Touristic Chisinau: How did the Măzărachi church spare itself from the wars and Stalin’s hand?

The story of the city of Chisinau began almost 600 years ago. Although stories are few, there are still historical buildings in the Capital today, which, miraculously, have been spared by time, wars, and political regimes. In a new edition of the “Tourist Chisinau” project, we invite you to discover the oldest building in the city – the church “Acoperământul Maicii Domnului” built in 1752, which today belongs to the Old Style Orthodox Community.

“This church is also called Măzărache church. Why do we call it that? Because the man who financed the construction of this church was Vasile Măzărachi. He was an administrator. He held a high position – he was a jailer, a treasurer. Around 1750, a complaint was written against him. The legend says that the complaint reached Tighina, where the Turkish administration was, and then he was called to the fortress to answer. Măzărachi said that if he escapes alive – then he will build a church”, says guide Iurie Dodiță.

According to the legend, returning from Tighina alive and unharmed, as he gave his word to God, Vasile Măzărachi built this church.

“Archaeological excavations were carried out on these places. A Dacian citadel was found, and old tombs,” says Iurie Dodiță.

In 1955, through an almost fantastic gesture, the Soviet authorities gave the church to the Old Rite Orthodox believers (Lipovenians) in exchange for their cathedral, which had been demolished during the construction of Tineretului Boulevard – today, Grigore Vieru Boulevard.

“This church was one of the few functioning at that time. At the time when atheism had spread, there was only one monastery left in Moldova – Japca. There are also icons from the 18th century here, including the icon of the Breast of Abraham,” the guide said.

Next, we invite you to watch the full interview and find out how the Lipovian Russians in Chisinau managed to maintain the existence and proper functioning of the church, despite all the difficulties.

Project financed and implemented by Chisinau City Hall through the Chisinau Civil Budget Program, 2023 edition.

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