At Jupâneşti, a village of 1000 inhabitants located in Argeş County, the feeling of community is almost tangible and impresses you prior to the first contact with the locals. “I make no distinction between my parishioners, either Romanians or gypsies. When we pray, we pray, when we argue, we argue and when we have fun, we have fun – with the priest leading!”, says half-jokingly our host, father Daniel Mazilu.

The documentary certification of Jupâneşti is lost in the mists of time. “The legend of the village says that in 1330, following the battle of Posada, a soldier was noted as very brave and, after the battle, he was called by the ruler (Basarab I, editor’s note) and he was offered the right to set up a village, as much as he could encircle in a horse ride during a church service. The perimeter of our village is of 24 kilometers. The elders of the village, curious by nature, have retraced this route. One could easily do this entire route in four hours”, explains father Mazilu, a charismatic and experienced man.

“Apparently, this army captain was a boyar (in the Romanian language: jupân). By adding the suffix –eşti as is the case for all ancient localities, it came out Jupâneşti. This would broadly be the legend of our village – about which we find out, from a 1656 royal charter given following a court decision, that here laid a Christian community, because father Vladu of Jupâneşti is referred to as participant to that trial.”

One thing is certain: the church has been the cornerstone of this community and remains, even today, its supporting pillar. By stating that, we refer firstly to the spiritual construction, without neglecting the material goods either, because the village is hosting a Romanian folk architecture jewelry: a wooden church from 1742, considered by specialists “the pick of the 18th century craftsmen’ creation”.

In 1956, one of the most titled researchers, Radu Creţeanu, said that it is the most well preserved wooden church from Wallachia

“The church in which we are standing right now was built in 1742. It did not look like this. The small porch was built 150 years later, in 1892, when the church was declared historical monument of national interest. Then it was also sanctified again. (…) It stood out for almost 300 years, because it was built using the most resilient wood from our forests, the oak wood. All the materials come from our forests. In 1956, one of the most titled researchers, Radu Creţeanu, said that it is the most well preserved wooden church from Wallachia.”

“I like to call it a «warm-hearted» church, because each element, each log that forms this church has as component the «heart» of the tree it was cut from”, father Mazilu fondly says. “Just imagine: the primary oak, for example, was a twig when Mihai Viteazul was the ruler of Wallachia.”

Following, however, the history trace, it can be seen that the Church of Jupâneşti – and we willingly change the registry in order to refer to the institution and to the constructions hosting it; the “new” church dates from 1844 – it was built by a sacrifice, not only creative but also human. A sacrifice for which the locals are grateful even today.

“When the locals reached the conclusion that this liturgical space was not enough anymore, because the village got bigger and they all were coming to church, they decided: «We must build a bigger church, made out of bricks, as our neighbors did, and even more beautiful».

The money collected, they went to our boyar’s home, a very religious person, Barbu Eneotu, for him to hide it in his house. He feared a bunch of robbers from Găneşti, the neighbor village, led by a certain Baboi. There is no flying from fate! On a winter night, in 1838, these punks broke into the boyar’s house. It was rumored that the boyar kept some money. It was natural. The money collected had to be kept somewhere!”, the priest from Jupâneşti tells us the fabulous story.

to be continued…

Teodor Burnar

Teodor Burnar

The Matrix’s Editor-in-Chief. An experienced writer with 11 years in Romanian media and 3 books under his belt
Teodor Burnar

Ultimele postari ale lui Teodor Burnar (vezi toate)

Raluca Băncioiu

Raluca Băncioiu

She's a graduate of the MA program in Translation of the Contemporary Literary Text. She's an optimistic person and a true familist
Raluca Băncioiu

Ultimele postari ale lui Raluca Băncioiu (vezi toate)

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