Prislop Monastery: where nature meets pilgrimage

Eva Poteaca | Live the World

November 23, 2022

I enjoy visiting remote places where nature is still untouched and where one can find the peace that only comes from leaving the city. One such place is Prislop Monastery situated 13 km from the city called Hațeg, in the Hunedoara County. The scenery here is breath-taking because the monastery is surrounded by hills and forests at an altitude of 580 m. It is a place where nature meets pilgrimage.

Picture © Credit to: iStock/florin1961

The history

Prislop Monastery is one of the oldest and most important ecclesiastical monuments in Transylvania. It was built in the second half of the 14th century by Saint Nicodim, one the most important figures of the Romanian monasticism. The monastery is made out of stone and has only three rooms: the narthex, the nave with a tower on top and the shrine. This is a typical form of churches from the south of Romania dating back to this period. In the 15th century, the monastery was in ruins, so it was rebuilt from the ground up in a similar fashion to the first version. 

This was done thanks to Zamfira, the daughter of Moise, the ruler of Valahia. She came to Transylvania after her father’s death. It is said that the princess came to see Prislop Monastery because of the healing spring, which is located near it but she was fascinated by the beauty of the monastery in ruins. Besides donating the necessary financial aid for the new construction, Zamfira donated a painting of Virgin Mary and commanded a fresco to be painted. 

Picture © Credit to: iStock/florin1961

In 1762, the Prislop Monastery was nearly destroyed by a fire, and after that, it came into possession of the Greek-Catholic church until 1948, when the restoration process was led by Arsenie Boca, a famous Romanian ecclesiastic artist and priest, who was also buried in the monastery’s cemetery. People from all over the country come to visit his grave, and there are the pilgrimages to the monastery organized for the more devoted.

Picture © Credit to: iStock/Qwerty1983

What to see

Besides the church, which is the main building of Prislop Monastery, one can admire a beautiful wooden bell tower. There is also a small lake, where one can spend an afternoon admiring the reflection of the church and bell tower, which is located near a park with different trees like silver pines, maple trees and magnolia trees. Another building is the winter pavilion, a very beautiful architectural gem also called the “Dacian pavilion”. One can admire a beautiful landscape while hiking the surrounding hills and then enjoy a peaceful break in the monastery. If one has the time, I definitely recommend visiting Corvin Castle, one of the remnants of medieval Transylvania, which is located only 23 km away.

Picture © Credit to: iStock/TiberiuSahlean

where pilgrimage meets nature  Prislop Monastery is one of my favorite architectural monuments in Romania because of its remote location. The *monastery surrounded by hills, *where pilgrimage meets nature, will surely give one a relaxing break from the fast city life.

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