HARNICESTI wooden church, near Ocna Sugatag, Maramures County, Romania

Harnicesti wooden church, general view
Harnicesti wooden church, general view

The first documents that record the village dale from 1360. The wooden church was built in 1770. Its dedication day is celebrated on The Nativity of the Holy Mother. The church was built on the ruins of a former monastery. lt is rectangular with a staged roof, on each side, joined to that of the apse and of the porch. The porch is placed on the south. An interesting solution is the extension of the side brackets starting with the first beam and the raised frieze decorated with indentations and geometrical motifs spread under them. The pentagonal structure with its disconnected apse makes the eastern end into a sloping five sides polygon.

The small bell-tower has an extended watchtower. On each of its sides there are three arcades topped with very flared and supple spires.

The construction underwent many changes that have added to its original beauty and

The wooden church, details
The wooden church, details


The entrance door was painted on both sides. On the inside of the door we find Saint Peter and St. Paul guarded by the sun and moon with human features.

The pronaos is decorated with raised twisted ropes and rosettes. The paintings were entirely destroyed and replaced with icons. The same pattern can be seen in the nave. Fragments of a three-colored frieze are still visible. The red, yellow and blue frieze follows the patterns of the local folk embroidery cross-stitch patterns.

The wooden icons on golden background have deteriorated. The pictures of the saints were painted in lively colors, while

The wooden church, details
The wooden church, details

the frames are decorated with leaves. This is another distinctive characteristic of the local wood carvers of the region.

The Holy Doors are richly ornamented with vegetal motifs that twist elegantly, creating spaces for circular medallions that present The Annunciation and the Evangelists.

The Ark, and an icon of the Holy Mother carrying The Child with Joseph and guarded by The Omniscient Eye, can be admired in the Sanctuary. They are surrounded by vines full of flowers.

The church houses an old painted wooden cross used in old Christian rituals.



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