The Monastery of Precista at Galatsi

29 October 2011

The Monastery of Precista at Galatsi was built on the foundations of an old church dedicated to the Virgin and built before 1641 of wood and bricks. Its founder was the Galatsi merchant Theodore, who dedicated it to the Monastery of Vatopaidi24.

One of the two sons of Theodore, Constantin, together with the brothers Dia and Serbu, sons of Coman and Theodora – Romanian merchants from Braila – established in Galatsi, enlisted craftsmen from Transylvania to build the fortified church of Precista. For its construction, which was completed in 1647, the Abbot Ignatios of Vatopaidi also gave some assistance, since this church too was bequeathed immediately to Vatopaidi. It is not known when it was transformed into a monastery; perhaps very quickly, since the founders refer to it in 1647 on the occasion of its dedication as a monastery.

The three founders endowed the new metochi with land, farms, animals, vineyards, beehives, mills, and even a boat25. In the centuries which followed there were many princes, dignitaries and merchants who continued to support this metochi in various ways. Land holdings, vineyards, wine shops, and sacred vessels were added to the assets of the monastery by individual donors or by guilds, in addition to relief from taxes and statutory labour for those who worked at the monastery.

 Before its confiscation in 1863, the Monastery of Precista possessed and leased the following properties: Vamaseni and Tsismele in the Prefecture of Kovourlui, Vadeni, Geru and Pisku Korbului in the Prefecture of Galatsi, Vinasesti in the Prefecture of Vrantsea, and a part of the 400 buildings in Galatsi which were dedicated to the Holy Mountain.

 Today the monastery is preserved in very good condition following a series of renovations. From 1970 it has housed a notable exhibition of ecclesiastical art on its upper floor.


24. Ca˘lda˘raru, 1989, p. 23. Also the Romanian inventory 1, document xiv, pp. 40-42.
25. See in the Romanian archive of the monastery: Greek document No. 1572.