Tismana Monastery

Tismana is one of the oldest monasteries of Romania. Situated near the town Targu Jiu, in a fantastic scenery of ancient forests, chestnut meadows, a waterfall and many other natural treasures, Tismana monastery was built and consecrated in the 14th century.


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The church, dedicated to the Dormition of Our Lady, presents the byzantine features of some Serbian churches. Built from limestone tophus and brick, the monastery features 3 belfries. The octagonal main belfry is supported by rounded apses covered with quarter-spheres. The facade is perforated by simple round arch windows and rose windows.

The white simplicity and transparence or "sincerity" of the volumes emphasizes their harmony and proportions as well as the interior organization of space.

The nave entrance has been turned into an open foyer, with a column archway.

The entryway to the monastery's pentagonal precinct is dominated by a gate tower with crenelles, like a watchtower. The entryway facade displays some neo-Gothic features.

The Tismana monastery features simple and delicate decoration, mixing simplicity and plasticity in the appearance of the stone trim of doors, socle, cross pedestals. The decoration consists of carved light relief, the entryway inscription features intersecting half circles and lily flowers. The North door is adorned with intricate floral motifs.

Also remarkable and characteristic is the typical Byzantine rood screen, called iconostasis. It dates from the 18th century and features painted and gilded panels and icons.

The west doors are of nut wood, with carved motifs of wreaths and flowers in the Brancovenesc style, as well as numerous late Baroque patterns and medallions. Beside valuable sculptures, the monastery also preserves some of the oldest Romanian embroideries and works of the Romanian monks.

On of the preserved structures in the monastery precinct is a chapel or oratory which used to serve as hospital or infirmary. It displays its brick structure and a small octagonal dome with narrow windows, like the belfries of the monastery church.

The two tombs in the monastery crypt also belong to the Brancovenesc style. A golden crown has been discovered in one of the monastery crypts. Known and unknown rulers and founders have their eternal sleep between the walls of the Tismana monastery.



Tismana Monastery

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