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50 lei 2000
Căpriana Monastery
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30 mm diameter, 16.5 g, 92.5% silver, flat edge
denomination "50 LEI", year 2000, circular inscription REPUBLICA MOLDOVA meaning "REPUBLIC OF MOLDAVIA" and the coat of arms of the Republic of Moldavia
circular inscription "MĂNĂSTIREA CĂPRIANA" meaning "CĂPRIANA MONASTERY" and an image of the monastery with Saint George church

This impressive set comprising 20 coins was struck at the Czech Mint, having a maximum mintage of 1000 pieces.

The most wanted and hard to find element of the set, the Căpriana monastery coin is worth several times as much as any other of the same set. The coins in the set were sold individually, and as a result the sets were broken up, especially because a large share of the Căpriana coins were donated to the monastery by one of the banks implied, for protocol. So, sets lacking this particular coin are commonly offered for inviting prices.

About the monastery of Căpriana

It is dedicated to the Dormition of the Virgin (or Assumption), being a monk monastery. Located in the commune of Căpriana in the raion of Strășeni, it is attested by documents since 1429 through a diploma of Alexander the Good. The monastery was renewed by prince Petru Rareș in 1545 ("... to Căpriana monastery they wrought..." wrote Grigore Ureche in his chronicle "Letopisețul Țării Moldovei"), repaired and modified by Gavriil Bănulescu-Bodoni in 1820, closed by the Soviet regime and reopened once with the national awekening on the left bank of river Prut. It was indirectly mentioned even earlier, by a demesne demarcation document mentioning Chiprian's monastery of Vîșnevăț. The name of monastery would thus be due to the name of prior Chiprian. In 1698 the monastery was subordinated to the monastery of Zograf at Mount Athos.

The church of the Dormition is very old. The legend says that the church was founded by voivod Stephen the Great and the Holy. Accordingly to this legend, the great Moldavian ruler halted there with his army, and a deer knelt before the voivod, in sign of prayer. The deer was spared, as prince Stephen deemed the incident divine, and a monastery built on that very place, named Căpriana - (from the word căprioară - diminutive of capră -, meaning deer in Romanian).

This church was restored and modified in 1820 by Gavriil Bănulescu-Bodoni, who was interred under beneath the outer wall (as prior of the monastery and first prelate of Basarabia).

Beside the church of Dormition, there are at Căpriana two other churches. One is Saint George, erected at 1840 by prior Teofilact, and rebuilt as Saint Nicholas in 1903. The second is Saint George, founded also in 1903, completely renewed between 2002 and 2005.

Closed in 1962, the monastery was a warehouse until 1989. Since then the monastery was restored little by little with public subscriptions and strong financial support from the president of the Republic of Moldavia and the government, being declared a historical and architectonic monument of national importance. Presently the convent complex still undergoes great upgrading changes and the medieval Dormition of the Virgin church is being restored.

Before becoming bishop of Bălți, the actual metropolitan of Basarabia, Petru (Păduraru), was also prior of the monastery in 1990.

On the coin the actual Saint George church is represented.

Church Saint George, church Saint Nicholas, church of the Dormition

The image of the old church, the church of the Dormition, was used by the Republic of Moldavia for the 1 leu banknote, still in use. An old photograph was used dating back around 1900.

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