Places of interest21 January 2019

Corbii de Piatră (The Stone Ravens) Monastery –a rupestrian ensemble full of history and mystery, a unique place in Romania

In the village Corbi from Argeș County – the native place of the Corvin bloodline – in a space as if depicted from another world, there is an age-old place of worship built into the rock

Corbii de Piatră (The Stone Ravens) Monastery

Corbii de Piatră (The Stone Ravens) Monastery

The Corbii de Piatră Monastery is lying in a place as if chosen by the Divinity itself and the construction itself is remarkable by its complete simplicity that makes you meditate, introspect and pray. The church is documentary attested in 1512 when it became a place of worship having as titular Saint ”The Assumption of Mary”in the honor of the ruler Neagoe Basarab.

There are several opinions about the age of this place of worship, opinions that consider that its origins would be in immemorial historical times. 

Dug into a huge rock wall (30 m high and 14.5 m long), the church is, from an architectural point of view, falls into the byzantine architectural typology, characteristically for the 10thCentury. 

On the other hand, this type of rupestrian citadel, having a camouflaged entrance (under 1 meter high) determines some historians to presume its age to be around the period the Christians were persecuted, that is about the end of the 2ndCentury, B.C. Other historians place their suppositions further back, presupposing that here would have been a Dacian place of worship, votive to the ancient God Zalmoxis. 

The unicity of this monastery is not given only by its aspect and the space around it but also by the fact that the church has two altars for the same nave. In front of the entry into the church, there is the refectory (the canteen of the monastery). The interior of the church is sublime, silent and simple.

It is worth noting that the mural painting date from the 14th Century and still has large original parts of the old painting, depicting biblical scenes: The Nativity Scene, The Raising of Lazarus, The Annunciation, and The Transfiguration.It is considered to be the oldest rupestrian painting into the country.

An 11th old Century wooden church, placed into the yard, poorly build, skewed by the time and weather-bitten, completes the whole image full of spirituality and depth. This mysterious hermitage, from immemorial times, in which you are only allowed to whisper heavenly-minded and humble, is a place of pilgrimage for the believers and for the tourists that are seeking places endowed with special energies.     

Elena Radu

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