Arnota Monastery - details and images

Arnota Orthodox Monastery is a monastery of nuns with communal, situated in the village Costesti, Valcea county. Monastery dedicated to "St. Archangels Michael and Gabriel is one of the largest monasteries of Romania. It is situated in a picturesque corner of the heights of the Carpathians.

Arnota Monastery, considered one of the most representative historical monuments and religious art in the country, is located 56 kilometers from the city of Ramnicu Valcea, the municipality Costesti.

When it comes Arnota from Bistrita Monastery, a stone road, after a distance of 6 km, there is also a more direct path only 3 miles, but very hardly accessible in the rain or snow.

Guarded Arnota massif, in the picturesque landscape of Skull Mountain, at an altitude of 840 meters, like a nest of eagles, preserves Arnota monastery within its walls Voda Basarab Matthew's grave, seems etched in stone evoking features of this energetic founder.

The architecture, painting and sculpture, Arnota monastery can be seen as a historical and religious art in the country, which makes anyone who comes through the place, visiting the monastery Hurez or Bistrita Monastery, is urged to dare to climb the mountain, to know and this jewel of the Romanian Orthodox.

Tradition preserved until today says that after a hard fight with the Turks, whom he could not win, being chased by them, Matthew Voda lands retired in Valcea, Arnot mountains, taking refuge in a lake with reed sedge. So here begins the building of the Church Matthew Arnota Voda at the beginning of his reign, worshiping a "Holy Archangels Michael and Gabriel, his protectors, and then bringing in Alba Iulia, the body of his father, the magistrate Danciu Brancoveni to be buried here .

Monastery church was built from scratch, by Prince Matei Basarab between 1633-1636, years in the monastery Arnota also appears in documents. The monastery is mentioned in documents for the first time on 11 July 1636, with the opportunity to purchase a Obcina Bogdanesti Valcea, then received on 23 April 1638 - "honest and well figured charter of donation" from Basarab, founder.

Monastery Arnota image appears in the 1830 copy of a votive painting from the sixteenth century (1520), representing the withdrawal of money Barbu Craiovescu Bistrita Monastery, its founder.

Archaeological excavations since 1974 have certified the existence of traces of another church, still undated, the foundation of the present church. Matei Basarab built around the church and buildings for the monks, and the bell at the entrance, and framed it with other buildings.

The church is small, the wall built with pressed brick foundation, built in three-cusped plan. The nave is separated from the nave by a wall that allow for movement of a door-sized opening.

Built in Byzantine style still shaped by the time the Wallachian style features small church, triconic plan, with 14.10 meters long and 3.50 meters wide in the altar apse x 5.63 meters, is harmoniously proportioned.

At 5.70 meters tall arches that rise to high arches. The altar is covered with a canopy absidiala. Is an octagonal tower in the nave and the narthex is covered by a cap supported on the pendants.

Brancoveanu large porch, compared with the rest of the church is open, supported by six massive columns of stone. He has a tower on the nave and another sea and she, above the porch. The entrance door is made of chestnut wood, carved, it was a true work of art. Entrance door has on it the inscription:
"This door is made Constantin Brancoveanu chancellor" (ie, before the reign).

The old temple during the reign of Constantin Brancoveanu Hurezi rival that of the monastery. Today it is preserved at the Museum Mogosoaia. A porch added in 1694, opened the brick columns and painted in the style Brancoveanu Enache and Preda (1705-1706) adorns the old seat.

Outside, the church wall in the middle is surrounded by a brick cornice in relief. Above the arm holes are deep and shallow niches has rounded lower register. Church facades, in the same style of Byzantine were originally carved in brick, vertical and horizontal rows forming alternating with belts of plaster cornices of the apses and the nave shows two rows of dents, holes two registers separated by a torus framed among other two rows of dents.

But Matthew Voda, besides beautiful foundation, he left in storage and other treasures of sacrifice for Christ and his Gospel, many holy relics and high price: his hand Philip the Apostle, Bishop of St. Michael Snaidei hand, palm holy martyr. Marina, St. John Chrysostom, of St. Athanasius and Cyril of Alexandria, the Holy Martyr Teodor Tiron and other holy relics, they are likely to be purchased from the monks He Holy Mountain. Today these holy relics are located at the Monastery Hurezi.

Arnota Monastery painting is preserved in its original form which belongs Targoviste Stroe (1644). In the narthex, during renovations in the years 1705-1706, was carried on painting painter Ioanichie Sin Preda.

The fresco, attributed to the painter from Targoviste Stroe painting shows features characteristic of the late seventeenth century: expressive faces sober and focused, with a few coughs silhouettes outline color of floral medallions. Blue gray, with red garnet, dynamic characteristic iconography of the era will become Brancoveanu.

Distribution remains the traditional religious scenes in the altar find mystical themes: Lamb of God, the communion of the Apostles, Mother of God, Platitera. Nave walls allowing for the new style, more narrative and more decorative.

Some beautiful scenes Archangels Synaxis distinguish Christian saints, soldiers, martyrs and pious, a beautiful "Resurrection" on the north wall, the Last Supper, to the west, "the garden of Gethsemane Prayer, baptism, and in the vault - Pantocrator.

In the nave are painted ruler Matei Basarab and his wife Elena, holding hands church, then Danciu vel magistrate, father of Matthew Basarab, Preda vel Rock backseat with his wife and their son, Pope father of Constantin Brancoveanu Datco Cole, Roger, Barbu and Valsan.

In the mid-nineteenth century, with all the repairs that were made while the buildings were in critical condition. Stirbei Prince Barbu (1849-1856) of old buildings demolished and new ones raised in the Gothic style after the plans of architect John Schllater.

Architects S. Benis, I. and I. Freiwald Schlatter Arnota restored monastery in the Gothic style. The cells located on the southern side of the gate with small and bell communicating with the outside by a wooden gallery. Work began in 1852 and was completed in 1856. Other repairs were made in 1907 and 1935.

In 1934 they also built some cells, which exist today, one being arranged in a small museum where the treasures were exhibited monastery. Between 1954-1958 the entire monastic settlement was reinforced and they brought water and heating installations. The monastery was strengthened by the Holy Episcopal Ramnic and Arges. In 1979 the church building was finished and replaced the roof with sheet lead, and after 1999, the monastery became a convent for nuns Arnota.

The present church narthex two tombs: Tomb of Matei Basarab, who died on 9 April 1654, the first buried and then brought to Arnota Targoviste after Seimeni uprising, and the tomb of Danciu vel-magistrate, Matthew Basarab's father, former soldier Michael the Brave, fell during the fighting in Transylvania, led near the Turda hero, buried in 1604 in Alba Iulia, his earthly remains were brought to Arnota in 1648.

This beautiful monastery, through painting, sculpture and architecture, can be considered one of the most representative historical monuments and religious art in the country.
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