Transylvanian wooden churches – a glimpse into the past
Transylvanian wooden churches – a glimpse into the past

Transylvanian wooden churches – a glimpse into the past

Wooden churches are an incredible legacy of the past if you have the chance you should definitely visit at leas one. You will not regret it, let us tell you why!

Did you know that in 1568 freedom of religion was first proclaimed here in Europe? But to be completely honest we should mention that only of the four established religions of that time: Catholic, Reformed, Lutheran, Unitarian.

Interestingly enough the main reason behind the freedom of religion was quite simple and highly politicized: the Principality of Transylvania, caught between the Habsburg Empire and the Ottoman Empire, could not afford to cope with internal religious conflicts. In order to represent a unified front between the two superpowers of the time, at Turda (Torda) the political representatives of the Principality proclaimed that faith is a gift from God, and the community shall be free to choose which preacher they want to listen to.

Regardless of this, the direction was soon to be followed in the next decades by other regions and countries. The rich heritage of this diversity can still be admired today all over Transylvania. In this series you can get to know typical traditional and invaluable churches from Transylvania.

Wooden churches are outstanding examples of religious wooden architecture, with rich folk style notes, and an eclectic style, these are a beautiful result of the intertwining of Orthodox religious traditions and the Gothic style, which also made them worthy for the UNESCO World Heritage List.

You can find these small to medium sized churches in Maramures and along the Carpathian Range. On the way, along the roads crossing the Carpathians, there are visible pictorial signs indicating that there is a wooden church in the village.

These churches are mostly found in the mountains of Maramures, but they are also scattered elsewhere along the Carpathian Range, such as around the Királyhágó and in the Bihar Mountains. They are built entirely of wood and mostly belong to Orthodox denomination.

The lower part of the church is traditionally made of logs, and the characteristic double bell towers are covered with wooden shingles. It is worth choosing ones that are still in use, as they can also be viewed from the inside.

If you are on your way just type ‘wooden church’ in the google map, and will instantly show you the nearest church and its opening hour.

In terms of their style and history, these churches are similar to each other, so it is worth visiting any of them. The most beautiful ones can be found in the following settlements:

Margine (Széltalló)

Camar (Kémer)

 Sarbi (Krasznatótfalu)

Sanmihaiu Almasului (Almásszentmihály)

 Șișești (Lacfalu)

Ieud (Jód)

 Barsana (Barcánfalva)

Have you visited one?

If you want to get to know more about a beautiful wooden church from the inside check the following article: Wooden church of the Archangels: Michael and Gabriel of Transylvania

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With love,


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