04 April 2009

Back to Romania: Tour of a Wooden Church in Bradet

It's me, Erin, the girl who used to post on this blog. I've been missing from blogtown for several days - and I have no excuse. I have been busier with work stuff and getting ready for our trip, but for some reason I just went through a short period of time where I lost interest. I'm even WAY behind on reading the blogs I subscribe to. I guess it's not a bad thing - I actually spent time away from my laptop and did human things. Like, Vino & I started the P90X workout. I INTENSELY DISLIKE IT. But I know I will be glad I did it when the 90 days are over and I'm in better health. We will be returning to the States around that time, and I am looking forward to being less...shall we say...fluffy.

Enough of that. This post is really about us being back in Romania. We're here for extended video editing training with the media students at the Bible school in Oradea. Vino is training this next week in Motion & LiveType, and I'm doing two Photoshop workshops. I'll post photos later of all that. Today I'm sharing a tour of one of the historic wooden churches that are scattered about this region of Eastern Europe.

This particular church is in Bradet, a town in a rural area south of Oradea. We visted here when we were in Romania last October. From what I've read, the wooden churches were commissioned in the 17th & 18th century by wealthy land owners and built by special church craftsmen who passed the craft on through the generations. The structures were made with no iron nails. This particular church was rebuilt in 1724 when the original was in "a state of demolition." The wooden church was rebuilt with the contributions of the parishioners. You can read more abut the wooden churches here, including the Bradet church.

Let's take a tour!

The church is on top of a hill that you have to climb to get to it. The hillside is covered in graves as the cemetery apparently was not big enough.

The original wood roof was at some point replaced with tin.

Rustic yet stunning hand carved detail. This church is known for its "torsioned rope" carved around the door.

Stepping inside, you enter the outer room. This is Ady. I introduced his family here.

This is what hangs on the wall above the entrance to the more sacred room.

The benches in the outer room have obviously seen a lot of use. I love how the rough wood is softened and polished by the touch of hands, legs & behinds over all those years. This church is still in use, as you can see by the rugs & cushions that cover the seats. This one was right inside the front door.

Walking into the inner sanctuary, it's almost overwhelming the layers & layers of color & texture. The painted wood walls, hand embroidered cloths, candelabra, chandelier, and that rug...that doesn't look quite old enough to be original.

Items on tables up front. The book was made in 1768, but we were allowed to look through it and touch the paper. I love the feel of old paper.

Painted wooden chandelier. Love the wooden chain links!

Doors that lead to a myster room...the holy of holies? I don't know enough about the Orthodox church to know what everything is for.

More detail of important stuff. Some women went to a lot of work hand weaving those blankets!

This is what the seating area opposite the altar area looked like. That's Vino & our friend Estera.

The back wall behind the chairs was full of these old painted wooden crosses.

Back in the outer room, there are stairs that lead to the steeple and the bell.

I could have rung the bell - the rope was right there and no one was watching - but I didn't think that would be a good thing!

Going back outside, here's the view of the front cemetery from the doorway.

So that's the tour. I hope you liked it! I'm always fascinated by the specific architecture, painting styles, linens, etc. that represent each culture so well. I hope that more can be done to preserve the old wooden churches like this one!


Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality said...

Beautiful pics, Erin! Thanks for stopping by. I'm constantly behind on trying to keep up with all my readers & the blogs I like to check in with. It's So hard to do it all, but real life is more important.

Velvet and Linen said...

What a beautiful place, Erin.
Thank you for taking us along.
I don't know how you resisted ringing that bell.
I think I would have caved in and gone straight to hell! LOL


Liz Harrell said...

What a truly fantastic photo tour! I'm stunned, and totally want to go there now!

Hope you have a great Easter weekend!