Thursday, August 26, 2010

Horezu Monastery, World Heritage Site in UNESCO Patrimony since 1993

Traveling throughout Romania and visiting Horezu Monastery is an amazing experience for any person interested in visiting historical landmarks: churches, castles, medieval villages and historic towns.

Horezu Monastery, Romania, UNESCO Patrimony

Horezu Monastery (1690-1697) is the most important religious architectural monument from Oltenia, Romania,  which has been inscribed since 1993 by UNESCO on its list of World Heritage Sites.

Hurezi Monastery, Romania, UNESCO Patrimony

Hurezi Monastery, Romania, UNESCO Patrimony

Oltenia  is a historical province and geographical region of Romania, in western Wallachia (Valahia), situated between the Danube, the Southern Carpathians and the Olt river. Several princes of  Valahia have built  monasteries in northern Oltenia in the Brancoveanu style, the typical genuine Romanian architectural style, named after the Valahian prince who ruled at the end of the 17th century. These monasteries are rarely visited by foreigners, as they do not appear in most guides, but are a good choice for any person who want to spend time in a rustic scenery surrounded by a wild beauty and to enjoy magnificent architecture.

Horezu Monastery, Romania, UNESCO Patrimony since 1993
The Horezu Monastery is impressive, protected by strong walls, having more than 22 hectares at the foot of Capatanii Mountains, in Valcea County, Romania.

Horezu Monastery entrance, Romania, UNESCO Patrimony
Horezu Monastery, Romania, UNESCO Patrimony

Inside the walls, the monastery complex covers more than 3 hectare and has five churches: a small church in each of the four cardinal points and the main church, the biggest in the whole area, dedicated to St. Constantine and Helen, with iconostasis sculpted in lime tree wood, overlaid with gold.

Horezu Monastery arches, Romania, UNESCO Patrimony

The monastery has amazing stone sculptures on the staircases and a covered logia with columns and arcades decorated with sculptures in stones, niches and frescoes.

The legend says that, being afraid of the Turks, the Wallachian workers did everything at nighttime, when the eagle owls (huhurezi) were singing - original name of the monastery being "Hurezi Monastery".

Horezu Monastery paintings, Romania, UNESCO Patrimony
Horezu Monastery entrance paintings, Romania, UNESCO Patrimony

The paintings inside the church, with an inestimable artistic value, contain a gallery of icons of saints, scenes from the Old and New Testament,  and portraits of Wallachian Voivodes.  At the entrance of main church, on the left  are well preserved the original paintings  with scenes from The Last Judgment.

Horezu Monastery entrance paintings, left side, Romania, UNESCO PatrimonyHorezu Monastery entrance paintings, right side, Romania, UNESCO Patrimony

The Horezu Monastery shelters one of the most remarkable collections of liturgical objects and a valuable library, silver votive lights, paintings and sculptures in stone and in wood (remarcable being the main gate) - some of which date from the Constantin Brancoveanu epoch, when the monastery was founded. Towards the end of the 17th century, the Horezu Monastery sheltered a sculpture and painting school, renowned throughout the Balkan region and after the monastery was founded, the pottery ancient activity from Horezu village became a popular brand as “Horezu ceramic”.

Hurezi Monastery, Romania, UNESCO Patrimony - hostels rooms

Horezu Monastery, site in UNESCO Patrimony since 1993,  is located on the Romanian national road DN 67, between  Ramnicul Valcea and Targul Jiu , 50 kilometers West from Ramnicul Valcea.  Those who come from Ramnicul Valcea,  have to take right to Romanii de Sus village before coming down 3km to Horezu town. Please see the next map for directions:

View Horezu Monastery - World Heritage Site in Romania in a larger map


Zuzana said...

Very interesting post. There are so many beautiful historical treasurers through out Europe and many still hidden away in the former East bloc. Beautiful pictures.
Thank you for your recent comment on my blog. I have been away, thus sorry for returning your lovely visit this late.;)
Have a lovely weekend,

Pseudo said...

I hope I get to go to Europe someday... and when I do I want to go here.

Unknown said...

Great post! I love your pictures and the narrative. Beautifully done. I like the new improvements on your blog and web site. Way to go! Good luck developing all your new creative ideas.

Xenia said...

Wow, that architecture is amazing! It's been a few years since I visited Europe, but these photos bring me back - so gorgeous!

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