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Putna Monastery didn't have the external murals that attracted visitors to other monasteries. It was all very understandable. The place was burned down and rebuilt in 1484, 1536, and 1691. It was damaged by war three times in the seventeenth century. And, if that wasn't enough, there were the earthquakes of 1902 and 1955. But, since it was founded by Stephen the Great in 1466, and the founding father of Romania was also buried there, Putna Monastery held a rightful place in the country's history. Mihal Eminescu, Romania's national poet (1850 - 1889), commemorated the site in a speech in 1871. "Let us make Putna the Jerusalem of the Romanian people, and let us also make Stephen's grave the altar of our national conscience." It was little wonder why this was the one monastery my driver Florin told me that I needed to visit.

MARTIN

Copyright 2009 by Phillip Martin All rights reserved.