Friday, December 3, 2010

Plopiș, Romania

This Romanian Orthodox church is found in Plopis, a village in the Cavnic river valley in the Maramures region of Romania. A superb example of vernacular wooden architecture, the church sits on a small hill above the rest of the village. It was constructed in 1796 by local village builders and consecrated as the Church of the Archangels. The interior wall murals were painted in 1811 by the local artist Stefan of Sisesti.
The murals include an evocative image of Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden, with the snake coiled around a tree. The layout of the church is rectangular, with a pentagonal chancel apse. There is a porch in front of the main door featuring six pillars supporting the beams that carry the weight of the roof.
The tall pyramid-shaped steeple on the tower is surrounded by four smaller pinnacles in each corner. These pinnacles indicate that the church once served as an official court of law for the surrounding region. The three-lobed ceiling vault of the nave is considered to be a unique feature among the Maramures wooden churches. The structure has been listed as a UNESCO world heritage site, one of eight wooden churches in Maramures region to receive this honour.

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