Atracții turistice - - “Pious Parascheva” Church

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The most ancient wooden church, the “Pious Paraschiva”, later called the Princely Church, was built using beams, on the right bank of the Vâlcica River, for salt workers. According to tradition, the church was rebuilt on the same location as an older one which had burned. Theodor Codrescu argued that in the 16th and 17th “the saltworks were a mere gathering of 100 salt workers, plus a few other handymen and traders that lived mostly in the Vâlcica Valley, at the foot of the NW hill where the old saltworks were, which had been left more than 100 years before and where the Saint Paraschiva Church was around 1580, according to a Slavonic tomb stone that has been recently broken into pieces”.

Nicolae Iorga also showed, in 1905, that before the other churches of the borough (Precista, St. Nicholas, Sf. Trinity), “a wooden church was erected on a roundish hill, which was called the Princely Church”. Local tradition assigns this edifice to the ruler Ioan Vodă cel Viteaz, which is thought to have been built around 1573. The Priest Metodie used to serve in this modest wooden church around 1599. In fact, an inscription on a foundation rock of 5 September 1653, also supports the older age of the church. Judging by its rectangular construction shapes, with detached apsis, the Pious Paraschiva (Princely) Church belongs to the 17th century, yet it was rebuilt in 1725, because of a fire, by Dediu, great sword bearer, and his wife Ruxandra, the parents-in-law of Mihai Racoviţă. Today’s church dates back to 1725, when it was built by Dediu Codreanu, great sword bearer, the father-in-law of Mihai Racoviţă Voivode.

The inscription above the door says: “Year 7233 (1725), April 30. This saint church was rebuilt during the saint ruling of His Majesty Ion Mihai Racoviţă Voivode and his wife Ana in his 3rd reign, at his expense, of the sword bearer Dediu Codreanu and his wife Ruxandra, the parents of princess Ana, and by the efforts of Chamberlain Catrina (a) 3”, and it is probably the name of the craftsman Mihai Radu which appears on the side frame of the left door.

Over the years, the church enjoyed numerous privileges from several rulers: Mihai Racoviţă, Constantin Racoviţă, Mihai Şuţu, and others.

The church is designed simply, as a boat, with the altar apsis detached, a type of construction specific to the 18th century. The bell tower lined with wooden boards was added at a later date as a narthex extension. The bell tower has two bells: the small one with an illegible inscription, and the big one with an 1861 inscription, saying that it was cast at the expense of the salt workers and of their mayor, Iorgu Metaxa. The church foundation is made of quarry stone.

The church has stone floor tiles and the walls covered with ribbed wooden boards which are joined in the double key stone. The iconostasis is remarkable since it includes extremely beautiful icons, which were renovated in 1789, 1800, 1810 and 1830.

The church is currently used as charnel house, as it is located in the middle of the parish cemetery, where some of the former great personalities rest: professor Mihail Botez, architect Ioan Scarlat Scheletti, Dr. Ioan Pastia, Colonel Gheorghe A. Enescu chevalier of the “Mihai Viteazul” Order.

 

Worship: Orthodox
Patron: St. Pious Parascheva
ADDRESS: Strada Gheorghe Doja nr. 1, Târgu Ocna

Visiting hours: The worship monuments may be visited at any time between 8 am and 8 pm.

Cordonate GPS:
Latitudine: 46° 17' 0" N
Longitudine: 26° 36' 5" E