Saint Stephen the Great & Căpriana Monastery 1 Leu Moldova Authentic Banknote for Jewelry and Collage (Romania) Dormition of Virgin Mary
Saint Stephen the Great and Holy & Căpriana Monastery 1 Leu Moldova Authentic Banknote for Jewelry and Collage (Romania) (Dormition of Virgin Mary)
Obverse: Saint Stephen the Great. After the Romanian Orthodox Church canonized him in 1992, he is venerated as "Stephen the Great and Holy" (Ștefan cel Mare și Sfânt).
Lettering: REPUBLICA MOLDOVA
1 UN LEU
Reverse: Capriana monastery
Lettering: UN LEU 1
Watermark: Stephen the Great
Issuing bank Banca Naţională a Moldovei (National Bank of Moldova)
Period Republic (1991-date)
Type Standard banknote
Value 1 Leu
1 MDL = USD 0.06
Currency Leu (1993-date)
Size 114 × 58 mm
Number N# 206675
References P# 21
Saint Stephen succeeded his father, Prince Bogdan II, as Prince of Moldavia on April 12, 1457 soon after the latter was murdered. He defended his country against the Turks, and he also built many churches and monasteries.
Saint Stephen the Great was a spiritual son of Saint Daniel the Hesychast (December 18), who told him that if he built a church after every battle he would be victorious in all his wars. Following Saint Daniel’s counsel, Saint Stephen won forty-seven battles and built forty-eight churches or monasteries. He also built the Putna Dormition Monastery in northern Moldavia in 1466 when Saint Daniel urged him to do so.
In 1476, Saint Stephen lost the battle of Razboieni to the Turks. He went to visit Saint Daniel at the Voronets Monastery to ask whether or not he should surrender the country to the Moslems. Saint Daniel told him not to surrender, because he would soon win a decisive victory. Saint Daniel also told him that after he had saved the nation, Stephen should build a monastery in honor of Saint George at that place. Having faith in Saint Daniel’s prophecy, Stephen went forth with his army and drove the Turks from the country.
Saint Stephen fell asleep in the Lord on July 2, 1504, and was buried at the Putna Monastery. He was glorified by the Orthodox Church of Romania in 1992.
Stephen III of Moldavia, most commonly known as Stephen the Great (Romanian: Ștefan cel Mare; died on 2 July 1504), was Voivode (or Prince) of Moldavia from 1457 to 1504. He was the son of and co-ruler with Bogdan II, who was murdered in 1451 in a conspiracy organized by his brother and Stephen's uncle Peter III Aaron who took the throne. Stephen fled to Hungary, and later to Wallachia, but with the support of Vlad III Țepeș, Voivode of Wallachia, he returned to Moldavia, forcing Aaron to seek refuge in Poland in the summer of 1457. Teoctist I, Metropolitan of Moldavia, anointed Stephen prince. He attacked Poland and prevented Casimir IV Jagiellon, King of Poland, from supporting Peter Aaron, but eventually acknowledged Casimir's suzerainty in 1459.
Stephen decided to recapture Chilia (now Kiliya in Ukraine), an important port on the Danube, which brought him into conflict with Hungary and Wallachia. He besieged the town during the Ottoman invasion of Wallachia in 1462, but was seriously wounded during the siege. Two years later, he captured the town. He promised support to the leaders of the Three Nations of Transylvania against Matthias Corvinus, King of Hungary, in 1467. Corvinus invaded Moldavia, but Stephen defeated him in the Battle of Baia. Peter Aaron attacked Moldavia with Hungarian support in December 1470, but was also defeated by Stephen and executed, along with the Moldavian boyars who still endorsed him. Stephen restored old fortresses and built new ones, which improved Moldavia's defence system as well as strengthened central administration. Ottoman expansion threatened Moldavian ports in the region of the Black Sea. In 1473, Stephen stopped paying tribute (haraç) to the Ottoman sultan and launched a series of campaigns against Wallachia in order to replace its rulers – who had accepted Ottoman suzerainty – with his protégés. However, each prince who seized the throne with Stephen's support was soon forced to pay homage to the sultan.
Stephen eventually defeated a large Ottoman army in the Battle of Vaslui in 1475. He was referred to as Athleta Christi ("Champion of Christ") by Pope Sixtus IV, even though Moldavia's hopes for military support went unfulfilled. The following year, Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II routed Stephen in the Battle of Valea Albă, but the lack of provisions and the outbreak of a plague forced him to withdraw from Moldavia. Taking advantage of a truce with Matthias Corvinus, the Ottomans captured Chilia, their Crimean Tatar allies Cetatea Albă (now Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi in Ukraine) in 1484. Although Corvinus granted two Transylvanian estates to Stephen, the Moldavian prince paid homage to Casimir, who promised to support him to regain Chilia and Cetatea Albă. Stephen's efforts to capture the two ports ended in failure. From 1486, he again paid a yearly tribute to the Ottomans. During the following years, dozens of stone churches and monasteries were built in Moldavia, which contributed to the development of a specific Moldavian architecture.
