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50 lei 2013 - Žīpova Monastery - Monasteries of Moldavia
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30 mm diameter, 16.5 g, 99.9% silver, grained edge
year 2013, circular inscription REPUBLICA MOLDOVA meaning "REPUBLIC OF MOLDAVIA" and the coat of arms of the Republic of Moldavia, in exergue horizontal line and denomination "50 LEI"
an image of the cave monastery of Žīpova, three leafless trees to the left, inscription "MĆNĆSTIREA ŽIPOVA" meaning "ŽĪPOVA MONASTERY"

Issuing date: 29th of November 2013

Mintage: 2000 coins

The coin belongs to Holidays, culture, traditions series.

About the Monastery of Žīpova (or Žipova)

The monastery of Žīpova is a cave (rupestral) monastery on the right bank of Nistru River, 42 kilometers south of the city of Rezina. It was dug on the high, steep rocky shore, 100 meters higher than the level of River Nistru. Close to it lies the village of Žīpova and a rivulet bearing the same name.

The first historical attestation of the village of Žīpova dates back to 1746. The inscriptions (possibly modern) on the back of some icons found at Žīpova would suggest an older dating of the monastery, which could be 1666 or even the times of Stephen the Great [1], [3]. Between 1932 and 1940 the village was named Ŗtefan cel Mare as courteous consideration to the Moldavian leader. This renaming is a consequence of such an interpreting to an inscription, hinting at the marriage of Stephen the Great there; the icon bearing the inscription was however lost. In the 19th century the monastic settlement at Žīpova was called Skete of Horodiŗte, after the name of a village nearby [2].

Just like the other cave monastery complexes in Basarabia, all dug into shell limestone, the outer walls of the chambers are generally ruined as combined result of natural erosion and human intervention.

Several layers of rupestral complexes, nowadays collapsed and abandoned, suggest several stages of habitation at Žīpova. According to [1], the church Exaltation of the Holy Cross could date back as early as the 11th century, and the church of Saint Nicholas could date from the 14th century. These two churches are today ruined by the passing of time. The actual rupestral complex, comprised out of the Dormition church and about 20 cells, was dug out starting with the 17th century, the church having been dated back to 1765 [2] or 1756 [3]. On the ceiling of the church a semispherical vault was dug out, imitating the ceiling of a terrestrial church [1], [2].

In 1827 the nearby construction of a terrestrial church was begun. The monastery was shut by the Soviet occupants, the monks being dunned and ousted, the church's belongings wasted away. The bells were saved, ending up in the church in the Popencu village, on the other side of River Nistru. The monastery was reestablished in 1994.


1. Bārcea D., Romānitatea rćsćriteanć. Biserici rupestre din Basarabia. Editura Semne, Bucureŗti, 2006.

2. Ghimpu V., Biserici ŗi mćnćstiri medievale īn Basarabia. Editura Tyragetia, Chiŗinću, 2000.

3. Grižcu I., Iftodi Ludmila, Mćnćstirea Žāpova. Chiŗinću, 2005.

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