COAS wooden church, Maramures County, Romania


Coas wooden church, general view
Coas wooden church, general view

The village was recorded in 1566. The church, named “The Holy Archangels”, was built around 1730, on the site called “a Ogoronasilor” (meaning “belonging to Ogoranas family”).

The structure has ten sides with rounded corners. It has walls of stone with small windows, two on each part. There is another window on the southern side, originally a door proved by the frame decorated with deep continuous lines, crosses, rosettes, floral, and vegetable motifs. The decorations on the framework of the door between the pronaos and the nave also resemble the ornamentation of this “window”.

The roof, covered with dovetailed shingles, rests on brackets obtained by extending the upper crown of the walls. The crown is consolidated with braces fixed directly in the walls.

The lower part of the bell-tower is extended up to the watchtower that rests on extended brackets. The parapet is hidden by boards; with fretwork at their base surrounded with a railing carved in high relief. The balcony has a nice gallery of twelve pillars, forming arcades through the ingenious traditional joining of the braces. The pyramidal spire, with

Wooden cross used in rituals
Wooden cross used in rituals

square bottom continues up to take the shape of an octagon ending with a simple cross, made of wrought iron. The letter “S” decorates the point where the arms of the cross join.

The interior walls are painted in white. The vault, made into a ceiling; is supported by three arches, and reveals traces of painting. The parapet of the balcony is covered with vertical boards; its fretwork in the shape of hearts and stylized tips of spears.

The Iconostasis displays an improvised iconography. In the first row there are only ten of the twelve icons with the Apostles, which surrounded the scene of the Last Supper. These icons are really beautiful. Above, there are only four icons surrounding the Holy Mother and Her Child. In the upper part, there is a wonderful cross with Christ crucified. The frames are decorated with interwoven chains of vine leaves and apes.

The Holy Doors are painted in blue and they have a golden cross in the lower part. The icons of the Annunciation are placed at the centre, enclosed by elongated squares.

Principal Icon
Principal Icon

The Principal Icons (St. Nicholas, the Holy Mother with the Child, Jesus and St. George) are made the more impressive by their size and their frames with simple decoration. The painting of these is exceptional, excepting the icon of St. George, which was painted later.

In the pronaos, above the entrance door, with access from the western side, there is a beautiful old icon on wood. In the Sanctuary there is another larger icon of bigger of St. Andrew. Its frame is wonderful, but the painting is almost wiped off.

One can also admire an exceptional wooden cross, painted on one side with Jesus Crucified, with His arms stretched, and on the other side Jesus Crucified, but with His arms crossed on His chest. The arms of this cross once had their ends painted with different faces, which cannot be distinguished anymore. They have been covered by the twisted ropes placed around the sides. This cross seems to have been once on the top of a church banner.

PHOTO GALLERY

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