FERESTI wooden church, near Giulesti, Maramures County, Romania

Feresti wooden church, general view
Feresti wooden church, general view

The first documents about Feresti date from 1349. The name of the village appears in a document released by Visegrad in 1405 which certifies the fact that Feresti, among other settlements from the area, are owned by Vint, Dragos, Sandor and Bud from Cosau.

The wooden church whose patron is Saint Nicholas was built in 1690. The walls are made of oak beams; the roof has two tiers and is joined above the disconnected apse.

The roof is held up by short wooden brackets made up of round steps. The bell-tower rises above it together with an extended watchtower gallery with its large spire. The sharp steeple ends with a three-armed cross. The construction underlined the fact that the village was once important. Half-spires with crosses decorate the extremities of the ridges and of the apse. They are similar to

Wooden candlestick
Wooden candlestick

those on the bell-tower.

Of a great interest is the two-stage porch with eight supporting pillars in its lower part, and five in the upper one. The pillars are connected by braces that are decorated with raised patterns specific to this region.

The door with access from the west has a simple framework decorated on its top by a raised carved cross. The windows are cut into the beams and their gratings are made of wrought iron.

Inside the front of the pronaos is preserved a painting, restored by unknown artists at the end of the 19th century. There are scenes depicting ‘The Doomsday”, ‘The Wise and The Foolish Virgins” and “The Holy Mother”. In the nave we find paintings of “The Passion of Jesus”, ”Jesus’ Ascension”/’ The Dormition of Our Lord’s Mother” and others like ”David in the lion’s den”, “Nestor’s fight with the centaurs”.

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

We also find the Trinity, The Virgin Mary, St. Cosma and St. Damian, the patron saints of doctors, surrounded by the four Evangelists pictured on the ceiling vault. Other important scenes are ”Elijah’s Ascension” and “Jacobs’s Ladder”. Among these scenes we find painted Angels with trumpets.

The lconostasis has medallions in a baroque styIe. The individuals found in these medallions are identified by their large gestures together with the bright coloring of their clothes.

The Virgin Mary’s image reappears in the Sanctuary. She is placed between the sun and the moon. There is also an early-Christian motif of a lamb symbolizing Jesus, rarely met in these churches.



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