The wooden church "Pious Parascheva" from Poienile Izei

Biserica de lemn / Obiective turistice


DJ171D, Poienile Izei 437215, Romania


Along the Iza Valley, the road that accompanies the Botiza and Poieni streams leads to the village of Poienile Izei, where the impressive wooden church "Pious Parascheva" is located. Built in the first half of the 17th century - a period when the Moldavian voivode Vasile Lupu brought the relics of the Pious Parascheva to Iaşi - the church is a testament, over the years, of the cultural and religious ties between the Romanians from Maramureş region and the Moldavians.

The accurate shapes of the monument, along with the decorative elements obtained through the artistic direction of the wooden structure, impress and create harmony with the surrounding nature. The building observes the traditional configuration, with a narthex, nave and altar, to which a porch was later added. Unlike other preserved monuments, the shape of the altar is reminiscent of the ancient square-altared churches, an architectural solution rarely found today. The double-guttered roof is laid over the two-tiered walls. The altar has its own roof, laid slightly lower than that of other buildings. The bell tower is provided with the customary turret protruding from the console, covered with the specific coif. Sharp and very flared, it rests on the eight short pillars, connected at the top by carved wooden arches, and at the bottom - by the shingle-covered battlement.

The iconography of the place of worship in Poienile Izei immortalizes the folk art of the Maramureș villages from the end of the 18th century. Traditional reminiscences, post-Byzantine themes and a baroque approach merge here in what has been called an "eclectic style". Painted in 1794 by the painter Gheorghe from Dragomireşti, the church stands out with some special thematic features. In addition to the dramatic scenes depicting the torments of sinners in Hell, a unique symbolic representation of Christ's sacrifice is painted in the nave. It is a pelican that tears its breast to feed its young with its own flesh; a tragic metaphor that speaks of the sacrifice of Christ and of the sacrifices of the natives of these places.

These elements make this place of worship in Poienile Izei unique, but at the same time they do not exclude it from the style of the other wooden churches in Maramureş which are UNESCO monuments, therefore it certainly deserves its place among them.

*Photo credit: CJCPCT „Liviu Borlan” Maramureș, Rada Pavel 


  • Patrimoniu UNESCO

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