Horezu (Hurezi) Monastery, historical UNESCO World Heritage Site, is an impressive complex of medieval Romanian architecture. Erected between 1690 and 1694 by the Wallachian prince Constantin Brâncoveanu, it is the largest and the most beautiful monastery built in the Brâncovenesc style, a monument of art and architecture.
The monastic complex is the biggest in Romania and the largest of all the edifices built in Renaissance style in south-eastern Europe at the end of the 17th century, being composed of two enclosures. The first one is bordered by brick walls, while the second one presents different building on three of the four sides, and a wall on the eastern side. The entrance in the main enclosure is made through a wide arch, closed by a massive wooden gate. This enclosure is flanked to the north by the building containing the cells, which has a façade with columns. To the south there is the princely house, with an imposing council room, guarded by the bell tower. Inside the bell tower, built between 1699 and 1700, there are four bells, three of them bearing inscriptions with the name of Constantin Brâncoveanu. On the western side there is the refectory and, above it, the chapel. “Foișorul lui Dionisie” (Dionisie’s Belvedere Tower), built between 1752 and 1753, is another solid proof of the evolution of the Brâncovenesc style to the Baroque-oriented styles of the 18th century.
The church is very similar to that from Curtea de Argeş Monastery. It is a remarkable achievement of the Brâncovenesc art, which distinguish itself through originality and the lines and colours’ artistry. The church was added a porch typical to the Brâncovenesc style, with arcades sustained by ten stone columns, decorated with late-Renaissance ornaments.
The church houses a valuable set of mural paintings, executed between 1692 and 1694. Apart from the religious scenes, the nave also exhibits a gallery of portraits depicting the Brâncoveanu, Basarab and Cantacuzino families. The church was initially erected to serve as a necropolis of the founder’s family, but, although Constantin Brâncoveanu’s tomb was built, is does not contain the ruler’s remains. Inside the church you can also admire the monumental iconostasis, made of carved and gilded linden-tree wood.
Horezu Monastery was also an important cultural centre of Wallachia. Here, Constantin Brâncoveanu founded a famous library, which nowadays includes around 4,000 volumes. The 1791 library’s catalogue showed that the library had, at that time, 382 volumes of printed books and 46 manuscripts. It is remarkable the fact that 115 of these volumes were written in Romanian.
How to get there:
Horezu Monastery is situated 44km west of Râmnicu Vâlcea
By car: From Râmnicu Vâlcea take DJ50 and DN67 roads in the direction of Horezu. Turn right before Horezu on DJ669 to Romanii de Jos village.
By bus: There are regular bus and maxitaxi rides between Râmnicu Vâlcea and Horezu, with daily departures. The first buses leave around 6:00, and the last ones leave around 19:00. Approximate travel time is 1h and price for one-way tickets is 6 lei (approx. 1.5 euro). You have to get off the bus before Horezu and you will have to walk, hitchhike or provide your own transportation beyond this point.
Tel: +40 250 860 071
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