Travel in Romania :: Barsana Monastery

Barsana Monastery is a complex with sixteen nuns. Created after 1989, on the site of a church abandoned in 1791, the complex has become a significant cultural and religious attraction. Its 56 meter-tall church is the tallest wooden structure in Europe. The church is now stand on a hill and is surrounded by orchard. Interior is very dark because of the lack of windows of the small pronaos. The expressive detail carved into architectural forms by Maramures craftsmen is a reason to visit and stay at Barsana. No power tools or nails were used in the large wooden structures. Its north-Transylvania location puts it close to the Ukrainian border in a hilly forested landscape, on the Iza valley.

"Barsan" is a romanian surname, from medieval times. It means a shepherd with thick long wool. It look like a romanian chief, Stanislau, the son of Stan Barsan, dominate this zone in XIV century (some documents from 1326-1346). Even the monastery was first time mentioned in 1405, the existence is earlier. Actual wooden church was built on the place of the other, in 1720. The monastery from Barsana functioned until 1791 (with religious monastery purposes), and than was abandoned. Between 1802 and 1805 the villagers of Barsana moved the unused church in the middle of community. The interior walls were painted by the local artist Hodor Toader, in 1806, like it is writing in the naos.

Barsana is one of the eight religious churches on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

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Photo credits: Emicristea.