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Dates of visit:
March 28, 2007 -
April 14, 2007

We rate this trip a:

Trip Highlights:
 Revisit Bucharest
 Bucegi Mountains
 Revisit Sibiu
 Maramures Region
 Wooden Churches
 Peasant traditions
 Merry Cemetery
 Bukovina Region
 Painted Monasteries
 Railroad Excursion
 

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Poland
Ukraine
*** Romania's Holy Places ***
*** Desesti & Harnicesti Wooden Churches ***
*** Budesti & Dragomiresti Wooden Churches ***
*** Church of St. Parasceva in Poienile Izei ***
*** Birth of Virgin Mary Church (Ieud) ***
*** Botiza Monastery ***
        Map of Romania
        Travel Route
        Desesti Wooden Church
               Site Gallery - Desesti Wooden Church
        Harnicesti Wooden Church
               Site Gallery - Harnicesti Wooden Church
        Budesti Wooden Church
               Site Gallery - Budesti Wooden Church
        Church of St. Parasceva in Poienile Izei
               Site Gallery - Church of St. Parasceva in Poienile Izei
        Botiza Monastery
               Site Gallery - Botiza Monastery
        Birth of Virgin Mary Church (Ieud)
               Site Gallery - Birth of Virgin Mary Church (Ieud)
        Dragomiresti Wooden Church
               Site Gallery - Dragomiresti Wooden Church
Desesti Wooden Church

Desesti Wooden ChurchLocation of Desesti Wooden Church ...

Desesti ... this village is 20 kilometers away from Vadu Izei by National Road 18. The oldest document mentioning this settlement is from 1360. Desesti has a fine example of the traditional Maramures wooden church. It was built in 1770 and named "The Pious Paraschiva. (left)" The interior was painted by Radu from Ungureni and Gheorghe Zugravul, "The Painter" in 1780. The paintings were some of the finest ever done in Maramures. These paintings were restored in the mid 1990's. The church also contains an excellent collection of painted icons from the nineteenth century on both wood and glass.


Video recorded: March 2007
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Site Gallery - Desesti Wooden Church
 
Desesti Wooden Church Desesti Wooden Church Desesti Wooden Church
Desesti Wooden Church Desesti Wooden Church Desesti Wooden Church
Desesti Wooden Church Desesti Wooden Church Desesti Wooden Church
Desesti Wooden Church Desesti Wooden Church Desesti Wooden Church
Harnicesti Wooden Church

Harnicesti Wooden ChurchLocation of Harnicesti Wooden Church ...

The Church of the Birth of the Holy Virgin in Harnicesti ... Year built: during the 17th century. Harnicesti belongs to the commune of Desesti. It is situated 44 km northeast of Baia Mare, and 22 km south of Sighetu Marmatiei. Just as in the case of other churches, the construction has been modified in time so that its original aspect has been preserved only in part.

The church was much enlarged in 1893, when a new pronaos was added. The wall between the old pronaos and the naos was removed, enlarging thus also the naos. In 1911 a porch was added on the south side, in front of the entrance. The old entrance portal, fully decorated with carvings and colours, was moved to the naos entrance. In 1942 the interior was repainted and the old iconostasis replaced with a larger one. In 1972, the tower was moved on the new pronaos.

The façades of the church are decorated with icons and embroidered towels. The church owns some very valuable icons, like The Entrance into Jerusalem, The Ascension of Christ and The Annunciation.

The construction of this church, as well as its modifications, show clearly the nearly scientific attitude that is held here towards the composing of church volumes. The church was restored in 1999 – 2000, preserving some of the added elements, such as the porch.


Video recorded: March 2007
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Site Gallery - Harnicesti Wooden Church
 
Harnicesti Wooden Church Harnicesti Wooden Church Harnicesti Wooden Church
Harnicesti Wooden Church Harnicesti Wooden Church Harnicesti Wooden Church
Dragomiresti Wooden Church

Dragomiresti Wooden ChurchLocation of Dragomiresti Wooden Church ...

Dragomiresti Wooden Church ... St. Elijah’s Monastery is situated at the exit from the village of Dragomiresti on the road to Salistea.

The Church dates from the 17th century, having been destroyed for the first time in 1875 and then in 1949 due to a devastating fire. An icon made of wood was discovered among the ashes. This 17th century icon represented Virgin Mary holding young Jesus in her arms.

The Monastery shelters this wonder-making icon. It is the only object which remained intact after the 1949 devastating fire. The Monastery was closed until 1990 when it re-entered the monachal circuit.

Site Gallery - Dragomiresti Wooden Church
 
Dragomiresti Wooden Church Dragomiresti Wooden Church Dragomiresti Wooden Church
Dragomiresti Wooden Church Dragomiresti Wooden Church Dragomiresti Wooden Church
Budesti Wooden Church

Budesti Wooden ChurchLocation of Budesti Wooden Church ...

Budesti ... is one of those bigger communities with two churches and two distinct parishes. Here the difference between the lower and upper halves of the village is made with the words Josani and Susani. This separation is not administrative, but used by the local people. The name Budesti means “The kin of Bud”, a person mentioned in a document of Louis the Great in 1361. The church of St. Nicoara is a good example of the typical Maramures church, as it still preserves its original shape, while the dimensions are slightly larger than usual (18m x 8m). But, it is the only one in the historical Country of Maramures to display the four small corner pinnacles at the base of the tower roof that are the typical element of the churches of the Country of Lapus.

The church is famous for objects that belonged to two 18th century freedom fighters against the Austrian Habsburgs: the coat of mail of Pintea the Brave, a legendary outlaw of Maramures, and the flag of Ferenc II Rákóczi, a Transylvanian nobleman. There are also 15th-17th century icons painted on wood and glass. On one of them is an inscription in Slavonic: “This icon was made by the very sinner Gheorghe”.

