The wooden church "The Holy Archangels" from Șurdești

The wooden church "The Holy Archangels" from Șurdești

Biserica de lemn / Obiective turistice


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Șurdești 437332, Romania


At the foot of the Gutâi Mountains, at the intersection of the roads that connect the towns of Baia Sprie and Cavnic, there is a beautiful hilly area, surrounded by mountains. Here, the splendor of nature's harmonies is matched only by the monumental wooden church that rises in this depression. Raised above space and time, the 54-meter tower of the church in Şurdeşti gives the feeling of complete peace between people and nature.

The church was built in the middle of the 18th century by the master carpenter Macarie, whose name is preserved in a visible inscription today verandah above the porch. Initially, the place of worship had three rooms: a narthex, a nave and an altar. In the 19th century, a spectacular porch with two rows of arches was added (on the ground floor and upstairs), thus obtaining a harmonious decoration for the western part of the building. A carved belt in the shape of a rope surrounds the monument, and the entrance to the narthex is made through a portal, decorated with the same motif of the rope, but also with solar symbols. In the nave there is another unique architectural element: two columns carved in stone, which support the balcony for the choir. The monumentality of the building is underlined by the way the tower is built. To achieve the astonishing height, the carpenters build a structure with a very generous base, which rests on the wooden walls of the church. 

The iconographic appearance of the Greek-Catholic Church in Şurdeşti is similar, stylistically and thematically, to that of the Orthodox Church in Plopiş. The altar was also painted by the painter Ştefan, who uses here in a unique way the theme of the council of the twenty-four elders from the Apocalypse. The nave, it seems, was painted by a certain painter named Stan. The style remains Baroque, and the theme of the semi-cylinder completes the history of the end of the world in the vision of Saint John the Evangelist, so well captured in Plopiş. In addition to the common themes, here one will find the theme of "Jacob's Ladder"; supported by the cloud surrounding the icon of the Trinity, the ladder allows angels to ascend and descend, thus mediating between God and man.

The sister churches from Plopiş and Şurdeşti prove over time that the confessional difference, which appeared at the beginning of the 18th century in Maramureş, did not change the way of being of the inhabitants and did not bring radical changes in the architecture of the places of worship or in their iconography.


  • Patrimoniu UNESCO

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