Travel guide, Explorer
Birsana wood monastery
Șurdești wood church
The wooden church of Şurdeşti, devoted to the Saint Archaengels Michael and Gabriel, was built in 1721 under the direction of Toma Macarie. The church steeple is among the tallest old wooden structures in the world. In the past, people believed that the taller the church tower was, the easier their prayers could reach up to Heaven. Besides the impressive height, it is worth noting that this is the only church in the Land of Chioar that has double-eaved roof. The two superposed rows of arches above the porch are also unique in the region. The interior frescoes, executed by Ştefan of Şişeşti in 1783, were applied on canvas strips which in turn fill the gaps between the wooden beams.
Ieud wood monastery
The UNESCO designated wooden church at Poienile Izei, "Pious Paraschiva", is one of the most beautiful and well preserved monuments in all of Maramures. The church was built in 1604 and is covered on the interior with spectacular frescoes. It contains several scenes of the Last Judgment on its "pranaos" (walls). The scenes depict images of terrible punishments for sins: the liar hanged by his tongue, the witch gored by cows for casting a spell on them, the farmer plowed by two devils for stealing his neighbor's land, the mother forced to swallow her aborted baby, and the person who sleeps while the priest is preaching, is forced to lay on a burning bed and endure the devil's violin.
Rogoz wood church
The small village of Rogoz is home to another UNESCO monument. According to tradition, the church "The Saint Archangels Michael and Gabriel" was built in 1633 from two huge twin trees brought from Dealul Popii (The Priest's Hill). The church seems to have survived the Tartar invasion of 1717 as the Land of Lăpuş was affected less by the danger brought about by the Tartars than the Land of Maramureş. The uniqueness of the church "Saint Archangels Michael and Gabriel" is given by its southern entrance, asymmetrical roof and horse-head cantilever joints. The ‘Elder's' table covered by the eaves on the northern side of the church has markings corresponding to the families entitled to sit at it. On religious holidays, these families offered meals to the poor in memory of the dead. Near the "Saint Archaengels Michael and Gabriel" there is another wooden church, called "Saint Paraschiva", which was brought here from the village Suciu de Sus, in 1883.
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