Site Gallery - Budesti Wooden Church
 
Budesti Wooden Church Budesti Wooden Church Budesti Wooden Church
Budesti Wooden Church Budesti Wooden Church Budesti Wooden Church
Budesti Wooden Church Budesti Wooden Church Budesti Wooden Church
Church of St. Parasceva in Poienile Izei

Church of St. Parasceva in Poienile IzeiLocation of Church of St. Parasceva in Poienile Izei ...

The Church of St. Parasceva in Poienile Izei ... built between 1604-1632. The church was built with fir beams. The square chancel is narrower than the rectangular plan of the main body of the church, as is typical for the older churches. From constructional details it has been deduced that the original church was much lower, and that it was made higher in the 18th century. The church is one of the eight churches on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. A roof with double eaves covers the church, although the chancel has its own slightly lower roof, as is usual. The porch, which was added at a later date, is covered with its own protruding roofing. A tall tower with a conical roof crowns the church.

Gheorghe of Dragomiresti painted the church in the post-Byzantine tradition in 1794. The paintings are very well preserved, and include big scenes in simple frames. The colours are more important for the unity of the paintings than the actual composition of the scenes. The painted inscriptions are full of information on the period when the Habsburg Emperor Francis ruled. The entrance to the church is through beautifully painted double doors, whose upper part shows the figures of Saints Peter and Paul, and the lower parts climbing vines. Also the very wide doorframe is decorated with climbing plants and an angel on each side of the door.

The church contains several scenes of the Last Judgment on its “pronaos” walls. The scenes depict images of punishments for sins: the liar hanged by his tongue, the witch gored by cows for casting a spell on them, the farmer plowed by two devils for stealing his neighbor’s land, the mother forced to swallow her aborted baby, and the person who sleeps while the priest is preaching is forced to lay on a burning log and endure the devil’s violin. Very descriptive and unforgettable.


Video recorded: March 2007
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Site Gallery - Church of St. Parasceva in Poienile Izei
 
Church of St. Parasceva in Poienile Izei Church of St. Parasceva in Poienile Izei Church of St. Parasceva in Poienile Izei
Church of St. Parasceva in Poienile Izei Church of St. Parasceva in Poienile Izei Church of St. Parasceva in Poienile Izei
Church of St. Parasceva in Poienile Izei Church of St. Parasceva in Poienile Izei Church of St. Parasceva in Poienile Izei
Botiza Monastery

Botiza MonasteryLocation of Botiza Monastery ...

Botiza ... 30 kilometers from Vadu-Izei in the Botiza Valley, this village dates back from 1353. Its wooden church is named for St. Paraschiva and it was built in the thirteenth century in the town of Viseu de Jos. In 1899 it was moved and rebuilt in Botiza. During its rebuilding, the church interior was painted in the Maramuresan style by Iuga Dionisie and his daughter Aurelia. The church contains many icons painted on wood dating from the eighteenth century. You'll also find many icons on glass, most dating from the nineteenth century. Botiza is best known for its beautiful and colorful rugs.

Almost every woman in town is a weaver. Traditional weaving is one of the most important activities in the village. Only natural colors are used to obtain the thread materials for weaving. "Tolurile", as they are called by the women, have striking colors: warm tints of green, yellow, and smooth brown and sometimes red and blue, made from natural dyes.


Video recorded: March 2007
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Site Gallery - Botiza Monastery
 
Botiza Monastery Botiza Monastery Botiza Monastery
Botiza Monastery Botiza Monastery Botiza Monastery
Botiza Monastery Botiza Monastery Botiza Monastery
Botiza Monastery Botiza Monastery Botiza Monastery
Botiza Monastery Botiza Monastery Botiza Monastery
Birth of Virgin Mary Church (Ieud)

Birth of Virgin Mary Church (Ieud)Location of Birth of Virgin Mary Church (Ieud) ...

Ieud ... along the Ieud River, 40 kilometers from Vadu-Izei, is the ancient and beautiful village of Ieud. Archaeological discoveries show this village dates back to the Bronze Age. Ieud also has two distinctive wooden churches which have been declared historical and architectural monuments.

The first one is 'The Birth of Virgin Mary ' Church on the hill, built in 1364 and it is the oldest church in Maramures. It is built from pine and fir wood with small windows, double roof and a single, impressive steeple. The paintings are original, dating from the 15th -16th century and their condition is relatively good. The church also has a collection of glass painted icons. Inside, the stairs to the tower are carved in one piece of wood. 'Zbornicul' or ' The Book of Laws' was discovered in the attic, unique in the country and the oldest manuscript in the Romanian language printed in 1543 in Brasov. The church was closed for visitation.

Ieud is known for the preservation of its traditional customs as well as its traditional architecture. The people here dress and act the same as they did hundreds of years ago. Every year in July the people of Ieud celebrate with a multi-day festival of traditional culture called "Ieud Cultural Days.” "Ieud is the place where a divorce and abortion has never been recorded.

It is also home to more than 50 of Nicolae Ceausescu's heroine mothers having more than fourteen children each. It is common for families to have six to eight children and children represent more than half of the population of 5,000 - and growing!


Video recorded: March 2007
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Site Gallery - Birth of Virgin Mary Church (Ieud)
 
Birth of Virgin Mary Church (Ieud) Birth of Virgin Mary Church (Ieud) Birth of Virgin Mary Church (Ieud)
Birth of Virgin Mary Church (Ieud) Birth of Virgin Mary Church (Ieud) Birth of Virgin Mary Church (Ieud)
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