The wooden church "The Holy Archangels Michael and Gabriel" from Plopiș
Biserica de lemn / Obiective turistice
Plopiș 437331, Romania
The village of Plopiş located in the Cavnic Valley is truly amazing in terms of how man's creativity intertwines with the beauty of the nature. Harmony, elegance and suppleness make the whole area a true temple, whose central point is the wooden church dedicated to the "Holy Archangels Michael and Gabriel". The church cemetery can be entered through a gate which opens the path crossing through the tombs of the founders of this monument.
In 1789, forty-nine families from the Cavnic Valley (in the current township of Şişeşti) began the construction of a new place of worship, which was consecrated in November 1811. The church in Plopiş, 47 meters high, 17 meters long and 7 meters wide, still stands on the plateau of the village cemetery, giving the feeling that, without it, nature would be incomplete. The edifice, erected on a stone foundation, consists of a porch, narthex, nave and altar. Included in the Maramureș style of construction, the church has, however, some characteristic elements: the upper beams of the walls do not extend into the console, the very narrow eaves confer suppleness to the monument.
The ornaments of the porch arches, created with great accuracy, are made of several stepped or round-shaped wooden segments, so joining those using wooden nails solves the technical problems, as well as the artistic aspirations. All of this gives us another testimony of the mastery of the craftsmen from the Cavnic Valley.
The iconography is impressive due to the theme chosen by the painter Ştefan, the author of this painting, as well as from Şurdeşti church. The Baroque style of the iconographic ensemble offers the painter the opportunity to develop metaphorical images that plastically illustrate complicated events from the Revelations according to St. John. The entire semi-cylindrical vault of the nave depicts the second coming of Christ, announced by the trumpets of angels. Archangel Michael, patron of the church in Plopiş, appears victorious above the balcony. On the western wall of the nave, Jesus Christ appears in the form of the sun, offering John the Evangelist the text of the Revelations. This whole iconographic ensemble, which speaks of the end of the world, is surrounded by the council of the twenty-four elders in John's vision, painted in the lateral lobes of the only three-lobed vault in Maramureş.
Although small in size, the stunning church in Plopiş shows a great sense of proportion, reason why some researchers consider it to be the most unitary and well-balanced wooden church in Maramureş.
- Patrimoniu UNESCO