The beginnings of Putna Monastery, the most important religious, cultural and artistic centre in mediaeval Moldavia, take us back to the year 1466 when, upon the initiative of Prince Stephen the Great (1457-1504), a church of impressive dimensions was built on a patch of forest cleared for the purpose. The edifice was erected among 1466 and 1469 and consecrated in 1470; to it was added a few more buildings: a princely home standing on the southern side, outer walls and defence towers; all of them completed in 1481.
A few years only after the completion of the buildings and fortifications, a dreadful fire destroyed most of the church, the outer walls and the princely home. The following years, the prince and founder rebuilt the church that soon recovered its former lofty appearance.
In 1536, another conflagration seriously damaged all the buildings; there followed a new restoration completed in 1559, on the initiative and at the expense of Prince Alexandru Lăpuşneanu (1552-1561; 1564-1568).