Text and photos Andrei Dorian Gheorghe
Design Florin Alexandru Stancu

I began this project with two images which I took in 2018 June 23
in the same area, representing:

-a cross of the old wooden church in Putna,
including the reproduction of a star, the Sun, the Moon and the Earth;

-the coat of arms of the Romanian state of Moldova
at the entrance of the Putna Monastery,
including a floral Sun, the Moon and the Evening Star.

I continued with two other images from the same day,
including the inspirational heavenly bodies:
the Sun (in the first one)
and the Moon with the planet Jupiter as the Evening Star
(below, in the second one).

On that day, during the last part of the road to Putna,
the hard clouds could not eclipse the beauty of the landscapes
of North-West Moldova.

The beginnings of the Romanian state of Moldova were connected to
the “voievods” who came from the Maramures province (“voievodat”),
which had been conquered under the mask of adoption
by the Kingdom of Hungary:

-Dragos Voda, who was sent by the Magyar King in the 1340s
to create a Hungarian march beyond the Oriental Carpathians;

-Bogdan Voda, who was expelled by the Magyar King in the 1360s
to the same places inhabited by Romanians,
and created an independent state, driving away the Hungarian invaders.

The process of unification of the Romanian communities in Moldova
was finished in the 1380s by Roman Voda,
who became “voievod” and “domnitor”
from the Oriental Carpathians in west
to the Dniester River in east and the Black Sea in south.

The new state was consolidated by
Alexandru cel Bun (the Good, 1400-1434)
and obtained brightness during the reign of
Stefan cel Mare (the Great. 1457-1504),
who became the protector of the Eastern Christianity
and the first spiritual continuer of the Byzantine Empire
after the Fall of Constantinople.

Thus, he saved Mount Athos in current Greece
paying tribute to the Ottomans,
founded around 40 stone churches in Moldova,
defended the last Byzantine Principality (Mangup in Crimea),
stopped the Ottoman invasion
(as well as Magyar, Tatar and Polish armies),
married a Byzantine Princess (Maria of Mangup),
received the title of Athlete of Christ from the Pope,
and finally decided for centuries the future of his country,
which did not become a pashalik,
but only a tributary state to the immense Ottoman Empire.

In 1466 Stefan the Great decided to make an exceptional monastery,
to be the place of his future tomb,
and for this he asked for the council of his favourite monk, Daniil Sihastru,
a hermit who used a small cave as his skeet.

Then Stefan climbed a close hill,
used his arch and chose the place of the monastery
right where his arrow had fallen down.

But firstly, to strengthen the symbol,
he brought to Putna (by the chariots of his people) a wooden church,
which the founder of the march of Moldavia, Dragos Voda,
had made in the 1350s in the village of Volovat.

This church
(probably the oldest wooden church which resisted in time in Europe)
is part of the local cemetery today,
where another church was made during the interwar times.

Then… I visited the Putna Monastery,
which was nicknamed “the Jerusalem of the Romanian nation”
by the Romanian national poet Mihai Eminescu!

Unfortunately, in 1792 the Habsburg Empire,
in understanding with the Ottoman Empire
(whose Sultan assassinated the ruler of Moldova, Grigore Ghica III),
annexed North-West Moldova and colonized it later with
Ukrainians, Jews, Germans and Poles,
creating the Dukedom of Bucovina.

In these conditions, in 1871
the Romanian national poet and genius Mihai Eminescu
and the Transylvanian Romanian writer Ioan Slavici,
together with other Romanian intellectuals,
organized at Putna the first meeting of the Romanians from all over the world
to keep alive the national feeling in Bucovina.

In November 1918 the Romanians, Germans and Poles of Bucovina
voted the Union with Romania
(a process led by the aristocrat Iancu Knight of Flondor),
but during World War II the Soviet Union annexed its northern zone,
which is part of Ukraine now.

Fortunately, the Putna Monastery, a so strong national symbol.
has remained part of Romania.

And from this succession of historical events,
along with the portraits of Stefan and the coat of arms of Moldova,
the statue of Mihai Eminescu appears also
as a pillar against the pass of time.

Inside the Church,
the feelings are very intense.

I gladly remarked here
more paintings with astral aspects…

And I remarked especially one that seems to reproduce
the orbital motion of Earth and Mars around the Sun.

So that, finally,
I looked again at the sky for
the heavenly bodies from the Moldavian coat of arms.

At Putna, Stefan the Great and Eminescu,
The Sun, the Moon and the Evening Star
Invite you to re-evaluate better
What the national values are.


© 2019 SARM
(Romanian Society for Meteors and Astronomy)