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  • Mănăstirea Gorgota
    Mănăstirea Gorgota © Alex Petrescu
  • Mănăstirea Gorgota
    Mănăstirea Gorgota © Alex Petrescu

Mănăstirea Gorgota

Monastery

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cent. XVI-XVII
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Located a few kilometers northwest of Târgoviște, in the hills region, the Gorgota Monastery has been built for over four centuries, from the reign of Pătrașcu cel Bun (1554-1557).

The proximity to Târgovişte makes the means of reaching Gorgota difficult. The usual way is the Târgoviște-Ploiesti road to Răzvadul de Sus, from where a well-maintained paved road, following Valea lui Socol, leaves you after four kilometers in the village on a hilltop that guards the village, the silhouette of the church of the former monastery rising dominantly.

We have no documents for the definite dating of the foundation of this place. The looting and ruin that befell the monastic settlement led to the loss of many precious documents, including those of the first founder. Among the later charters, which have remained to us, one is the one from July 7, 1594, by which Michael the Brave strengthens the estate around it to the monastery, considering Pătrascu the Good as the founder of the holy divine monastery. Later, on December 3, 1597, in the book of Fotea Sudeșul with 12 charges, the same voivode says that this church, from its foundation, with the estate around the monastery, was blessed by the late father of my lordship, io Pătrașco voivode".

The church and the first buildings related to it were therefore erected by order of voivode Pătrașcu cel Bun, during the three years of his short reign.

Not long after its construction, the monastery falls into disrepair. In a deed of danie from the time of Alexander II (1568-1577), Metropolitan Eftimie of Wallachia showed that he saw this Golgotha Monastery as it was deserted and deserted and had nothing, neither with which to keep the monks, nor food, nothing, and the vineyards deserted, and the houses torn down and wasted, all unfenced", then taking advice with the voivode not to leave this monastery abandoned and wasted", the metropolitan orders Spiridon, the abbot of the Dealu Monastery, as administrator in Gorgota, to whom he gives him money (my money) to take care of the necessary things for the settlement of the monastery.

The war of Michael the Brave with the Turks of Sinan Pasha causes the desolation of the monastery. In the quoted book of Fotea, it is shown that, in 1597, the monastery was destroyed by the Turkish bastards, and burnt, and empty, and without rooms inside, and the monks naked and poor". In the same year, Mihai the Brave happening to go to this holy monastery", seeing the state in which he was, he added to his known assets a part of the town of Târgoviște, where the monastery also had a metoh in the former houses of Cernica Vornicul. On the occasion of the arrival in the country of the troops led by Gabriel Bathory, the prince of Transylvania, in the winter of 1610-1611, the Gorgota Monastery had here and there inside". In addition, the ceiling made in place of the broken vault on the occasion of the earthquake had to be repainted.

The houses of the monastery are said to be in fairly good condition, but they too will soon require minor repairs.

In 1900 the church was girded with an iron girdle for strengthening.

In 1967, a series of rescue works were initiated, the purpose of which was, first of all, to strengthen the walls of the church and cover it with a screen covering. Since there were not enough elements, it was not possible to reconstruct the collapsed vaults and towers. In the interior, the painting and the wall plasterwork, executed in 1836, were consolidated. The tile floor, made during the 19th century repairs, was preserved only in the altar, in the nave and pronaos the original brick floor was reconstructed, laid on the width, which reproduces the layout and laying of the old bricks.

If we have some news about the age and the most important moments in the history of this church, from an architectural point of view it has not been the subject of specialist research until now due to the fact that the monument is no longer preserved intact.

Starting from the knowledge of its past, we can roughly reconstruct its original appearance. It is a three-lobed (truncated) plan edifice, whose monumental sculpture reproduced the model of the Dealu Monastery church, where the nave was crowned by a tower supported on two pairs of transverse and longitudinal arches in continuation of the four masonry legs that flanked the inside the lateral apses, and the pronaos divided into two compartments by a transverse arch, of which the eastern one is marked by two smaller towers.

The existence of one pilaster abutting the north and south walls of the pronaos and supporting a transverse arch means covering the space to the east with two smaller towers, and the one to the west, it seems, with a semi-cylindrical vault arranged lengthwise.

Thus, in the church of the former Gorgota Monastery, we find one of the first examples known to us for now, along with perhaps the episcopal church and that of the former Vintila Vodă (Menedic) Monastery in Buzău, of processing the structural type from Dealu. It is proof of the transposition into brickwork of the famous stone foundation of Radu the Great, testimony to the deep impression it produced in the world of builders of that time. At the same time, we cannot forget that the resumption of the type from Dealu is also due to the kinship of the founders, Pătrașcu cel Bun being the son of Radu cel Mare.

On the outside, the church was surrounded only near the nave and the altar by a horizontal girdle made up of a log stuck between two strips made of bricks arranged in saw teeth only near the apses.

The lower register is decorated with rectangular panels, separated by lintels, and the upper one, partly destroyed, seems to have been finished by twin arches, also separated by lintels. On the same surface of the girdle-encircled facades, we encounter a facade decoration consisting of rectangular, plastered panels, framed horizontally by three adjacent rows of bricks, all apparent. On the three outer sides of the pronaos, the decoration consisted only of three asises arranged above the plinth, made of plastered panels alternating with apparent bricks, the rest of the brickwork being covered with a thin layer of plaster. In this plaster was sgraffito and then painted in red a decoration that imitated the order of the apparent brick strips and plastered areas of the rest of the church facades.

Text taken from the history of the church displayed at the entrance.
Alex Petrescu
4 years ago

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