The Mirauti Church, located in the Suceava municipality, which was the first Metropolitan church of Moldavia and the place where the first wife of Voivode Stephen the Great (Stefan cel Mare in Romanian) is buried is a lesser known historical monument that is insufficiently promoted.
The deputy head of the Bucovina Museum in Suceava, Dr. Ioan Mares (e.n. — archaeologist and historian, author of “The Church of Saint George (Mirauti) in Suceava — the first Metropolitan Cathedral of Moldavia” book, published in 2009) explained that the Mirauti Church is part of a fortified settlement, part of the old foundation of the city, and the first cathedral that was discovered mentioned in a document, under the name of the Old Metropolitan.
The archaeological excavations made over the years, especially after 1990, brought to light the foundation of the first church made of stone, dating back to the second half of the 14th century. The archaeologists had divided opinions about who founded the church, some of them pleading for Petru I Musat, while other pleaded for Iuga Voivode, the son of Petru I Musat, as the legend of the city and the traditions preserved thanks to folklore collector Simion Florea Marin seem to suggest.
According to Dr. Ioan Mares, the church was built by Iosif I, the first Metropolitan of Moldavia, who was also related to the ruling family [e.n. — the family of Petru I], canonically recognized by the Metropolitan in Constantinople in 1401. Mares claimed that the Metropolitan Church was also the headquarters of Iosif I, who delivered here the first Holy Liturgy and it was also a monastery of monks.
Inside the church, in 1992, there was discovered a brick tomb, with a very precious inventory preserved, representing the tomb of an unknown voivode, dated back in the 17th century, falsely thought to be Petru I. More…