Casimir IV's successor, John I Albert, wanted to grant Moldavia to his younger brother, Sigismund, but Stephen's diplomacy prevented him from invading Moldavia for years. John Albert attacked Moldavia in 1497, but Stephen and his Hungarian and Ottoman allies routed the Polish army in the Battle of the Cosmin Forest. Stephen again tried to recapture Chilia and Cetatea Albă, but had to acknowledge the loss of the two ports to the Ottomans in 1503. During his last years, his son and co-ruler Bogdan III played an active role in government. Stephen's long rule represented a period of stability in the history of Moldavia. From the 16th century onwards both his subjects and foreigners remembered him as a great ruler. Modern Romanians regard him as one of their greatest national heroes, although he also endures as a cult figure in Moldovenism. After the Romanian Orthodox Church canonized him in 1992, he is venerated as "Stephen the Great and Holy" (Ștefan cel Mare și Sfânt).
One of the oldest monasteries in the Republic of Moldova is the Orthodox Holy Assumption Monastery Capriana. It is situated in the village of Căpriana in the centre of ancient forest of Codri. The Monastery is located 30 km north-west of Chisinau.
Căpriana is a monastery located in a wonderful hollow surrounded by wooded hills on three sides. People say that 600 years ago this was where Stefan cel Mare (Stefan the Great) came for game hunting within these woods. Legend says that his men drove the young deer and when the Ruler was about to shoot it, he suddenly looked at the animal intently and the young deer seemed to bow to him. The Hunter took pity on the roe and ordered to leave her alive. A few hours late Stefan got a message alerting him to the birth of his daughter. That same night he had a vision that in the very place a great monastery was destined to rise. Its name was formed from the names of his daughter «Ana» and roe «Capra».
Many centuries have passed since then. Today the monastery complex has three churches: St. Nicholas, St. George and Dormition of Virgin Mary. Also there are several subsidiary constructions: artesian wells and pavilions, made in a traditional style. Today the monastery community has many novices, deacon monks, Fathers Superior, celibate priests. The walls of the old monastery still preserve many legends of the old times. The Oak tree, that is called the oak of Stefan cel Mare, still stands in the beautiful forests surrounding Capriana . An ancient legend says that the Great Ruler used to rest under the tree after another victory.
Today architects have built an observation area on the hill from which the entire territory of Căpriana is spread before your very eyes. The small village is surrounded by the old forest from all its sides and standing solemnly the white church looks like a swan that has spread its big and beautiful wings.
Folk art tells several legends of the monastery’s appearance. Some of them involve Ruler Stefan cel Mare (Stefan the Great) another being one of the first poets of Moldova named Căpriana .
The only fact that has been officially recorded runs as follows - for many years this was the residence of the Metropolitan of Moldova, who was under the patronage of local rulers. At this time this place were called "Glade Căpriana."
This monastery is considered to be the earliest building between the Prut and Dniester rivers. The first record is dated April 25, 1420. Among the founders of the monastery, was allegedly lord of Mercka from Meren – great grandfather of that same Maria who was the wife of the governor Alexander cel Bun (Alexander the Best)
Heads of the monastery were such famous personalities as Alexander cel Bun, Vasile Lupu, Olexandr Lapusneanu, Petru Rares, Stefan cel Mare. Among them there was the Abbot Cyprian himself known as a poet and author of religious texts. Besides this, there lived the Moldavian chronicler Earth Eftimy. Gospel manuscript written on parchment in the Slavonic language were a sacred object of the cloister. It was donated to the monastery by John-Peter - Moldavian ruler in the XVI century.
The first building of the monastery complex is that of the church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin. It is the oldest church in Moldova which has managed to remain to this day. The exact date of its construction is unknown, however it varies between 1420 and 1425 years. The fact that Petru Rares was the founder of the church can be judged by a recording made in 1545 in the Gospel he presented to the monastery. Construction was done in the days of Stefan cel Mare. Such conclusions are drawn by the presence of underground spaces and their layouts. Since then, the church has been restored many times after powerful earthquakes. Architects had to complete building walls, a large octagonal dome and the bell tower, the top of which has a pyramidal shape.
Special value to the entire monastic complex is St George's Cathedral, which was designed in the late Baroque style and the Church of St. Nicholas, erected already in the style of medieval Moldovan temples. During the communist regime in 1962 Capriana and the monastery were closed. They made a House of Culture out of the church and in one of the temples they located a hospital for children suffering tuberculosis, and in the other storage for pesticides. After this destruction during the Soviet Union the monastery finally reopened in 1989 to resumes its divine activities.
In 1993 at the monastery during archaeological excavations they unearthed an antique wooden and stone church structure believed to be there since times of Alexander cel Bun. They also discovered about 30 various graves of church wardens. It was established that one of the graves belonged to doamna Maria, who was the daughter of a famous nobleman Spanchiosa - who lived in the time of Alexander Lapusneanu. In another grave lies Boyar Dumitru Buzu Soltanesht from the village. In the third, one of the managers of the court George Costache (1767).
I highly recommend Elemintal for its wide variety of currency in perfect condition and in protective cases, for fast shipping and for low prices. Among many other great deals, I just received a small gem of a banknote, a mint 1 leu from the republic of Moldova. It is simple but beautiful on both sides, with an impressive engraving of Saint Stepan The Great on the obverse! I only paid $1.71!