Places of interest10 June 2024

Dobrogea, the fascinated land between the Danube and the Black Sea and its treasures: the little churches of rods and clay from the Ostrov area, Constanța county

Near the cave where St. Apostle Andrew lived, there is a group of three churches, unique in the country and in Europe, by the architectural technique used

Dobrogea, the little churches of Ostrov area, Constanța county

Dobrogea, the little churches of Ostrov area, Constanța county

The unique churches of Izvoarele, Strunga and Satu Nou, built of rods and earth, are amazing by its simplicity. A simplicity, however, burdened by the spiritual magnificence of the Christian faith in these places, where the Apostle Andrew walked.

The uniqueness of these churches is given by the technique used for construct - rods of wood braided and glued with clay. They were made without foundation and no tower to deceive the Ottoman vigilance from those times, which forbade the construction of Christian churches.

The church at Izvoare was erected over an ancient neolithic necropolis belonging to the Gumelniţa culture. Unfortunately, the church still could not been dated. The archaeological discoveries in the area lead to several epochs. After the excavations it came out a liturgical set of the 4th to 6th centuries AD., made up of 17 pieces of silver (six teaspoons, six cups in the form of a chalice, a larger cup, a trilobate cup, a strainer and a box for preserved relics), several coins (Roman, Byzantine and Turkish), ceramic pots and bones. The painting of the church dates back to the 19th century, but other relics date back to the 9th-19th centuries.

At 7 kilometers from Izvoarele, in Satu Nou, there is another little church, which has been transformed over time. Seen from the outside, it is like a peasant little house, but if you step in, you can feel the spiritual charge that comes from the early times of the Orthodoxy. Built from rods and glued with clay, it was exalted according to the rules of the time, when the Ottoman Empire did not allow the rise of a church "higher than a man on a horse." After 1920,in the church a vault was built.

The church from Strunga, built from reed and clay, has been patched over time until it was rebuilt from brick in 1926. In this place a beautiful monastery was built. From the old settlement have been preserved the icons painted on wood, and a priestly vestment of 100 years old. In the church with the patronageof Saints Archangels Michael and Gavriil, 12 candles permanently burn. These three churches form a sacramental triad that defines the Christian faith from the area.

If you come to the area, do not hesitate to visit its, to enrich your soule and spirituallity.


Elena Radu




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