Monastical Seclusion – Horezu, Romania

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This pathetic female begged for treats when I opened the car door. Every site, touristic or not, has its fair share of homeless dogs.
This pathetic female begged for treats when I opened the car door. Every site, touristic or not, has its fair share of homeless dogs.

One foggy afternoon in October we turned off the main road that skirts the southern Carpathians and headed straight into the foothills.  Signs directed us to the UNESCO World Heritage Horezu Monastery.   Several kilometers of road dead-ended at a large gate and medieval stone walls.  The monastery and surrounding buildings on the hillside were shrouded in mist.  I had seen pictures of the church complex with snow-capped ranges in the distance and gorgeous fall colors covering the hills.  This was not a day to capture those types of photos, unfortunately.  However, the architecture and brilliantly colored frescoes can be appreciated no matter the clime.

P1100703The original architecture dates to 1690 and the complex is still an active monastery in the Romanian orthodox tradition.  Other buildings have been added over the centuries, including the courtyard church.  Flocks of parishioners attend services while international and Romanian tourists mingle in the courtyard.  Instead of a bell, a small metal rod is struck against a metal plate.  Right at eye level, it is a nearly irresistible temptation for small children.

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Pictures are prohibited inside the church, but the historic surrounds are worth a detailed look and some photos for the memory.

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Decades of rainwater off the copper roof leave a permanent stain on the carved stone ditches.

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