CORUIA wooden church, near Sacalaseni, Maramures County, Romania

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

The village was first recorded in 1566. The patron saint of thus wooden church is Saint Anne, an uncommon dedication for Maramures. It was built in 1794 and painted in 1808 and again in 1928.

The construction consists of a porch, a pronaos a nave and a pentagonal disconnected apse. The walls are made of oak, joined at the corners and doubled in strength by vertical pillars, which hold up a few short carve concave brackets. On the brackets there are solid beams carved in high relief, covering the empty space under the eaves.

The uniform roof has half-spires with crosses at the ends of its copings. The bell-tower is built on two levels up to the watchtower, with a gallery of arcades and races decorated with carved rounded forms, resembling the horns of a ram.

The octagonal spire is square at the bottom and it has four little towers on the corners and

Detail of painting in the nave
Detail of painting in the nave

a cross with four arms on the top. This is a sign that the village was an important one at that time; and a Council of the Judges; or the Old People’s Council had the right to judge in the village. The facade and the exterior wall are surrounded by a twisted rope in high relief, at the level of the windows. The entrance door was replaced and its framework is ornamented with small snaked grooves, areas of rhombuses, twisted ropes and solar rosettes; all beautifully carved.

The porch is impressive as the supporting pillars are very solid and the upper corona is joined to the pillars through braces decorated with wolf-teeth in high relief and more forms shaped as the horns of a ram. The arcades are ornamented with rows of ears of wheat, ending in spirals of solar rosettes. A wall separates the pronaos from the nave. It has openings in arcades, supported on pillars decorated with carved circles, with two carvings painted in our national colors.

Detail on the Iconostasis
Detail on the Iconostasis

On the side vault of the nave one can identity figures of the Evangelists, dressed in loose robes, colored in red, yellow, blue and green. They are in frames inspired by the embroidery on the traditional shirts – (the so-called ”ii”).

The Iconostasis is completely covered by towels and kitsch-icons. Beautiful Holy Doors decorated by the Wheel of Life with twelve spokes, symbolizing the months of the year are still visible. The Holy Spirit is at the centre above the Annunciation, which is enclosed by large rectangular frames.

The church houses an interesting collection of old icons -almost completely damaged, except the one that depicts the face of Jesus on Veronica’s scarf and held by two Angels.



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