The Holy Trinity Church from Siret

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Situated in the mountainous area of the high Moldavian plateau, on the bank of a river, Siret is, probably, one of the oldest towns of Moldavia likely to be founded at the same time with Baia and Radauti. It was going to become an important urban center where trade flourished due to its positioning on the commercial road connecting Liov and the Black Sea. The economic development it had drew many the attention of the catholic missionaries who developed an intense catholic propaganda in order to turn the local population to Catholicism. They were also those who mention the city to the Pope Urban the Fifth in 1370. During the second half of the 14th century it became the ruling residence and a rock fortress was also built here.

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On the hill of Sasca, over the Negostina river, there is a fortress whose positioning resembles very much that of the ruling fortress from Suceava. The first Gothic bulidings in Moldavia and a lot of other monuments of religious architecture were built in the part of the city called Sasca. Voevod Latca – the ruler of the state in the period f maximum catholicisation – had become a formal adherent to that religion. We should mention, from among the churches built during that period, the church of the Franciscan monks dedicated to Mother Mary and that of the Dominican monks with the festival of John the Baptist. These have subsequently been demolished in the 16th century. The Holy Trinity Church from Siret is the only one that survived from among all monuments. Considered to be among the oldest rock monuments that kept their wholeness, it is attributed to Voevod Sas (1354 - 1358). The building has small dimensions, it is situated on a foiled plan, and it constituted the Moldavian architectural basis for the centuries to come. It is made of two uneven rectangular rooms, a short pre-nave and a prolonged nave – framed by two half-circular apses and the altar. The high blind niches on the front part of the three external apses, the coloured and glazed ceramic elements – bricks, little crosses and discs – disposed over the windows, the doors, the niches, as well as on the higher plan form a tremendously beautiful frieze. The ceramic decoration as well as the plan of the Siret church remind of a certain architectural type, more precisely of the Serb Moravian one as well as of the churches from Muntenia. Built with four apses, the roof is supported by an apparent cornice of brick. The ceramic discs alternating with cross-like flowers delicately underline the half-circular arcades of the niches, and the windows, except for the one at the northern apse, are adorned in their turn with a rectangular frame made of two rows of glazed discs and three of cross-like flowers.

The church Holy Trinity, which is in an advanced state of decay, has undergone several restoration processes that have had sometimes as a result the change of the old shapes. The excellent restoration working made between 1937 and 1940 gave it back the original look. The old pews have been saved from total destruction and terracotta ornaments have replaced the missing façade ceramic.

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