FANTANELE, town Targu Lapus, Maramures County, Romania

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

The settlement was first recorded in 1637. This wooden church, dedicated to Mary the Mother of Jesus, was built at the beginning of the 18th century. The church was plastered up to the level of the vault, because the sidewalls and the foundations are made of stone.

The four-sided single span roof is covered with galvanized iron, which has been laid over the shingles. The bell-tower has a watchtower gallery hidden by fret-sawn boards with decorations at the bottom. The angled spire rises to become octagonal at its top.

The porch is supported by four pillars, carved in arches similar to the arcades. They are perfectly jointed, without the use of braces or wedges.

The framework of the entrance door is a semi-circle. On the upper part of the front door decorations in the shape of oak leaves can be seen.

The side walls of the nave are decorated with stylized geometrical and floral motifs that

The wooden church, detail
The wooden church, detail

end at the level of the side vault. A frieze, probably inspired by the miniatures in the religious books, separates the walls and the side vault.

The Trinity is painted in a rectangular frame on the ceiling vault, while the “corners” of the side vault house the four Evangelists. The wall opposite the Iconostasis is painted with an interesting scene of ”The Resurrection of Jesus”.

The Iconostasis is carved on a wooden structure ornamented with raised carving that includes some arched pillars between which the Apostles stand. Jesus as a Priest in Glory is

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

in the center of the first row. A row of medallions with the Prophets of the Jewish people is above it. On the upper part of the Iconostasis there is a painted ”Jesus on the Cross” guarded by Saint John and Mary.

The Principal icons picture the Holy Archangel Michael, Jesus Pantocrator (The Creator in Glory), The Holy Mother with The Child Jesus an Saint Nicholas, all in live colors. The Holy Doors are decorated with rich flower garlands, with the scene of Annunciation in the middle, framed by four angels and not by the Evangelists as the case with the other churches in this region.





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