quarters. 

A church has been built atop the cliff, above the monastery.

The monastery overlooks the River Raut and fertile farmland. The soil here in Moldova is rich and the fruit - especially the peaches and watermelons - is the best I've tasted.

No comments:

Post a Comment