INAU wooden church, the town Targu Lapus, Maramures County, Romania


Wooden church, general view
Wooden church, general view

The village was recorded in 1584. The wooden church has an interesting history as it was built in Baia Mare around 1689, en moved to Rus in 1778 and finally donated to the village of Ineu in 1815. The patrons of the church are The Holly Archangels.

The building has walls that extend at its comets, in the shape of large brackets that start from the middle of the walls. The curved roof folds over a bell-tower that has a watchtower decorated with fret-sawn heart-like models and a shaped parapet. Above the balcony of the watchtower, which is supported by four side arcades, rises a flared steeple. At the bottom it has four little towers. Towards the top the spire becomes octagonal. The four-armed cross with the half-moon at its bottom shows that the church was built by order of important people.

On the southern side of the church, the framework of one of the entrance doors is beautifully decorated by twisted ropes resembling the wheat, surrounded by zig-zags. On

Wooden church, general view
Wooden church, general view

top of the door there is a three-armed cross, decorated with sun-like rosettes, with geometrical motifs carved on its surface.

The porch has four rounded pillars in spherical steps, above which a corona is fixed in bolded arches that join the pillars around the central wedge.

The frames of the entrance door are decorated with raised vines and flowers, while the door has fine decorations that frame a big solar rosette in the lower part, and four little ones in the upper part. The little rosettes are skillfully carved with the name of the four Evangelists.

The mural painting in the pronaos is deteriorated. A very interesting painting of the Wheel of Life is still visible. Its spokes extend over the rim of the wheel, ending with faces that symbolize the stages of human life and scenes from “Doomsday”, ”Punishments in Hell”, and the sun and moon with human features.

The wooden church detail
The wooden church detail

The inside painting has its original distribution and themes. There are the Evangelists Mark and Matthew painted on the northern wall. Under them, around God’s Chair, there are many kings, also, Jacob’s Ladder. On the southern wall are the Evangelists John and Luke and The Imagined Ones (as seen by the old men) all painted on the upper level.

An interesting feature is the name given to the paintings: ’Imaginations’, meaning interpretations of the Bible stories.  lt is evident that this painter fully understood the symbolism of the epic scenes from the Bible.

On the parapet of the balcony the old paintings are less visible; the wooden icons have been fixed on the lower art of these faded paintings so as to fit the original Framing.

On the vault of the balcony we can admire interesting scenes with dragons. On the vault of the nave there is a scene with Almighty God surrounded by angels playing trumpets and above it, in the center God with The Holy Spirit and other illustrations from the Bible. The

The wooden church detail
The wooden church detail

colors used are light red, blue, yellow and white. Pictures of bishops disposed horizontally can be distinguished in the Altar along side with Melchizedek wearing a monk’s robe and a traditional Romanian country hat.

The Principal Icons impress us with their frames, decorated with raised flowers and grapes wrapped in strips that weave around giving the impression of strength.

Unfortunately, the Iconostasis is covered with embroideries and rather ordinary icons that affect its original beauty.

An interesting scene with Jesus sitting and squeezing grapes in a goblet can be found in the Sanctuary. This clearly symbolizes the Christian Eucharist.

PHOTO GALLERY

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