Not far from the confluence of the foster river Bistriţa ( today surrounded by the big barage of Izvorul Muntelui Lake – Mountain Spring Lake) and Bicaz river, on a higher ground, near Piatra Neamţ - Vatra Dornei road, there is the Church The Saint and Great Martyr George, from the parish of Bicaz city.
Here, the monk Damaschin Neagu built, at the beginning of the XVIIIth century a wooden hermitage, on the right bank of Bistriţa river. Today, that hill has his name. This hermitage functioned for a certain period of time as a monks hermitage, then, as a nuns one. After one hundred years, in 1821, during Mihail Sturza’s time, with the Bishop Veniamin Costachi’s blessing, on the old hermitage place, it was built the present stone church, cross shaped, later the porch being added. The first founder was the Priest John the Confessor, helped by worthy priests like Theodore, Priest John, Pr. Nicholas, Pr. George and the psalm readers Constantine and John.
The external rotive in the church porch on the northen wall, with the size of 0,70mx0,80m contains the following writing (writtenin Cyrillic letters): „This holly place was built during Lord Mihail Sturza’s time, with the blessing of the very reverend Veniamin Costachi, whith the favour and effort of Priest John the Confessor and Pr. Theodore’s help, Pr. John – founder, Pr. Nicholas – founder, Pr. George – founder, Deacon John, Deacon Trifon – founder, and with the help of all the charitable ones. It was blessed in the year 1837, on November the 8th. Simion Petrea Ghilanu was the builder.”
The present church, started for building in 1821, was finished in 1837, belonging to Bistriţa’s Monastery untill 1864, when it became an “unction” church of Bicaz village.
The building is of stone and brick, with thick walls and abutments, having a single spire, that is the bell’s place. The first bell, of 85 kgs is from 1791 and the second one, of 210 kgs, from 1845, being installed during the priests John Pop and Gheorghe Vorvizis’cure. Untill 1900, in the spire it was also set a big bell of 300kgs.
From the most important restoring works we can mention:
- The porch’s adding in 1924;
- The whole church’s covering with zincked tin in 1936;
- After 1960, the interior of the church was painted, painting that was remade during Pr. Butnaru John’s time (1972-1979), while, in the church the marble was set and the celebration house was built too.
Between the years 1994 and 2002, capital repairing works were made, works that are written about in the church’s porch: „With Father’s will, the Son’s work and the Holly Ghost’s perpetration, the capital repairing, consolidation and painting of Saint George’s Church of Bicaz have finished, works begun in 1994 through the effort and direct guidance and supervision of Pr.Vicar George Mihalache, the second priest being Cărpuşor Stelian. The works consisted of: the whole rebuilding of the church’s roof by the Master Racheriu Lazăr from Oglinzi- Neamţ, exterior plaster in stone dust, natural gas supplying for the stoves, exterior plaster, fresco painting, executed by the painter Constantin Ciupercă with his apprentices, Irinel and Iulian; thechurch’s endowment with a new rood screen, iconostasis, furniture, wood panelling, front doors, executed by the sculptor George Ursu from Cracăul Negru, draining works around the church. Eternal gratitude and prayers to all the founders and benefactors of the Holly Church, to the members of the Parish Council and Committee, to the leaders of Moldocim Company ( Manager N. Sălăgean). The reblessing service was officiated by The Great Priest Daniel, the Bishop of Moldavia and Bucovina, leading a numerous group of priests. The Salvation year 2002, On September the 22nd.”