The cave monastery Peştera
The cave monastery “Peştera” is located at the northern edge of Butuceni village. The monastic complex consists of two basic units: the church and the body of monastic cells. Above the monastic complex, on the surface of the Butuceni promontory is installed a stone cross (XVII-XVIII centuries) and arranged a Bell Tower (1820).
The church is located east of the cells. It is built on the basis of older rooms, the traces of which are very well projected in certain places. It is arranged along the slope, being composed of the following compartments: Altar, Naos, Pronaos, Porch and an access Gang. The length of the Church is 14.7 m, and the width is 4.0-8.0 m, the height is 2.6-3.5 m.
The cell complex of the “Peştera” monastery is located west of the Church. It consists of a central hall with 12 side rooms-niches. The monastic complex functioned in several stages, which fall between the XV / XVI centuries – the beginning of the XIXth century (1816).
Between 1816 – 1904 the monastery was the parish church of the village of Butuceni, later it operated only during the Easter and Christmas. In 1946, the “Peştera” church was closed, later being transformed into a collective farmhouse depot. In 1968 it was under the management of the Orheiul Vechi Museum Complex. In 1996 the monastery church was restored by the new monastic community founded in Butuceni.
The hermitage of the foreman Bosie
The hermitage of the foreman Bosie consists of a church dedicated to Saint Nicholas and nine rooms-cells. The church and the cells to the west of it are lined up along a narrow terrace, about 55 meters long, located at a height of about 15 meters above the water level of Răut.
The room of the cave church is the product of at least three stages of modeling its interior space. Initially, there were two / three rooms here, possibly also with liturgical joints, but with a different spatial arrangement from the current one. In a second stage, the merging of these rooms into one took place, already with clear church joints. The formal characteristics of the portal (the arched end supported by small “shoulders”), obviously influenced by the wall architecture of the time, allow the conclusion that its execution and, implicitly, the cave church in the forms we see today, took place. not earlier than the end of the 16th century – the beginning of the 17th century, when influences of South Carpathian and Levantine origin (including at the level of decorative plastic elements) began to penetrate the architecture of Moldova.
The third constructive stage in the history of the hermitage is related to the name of the parish priest of Orhei, Bosie. The basic constructive intervention operated by Bosie within the hermitage (intervention completed according to its founding inscription in 1665) referred to the substantial descent, by about 30 cm of the level of the terrace, the church of St. Nicholas and some cells.
On the exterior walls of the church were preserved 10 inscriptions (partially or completely) – testimonies from different periods of its existence.
During the archeological researches from 1999-2001, on the terrace in front of the church and the first rooms to the west of it, were discovered five tombs that have preserved the actual burials, dated according to the ceramic remains of the seventeenth century. Three burials belong to mature people, most likely, founders of the monastic settlement, it belongs to a child. Another burial, also of a child, was found inside the cave church. Most likely, they were children of the founders of the monastery.
In the third quarter of the 18th century, the monastic community of this hermitage was dissolved, most likely, being irreparably affected by one of the wars or by an epidemic that haunted the region.
The hermitage of the foreman Mășcăuți-Albu
The hermitage of the foreman Albu is a cave complex located south of the Butuceni promontory, opposite the Church of the Nativity of the Mother of Christ. The period of evolution and prosperity of the hermitage falls between the XV-XVIII centuries, but gradually it was seriously affected by several earthquakes. In the twentieth century due to an explosion the complex, was almost completely destroyed. Currently, about 20 spaces of the hermitage have been identified, structured in 4-5 levels, at an altitude of 70-80m above the water level. Due to the increased danger in the area of the hermitage of Albu, the access for tourists is limited.