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Putna in Legends and Traditions

Stephen, the glorious Romanian voivode, the son of Bogdan the Second, the future prince of Moldavia, also known as the Great, one of the best army commanders of all times, a genius in politics, as well as in diplomacy, a fine organizer and promoter of Romanian culture, was born in 1435.

Legend says that Stephen the Great, having once been defeated and wounded in battle and wandering around the country, at last reached the dwelling place of Daniil the Hermit, who gave him food and shelter. In the middle of the night, the hermit took Stephen by the hand and led him out of the cell, pointing towards a certain spot in the distance and asking him three times in a row whether he saw anything there. The third time, the voivode answered that he saw some lights, to which the hermit replied that those were not lights, but angels, and that the place is sacred. He added that, if he wanted to defeat his enemies, he should build a monastery on that very spot.

The same legend tells us that “The kind voivode Stephen, when he resolved to build Putna Monastery, shot an arrow from a mountain top which is not far from where the monastery stands today. And where the arrow landed, there the altar was built. He also had three country squires, the children’s bailiff and two pages shoot their arrows. So where the arrow of the children’s bailiff landed, there they made the gate, and where the arrow of one of the pages landed, the belfry was built.” The mountain from where the arrows were shot is named the “Crucisorul”, or the “Hill of the Cross”, and lies south-east of the monastery, on the opposite bank of the Putna brook.


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