« Dandelion Time | Main | Converting to a Mac .... »

May 14, 2008

Romanian Churches

The Romanian Church is Orthodox and stands distinctively among the Orthodox family of churches. Its icons tend to be very Byzantine in concept and rendition and its churches too, differ slightly from their Russian and Greek counterparts. The exteriors are decorated almost as much as the interior and it is very good to see that these, like the rest of the nations heritage, are now slowly being restored to their former glory.

The church of Saint Nicholas, built in the 18th Century by a wealthy prince and his wife. Two chairs (Chairs are not normally provided in Orthodox churches!) stand on either side of the Iconostasis Screen, facing it, for the Royal couple.

Romania was the last bastion of Christianity in Europe, standing between the advancing Turks under their Ottoman rulers until Wallachia - the country between the northern provinces and the border south of Bucharest - was conquered by the Turks in the 17th Century. Strenuous efforts by the conquerors to convert the populace to Islam failed and the Turks were driven out again by the Austro-Hungarian Empire in the early 18th Century. Wallachia, Moldavia and Transylvania remained under the Hapsburgs until 1840 when Romania, then comprising Wallachia, Moldavia and part of Transylvania came into being under their first King since the Turkish invasions. But I digress. In the next picture a small and rather interesting little church is shown.

Built in 1722 it was rebuilt in 1812 and again in 1845 - sadly the interior was also repainted by a contemporary artist in the later rebuilding completely obliterating the work of a very important artist which adorned the walls. Attempts to restore that earlier work had to be abandoned when it was realised that the later work has been rendered in a manner which has destroyed the original. Fortunately 'cartoons' and sketches of the original work do exist, so all is not completely lost.

1722 church.JPG
This little church is very popular for weddings - three while I tried to get some pictures. Built in 1722 it stands of a stone plinth and is built of bricks. The interior is dark since there are few windows, but richly decorated.

The twin turrets and their internal domes are typical of the period, the windows let light into the nave from above. The overall effect is quite pleasant and certainly relaxing.

Posted by The Gray Monk at May 14, 2008 09:09 PM

Trackback Pings

TrackBack URL for this entry:


Post a comment

Remember Me?