BUDESTI (JOSANI) wooden church, Maramures County, Romania

The wooden church general view and detail
The wooden church general view and detail

The settlement was first recorded in 1361 when Bud and his brothers, sons of Licovoi, are named the owners of the village by Ludovic of Anjou, King of Hungary.

The wooden church’s patron saint is Saint Nicholas and was built in 1642. It belongs to the group of churches that distinguished by their proportions, the double rows of walls and the two staged roof overlapping the apse.

The upper part of the roof is supported by seven side pillars, connected by long braces carved with round ornaments – to a corona decorated with indents which replaces the arcade.

The bell-tower rises above the roof and has a watchtower supported by four side pillars united by arches linked in the style specific to Maramures, and parapets hidden by vertical boards with fret-sawn decorations at the bottom.

The extremely curved steeple is 38 m high. At Its bottom there are four miniature towers.

Icon painted on wood
Icon painted on wood

These are signs that prove the fact that there was an Old Men’s Council that once ruled the village.

The frame of the entrance door is decorated with arabesques. A Byzantine cross and a semicircle, adorned with two rosettes, symbolizing David’s Cross (the Star of David) and can be admired on the front of the door. Floral motifs complete the decoration. A wooden carved twisted rope that ends in spirals and rosettes enrich the frames. They are noteworthy because of their elaborate patterns.

The top of the frame of the door that separates the pronaos and the nave is a brace, while the main door is carved with geometrical motifs and fret-sawn ornaments. The side doors of the pronaos are covered with wrought iron bars in the shape of the letter “S” and smaller ones in the shape of letter ”X”.

Detail of painting in the pronaos
Detail of painting in the pronaos

The iconography is partly preserved. There are portraits painted in black frames decorated with longitudinal twisted ropes and vegetal motifs, in the pronaos and the nave, and heraldic frames in the Sanctuary.

The southern wall impresses with a scene in which Jesus is the Judge, (painted on a star made up of two squares) and is guarded by the moon and sun with human features, and has at below it the Hell populated with devils that carry pails.

The paintings are extensive; the characters are graceful and graceful as we can observe in the paintings from the pronaos. This is the result of Alexandru Ponehalschi and loan Opris’s craftsmanship.

A collection of wooden icons that portray saints, on a golden background with frames

Icon painted on wood
Icon painted on wood

decorated with floral motifs and bolded twisted ropes, is also preserved in this church.

The Holy Doors are made up of wooden painted boards, without raised ornament or carving. In the middle, the motif of the twisted rope decorates the door.

The icons on the Altar and the Ark or Tabernacle are exceptional. The frames are double and carved with raised vegetable motifs that entwine inwards and extend outwards. The Trinity and Mary the Mother of Jesus are portrayed in the Sanctuary.

Another treasure of the church is the wooden chandelier with arched candleholders that take the shape of gas lamps.

Of a great value is Pintea Viteazu’s mail shirt. He was an outlaw, an important historical figure in Romanian history who protected the poor and the oppressed.

“The table for the alms” is made up of blocks of stone arranged in a pattern. It stands next to the church.



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