CARPINIS, near Copalnic Manastur, Maramures County, Romania

The wooden church, general view
The wooden church, general view

The village was first recorded in 1405. The wooden church, named “The Dormition of Our Lord’s Mother”, was built initially in the old centre of this village. Later on, probably around the year 1812, it was removed to the present site, called Dumbrava. Then its porch was enlarged and the entrance was moved from the southern side to the present site in the porch. The apse sides were also enlarged.

The porch is held up by four solid oak pillars, which are connected to the corona through saw-teeth braces, having at their centre a decoration of raised discs. The joining corona is decorated with a twisted rope in high relief, accompanied in the upper part by a row of wolf-teeth and by four other rows in their lower part.

The parapet of the porch is topped by a solid wooden railing, decorated at its outer edge by a twisted rope design.

The structure is not traditional as the apse is not separate, but the whole assembly

Holy doors
Holy doors

impresses through its uniform character. The roof is traditionally extended, with a slender bell-tower, which has a half-spire. Seen from its front, the church resembles a huge tower with an overlapping steeple or spire.

The bell-tower is covered with shingle up to the watchtower, and has a parapet hidden by horizontal boards. These boards are carved with two rows of fret-sawn triangles pointing towards the base. The balcony has arcades on both sides joined like the ones in the porch. The octagonal spire, with a large square base, is covered with shingles, in two rows, and it has a simple cross. This is a sign that the church was built through the financial effort of the faithful in the local community.

The Iconostasis is organized in the form of the pyramid, around a symbolical axis. It includes rectangular and circular surfaces separated by colonnades, with arches decorated by cross-shaped petals of flowers, forming

The Iconostasis
The Iconostasis

crosses. Above them they are decorated with tongues of fire, symbolizing languages (speaking in tongues) spoken by the Apostles after Jesus’ Ascension. The first row has at its centre a beautiful icon of Veronica’s raw silk scarf, which has Jesus Christ’s face on it. This is carried by two angels, and it is framed in a medallion surrounded by flames. The second tier has at its centre ”The Last Supper” and the Apostles, originally arranged in a circle. The third register, according to tradition, is painted with Jesus as Priest in glory. The last row, the upper part, presents

Principal icon
Principal icon

Jesus on the cross set in an oval frame surrounded by the Prophets.

The Holy doors are decorated with carved grape vines displayed in spirals. They frame

eight medallions symmetrically placed, in pairs, with the Annunciation in the upper pair, the Evangelists in the centre and two Angels in the lower air.

The Principal Icons are special and old; they reveal faces painted in Eastern Byzantine style with an aura of light or halo on a golden background. The background is decorated with miniatures inspired from bible stories and legends.



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