Old Orhei, the museum complex in Republic of Moldova collects all - from rock-climbers to fans of olden time. Secrets of Orheevsky caves attract and give food for reflexions. Getting to this place, you feel not clear alarm as if cargo of all last centuries not прошеной a burden lays down on shoulders. The light twilight, alternating an eternal gloom, the low ceilings forcing involuntarily to bend down a head, black tears of a soot on stone walls. Crowds of cheerful tourists and local pilgrims cannot break off gloomy charm of this place. It would be desirable to be pulled out on will, there, up, on breakage to inhale a full breast of air. But the desire to investigate all undercover premises outweighs. You remain, step by step going deep into caves. There, to the darkened stones, on hundreds years in the past.
There are proved suspicions, that caves of a rocky monastery in with. Бутучены, that is in territory of a reserved complex Old Орхей, have been made by the nature and adapted for habitation still by our primitive ancestors, and it is a lot of centuries later are chosen by eremites under a monastery. However, primitive parking to judge difficultly - rocky drawings here nobody found. I have fairly bypassed - here and there it was necessary to make the way even in a lap - all cells. Anything, except ledges for fastening of candles and the crosses drawn by a soot has not seen. But, you see, soft limestone - little bit not suitable material for preservation of any certificates of the last years. So a question on settlement of primitive tribes we will leave on consideration of men of science. In any case, this monastery, and is faster, a monastery, - the most ancient in vicinities. Exact date of its basis is unknown, in sources «the period of early Christianity» is rather vaguely mentioned. Having bypassed all monastery, it is not difficult to present, what was a life of eremites among these gloomy stones. Day began early in the morning, to the first beams of the sun, with the first pray. Then the poor meal consisting of collected edible plants yes of that inhabitants of neighbouring villages have brought. However, probably, seldom it was necessary to hope for the last - lived all poorly, not to handouts. However, the river gave a few fishes. To go down from a rock on coast, it was necessary to overcome abrupt descent on the steps cut down in a rock. I have looked somehow at this descent: impression grasping, hardly eremites often left monastery walls. However, probably, it was the smallest inconvenience. After meal again prays and prays - for itself, relatives, for the Moldavian people, for belief finding, spirit and flesh suppression, then care of necessary livelihood and again prays. Will be in Old Орхее, be not too lazy, rise in a monastery - now to reach it much easier, wander on cells. Many of these помещеньиц and rooms to name it is impossible - before are small and inconvenient. It is possible to lay down only, having curled up or to be kneeling. If it is fair, at all not being religious, I bow to force of belief of those who lived here once. Veins for the sake of the belief, rescue of the soul and, at the same time, all Christian world; day and night, despite hunger and a cold, мерз the most part of year prayed, choked with dampness among these rocks, slept on the naked stones only hardly covered with a withered grass. It is difficult to me to present a measure of their conviction, but it does not prevent to respect so difficult choice. That has induced them on this feat - persecutions, bent for of privacy or other reasons - we never learn. The monastery existed long enough while about two hundred years ago there was no next earthquake which has brought down the steps conducting to a monastery. I looked downwards from breakage, and very much I hope, that local monks managed then somehow to get out. About bad to think it would not be desirable. The monastery, and is more true, an underground temple, have started to restore in the late nineties last century. Local residents have dug the underground tunnel, have built an altar, замостили a floor, have cut through in a rock and has glazed pair of windows. The former cells remained untouched. A lot of people here gather for Sunday services and on orthodox holidays. But there is also one constant tenant - the eremite, several years ago decided to leave from the world. Come here - you will be quite rewarded by a magnificent landscape and acquaintance to one of relics of the Moldavian earth - a museum complex Old Орхей.
photo by Valerii Corcimari