”Archangels Saints Michael and Gabriel” wooden church

The wooden church is situated in the Crișul Repede gorges, ecodestination Pădurea Craiului. It was built in 1761 on an ancient Orthodox monastic settlement. According to researchers a much smaller church built of wreath, earth and covered with carved planks previously existed in place. Between 1865 and 1876, the current cult site underwent a broad restoration process, being painted by Dionisie Iuga from the Nicula Monastery. The iconographic, Byzantine-like register respects the canonical laws and thinking of the Orthodox Church, depicting successions of religious scenes specific to each mass dimension: narthex, temple and altar.



The authentic murals have a dominant iconographic program from the very entrance, with characters and scenes from the history of the salvation of the human race, also used in community religious education. The narthex exemplifies the role of women in everyday life, but also in religious life. Inside the temple scenes prevail about moments in the life of Jesus Christ during the Holy Week, culminating with the Resurrection, while in the altar, three impressive scenes are painted: The Holy Trinity, the Birth of Christ and the Epiphany, along with icons of the holy parents who created the structure of the Holy Mass.

The church is built from oak beams assembled in the “Blockbau” technique. The wooden decorations – sculptures, dentures and incisions – both on the outside and on the inside are to be noted. The watercolour canvas paintings, together with the folk fabric, are expressly manifest here.

The wooden church, as the depository of an Eastern inspiration painting, also generated human interaction, in the sense that since the 18th century, painters have come to Bihor from Vallachia and Moldavia seeking to reach a unit in terms of their painting style and promoted iconographic programme.

The great wealth of ornamental wooden sculptures and authentic paintings rises the Valea Crișului wooden church to the value of the best such creations in Europe as a whole.

For visiting: Pr. Paroh Nicolae DULUȘ GABORAȘ, Tel: +40745506035

“Archangels Saints Michael and Gabriel” wooden church

Location: Village of Valea Crișului, commune of Bratca, Bihor county.

Name: “Archangels Saints Michael and Gabriel” wooden church – Valea Crișului

Protection: Historical monument included in the List of historical monuments with code: BH-II-m-B-01225

Dating: 1761 

Painter: Dionisie Iuga, painter of Nicula.