CHECHIS wooden church, near Dumbravita, Maramures County, Romania

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

The village was recorded in 1350. The wooden church, under the spiritual patronage of Saint George, was built around 1630, on the site of a former one.

The wooden church was abandoned and forgotten after 1824 as a larger stone church had been built. In 1939,through the efforts of the Catholic bishop, Al. Rusu, the church was moved to the city of Baia Mare, on Dealul Florilor, (the hill of flowers) and today is in the custody of The Village Museum.

The structure of the church consists of a porch, a pronaos, a nave and a pentagonal undetached apse.  The roof is solid and the bell-tower has a watch-tower hidden behind vertical boards carved in their lower part with pointed triangles. The balcony has a gallery of twelve pillars connected through wonderful arcades. The slender pyramidal steeple rises above the arcades with four smaller towers at its corners. The wrought iron cross, on top, has a half -moon and a sun on its upper part.

The walls are beautifully jointed and their corners are prolonged in brackets cut in steps, slightly rounded at their edges. The entrance door was originally on the southern side, and its frame is still preserved there. It is decorated with rows of twisted rope and winding rows, ending with solar rosettes at the base of the doorposts.

Nowadays, the entrance door has hinges made of wrought iron. Its frame is simple with the

The Iconostasis
The Iconostasis

sides decorated by lines. On the other hand, the frame of the passage door between the pronaos and the nave is huge: decorated with stylized rosettes filled with arabesques at the comers, and Greek style crosses on its sides. On the gable, there is a crowned head between four grape vines, flanked by two squares enclosing two triangles joined at their pointed tips and decorated with trefoil-crosses.

The Sanctuary of the church is unique because its vault is attached at the eight corners by some ribs, joined by a keystone which has the form of a rosette, decorated with vegetable sculptures.

The access to the Sanctuary is through two

The apse
The apse

openings, which replace the Holy doors. They are decorated with the Annunciation on their upper half. In the lower half there are the Evangelists sitting and holding symbolic objects. One is on the red background and the other on a green.

The church also houses two wonderful Principal Icons with “Jesus as High Priest” and “The Holy Mother with Her Child”. The frames are decorated with splendid floral motifs and with grapes. An important collection of icons on wood and glass and another collection of wooden crosses, beautifully decorated, can be admired here.

The interior painting is almost entirely damaged and the walls are covered with icons on wood and glass and other religious objects.


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