THE WHITE CHURCH OF BAIA
Baia is one of the oldest settlements in Moldavia, attested by documents in 1334-1335, twenty years earlier than the date known as the date of Dragos Voda’s “dismounting” / “colonisation”. Few things are known about Baia. Its name seems to indicate the existence of some mines, as mentioned in an 1835 map of Russian provenience. No precise information is held about the deposits: gold, iron or kaolin.
According to the local tradition, Stephen the Great is the one who built the church in Baia, following the victory over Matei Corvin’s Hungarian army in 1467. Patronised by the Saint great martyr Gheorghe, the White Church is built on a rectangular plane, made of raw sculpted stone. A separating wall was kept between the nave and the pre-nave, and the lateral apses are deepened in the thickness of the walls. They are underlined by an exit supported on counterforts. As with most churches built during Stephen the Great’s rule the vaulting system of the nave at Baia follows the same pattern. The prism shaped spire with eight sides is heightened on two bases – the first a square one and the second star shaped. The church was named White because there were no decorative paintings or frescos.
The church from Baia impresses by its great simplicity.