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The Hurezi Monastery Complex – An UNESCO Monument

1692 – 1697, located in ROMANII DE JOS, a satellite village of the town of  HOREZU

In the Horezu area there is the greatest density of unique architectonic buildings, of an inestimable value, symbols of the past and present of this region, represented by churches, hermitages and monasteries. Most of the monasteries in the Northern part of Oltenia lie around the town of Horezu, having as their centre the Hurezi Monastery.

The “Sf. Împăraţi Constantin și Elena” Church

1690 – 1693 – located in ROMANII DE JOS, a satellite village of the town of HOREZU

The Hurezi Monastery, the most important monastery founded by the martyr Voivode,  Constantin Brâncoveanu (1688–1714), was built between 1690 and 1693, the great church of the complex being consecrated on 8th September 1693.

Being considered the most representative edifice built in the “Brâncoveanu” style in the country, the Hurezi Monastery is, perhaps, the largest monastic complex in Romania. It extends on more than 3 ha, including the monastery itself, the Infirmary Church, the “Sfinţii Apostoli” Hermitage and the “Sfântul Ştefan” Hermitage, as well as the “Sfinţii Îngeri” Church, also built by one of the abbots of the monastery, a church lying southwards of the precinct of the monastery. In 1993, the Hurezi Monastery was included on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Built between 1690 and 1693, on a three-cusped plan, the “Sfinţii Împăraţi Constantin și mama sa Elena” (Saints Constantine and His Mother Helena) Church develops the model of the Episcopal Church of the Curtea de Argeș Monastery, in the sense of more elongated shapes and by adding a veranda typical of the “Brâncoveanu” style, with arcades supported by ten stone columns, decorated with ornaments characteristic of the late Renaissance. Rectangular panes and ornamental niches with circles decorate its façade. The frame of the entrance door is made of carved marble, the inscription including the emblem of Wallachia and that of the Cantacuzino family. Manea, “head of the masons”, Istrate the carpenter and Vucașin Caragea the stonemason are mentioned as builders of the edifice.

The wall painting, of a great and acknowledged value, was the work of the Greek painters Constantinos and Ioan as well as of the Romanian painters Andrei, Stan, Neagoe and Ioachim between the years 1692 and 1694. Alongside the religious scenes shown, in the pronaos there is a portrait gallery of the Brâncoveanu, Basarab and Cantacuzino families. It starts with the portrait of Datco from Brâncoveni, a boyar who lived at the beginning of the 16th century, with Basarab III the Elder and the seneschal Constantin Cantacuzino, culminating in the votive painting that represents the members of the Brâncoveanu family contemporary with the building of the church. 

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