Monastery of Horezu
The Monastery of Horezu is considered the masterpiece of the Brancovan style that influenced art across the region in the 18th and 19th century. The monastery was founded in 1690 by Prince Constantin Brancovan, who let it be adorned with wall paintings and other rich decorations. The interior work was done by the Greek artist Constantinos, who also founded an acclaimed school of painting in Horezu.
The tradition of Mount Athos, which artistic creations were made possible by a system of patronage, was an example for Wallachia and Brancovan.
The Brancovan style that developed under these circumstances is a synthesis of Byzantine and Northern Italian Renaissance architecture.
The main monastery consists of the central main church (catholicon
), around which the other buildings are grouped: a refectory, two-storey monkís cells, bell-tower and the princeís residence. They are enclosed behind a wall. The designated area also holds another church (Bolnitei) and two hermitages outside the walls.
Since 1872 this Monastery is in use as a Nunnery.
Visit August 2010
The Horezu Monastery is located about 2 hours drive south of Sibiu, on the road to Targu Jiu. I hadnít found much visitor information beforehand, so I just hoped it to be open on a Monday morning in late August. When I arrived there were only a couple of cars in the parking lot, and one single souvenir stall out of a row that was open. Itís not a site that appears to be visited by hordes of tourists, certainly not foreign ones.
You have to walk uphill to get to the monastery. Entrance is via a gate in the thick surrounding walls. You can just walk in, thereís no entrance fee and it does appear to be open every day (as it is an active nunnery). From the gate my attention was immediately drawn to the church in the center of the grounds: it is very white and a bit odd shaped (I had seen that already on pictures), and its front portal is completely covered by wall paintings. Clouds had been covering the sun for most of the morning, but fortunately the sun came out now to brighten up my pictures of this very pretty site.
I slowly walked around in the enclosure, which isnít very large. Under the bell-tower is a small refectory, almost like a cave. It holds a table and about 40 chairs, and its walls are completely covered in paintings. What a place to eat every day! The Last Supper is depicted here too.
Several black-clad nuns were ambling about, doing their daily business of which gardening seems to be an important part. The grounds are well kept and adorned by flowers and plants.
I ended my visit at the church, where I first sat down gazing at the frescoes at the entrance. The crowded scenery depicts mainly mythological scenes. The interior of the church consists of two parts: the first holds wall paintings of the monasteryís patron, Prince Brancovan, and his family. At the end there is a massive wooden altar.
In all, I spent about an hour at the monastery. It's located quite far from any other sights (although there are other monasteries in the area). So I just had lunch at Horezu Town, of pottery fame, and after that made my way back to Sibiu.
More photos can be found in the Picture Gallery
|john booth (New Zealand):|
This monastery is attractively located in the hills 4km north of Horezu village. Els' pictures accurately depict the buildings and frescoes, but I liked the small chapel beside the cemetery.
I reached the site by taxi from the bus station in the village. Buses link the village with railway stations at Petrosani, Craiova and Ramnicu Valcea.
| Date posted: December 2012|
it is an absolutely fantastic place to visit
here are some photos
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