September 2, 2015

0310, 0472, 0473, 1869 ROMANIA (Vâlcea) - Monastery of Horezu (UNESCO WHS)

0310 Monastery of Horezu - The Church of Saints Constantine
and His mother Helena (1)

Posted on 15.08.2012, 16.01.2013, 02.09.2015 
On 15/26 August 1714, when Romanians, as Orthodox Christians, celebrated Sântamaria Mare, or Adormirea Maicii Domnului (Dormition of the Theotokos, literally "Falling asleep of the God's Mother"), Constantin Brâncoveanu, former Prince of Wallachia, mazilit (deposed) and arrested by Ottomans few months ago, near Easter, was beheaded at Istanbul by order of sultan Ahmed III, together with all his four sons and his son-in-law and trusted counselor, Ienache Văcărescu, being accused that "gathered immense fortune and weapons to oppose and prepare an uprising." His death, followed by that of Ştefan Cantacuzino, also beheaded two years later, together with his father, Constantin Cantacuzino, marked the beginning of the Phanariote Epoch in Wallachia and Moldavia (the replacing of the local princes with rulers coming from the Istanbul's neighborhood named Fener, appointed by High Porte), a century of plunder and oppression that will not find equal than in the period following WWII.

1869 Monastery of Horezu - The Church of Saints Constantine
and His mother Helena (2)

"Among the voivodes of Wallachia, none cherished and supported the culture as Brâncoveanu" wrote historian Constantin C. Giurescu in History of romanians. In his long reign (26 years) have taken a number of educational, literary, scientific and architectural initiatives, Brâncovenesc style of the buildings being the well known testimony of the remarkable cultural flowering that met Wallachia in that period. Located in the middle of a picturesque depression of Southern Carpathians, Hurezi Monastery (also known as the monastery of Horezu), "a synthesis of art and skill of the Romanian people until that time", is the most representative foundation of Brâncoveanu, and also the most important monastic site of Wallachia. Begun in 1690, "in the second year of our reign", as even the prince say, the building of the monastery, with painting, additions and various chapels, lasted until 1705, but essence was completed in 1697.

0472 Monastery of Horezu - The Infirmary and its church

The ensemble includes the proper monastery, the church of infirmary (Biserica Bolniţei), the Hermitage of the Saints Apostles (Schitul Sfinţii Apostoli), about 50m to the north (founded by the great starets Ioan Arhimandritul in 1698 and painted by Iosif and Ioan in 1700), and the Hermitage Saint Stephen (Schitul Sfântul Ştefan), named after the eldest son of prince (built in 1703 and painted by Ianache, Istrate and Harinte).Hurezi monastery has two enclosures. In the first, outer, bounded by walls of brick, is the first gate and a building with floor. The second enclosure is rectangular, closed on three sides by buildings with floor, and on the fourth with a high wall. In the middle of the enclosure is the main church, having as patron saints Sfinţii Împăraţi (the Saints Emperors, Constantine and Elena). It's a simplified interpretation of the Episcopal Church of Curtea de Argeş.

0473 Monastery of Horezu - The relics of 11 Holy Martyrs

The ensamble of infirmary, seated, as were the rules, outside the walls of the monastery, consists of a pavilion, the monks cells, that are today in ruins, and the church erected in the center. The church, which is dedicated to the Assumption of Mary, was founded by Doamna Maria, the wife of Constantin Brâncoveanu, and by the supervision of works took care even the abbot, the Archimandrite Ioan. Works started in 1696 and ended in 1699 with the painting of the church by the craftsmen listed above the entrance door: Preda, Nicolae and Efrem. The church has no narthex, having only altar, nave and porch. In a reliquary in the monastery are little parts of the relics of the Saints: Andrew the Apostle, Panteleon, Mercurie, Mina, Fevronia, Haralambie, Procopie, Teodor Tiron and Minodora; a second reliquary contain little parts of the relics of the Saints: Philip the Apostle, Martyr Marina şi Hierarch Mihail.

On 1993, Monastery of Horezu was designated by UNESCO a World Heritage Site, because of "its architectural purity and balance, the richness of its sculptural detail, the treatment of its religious compositions, its votive portraits and its painted decorative works. The school of mural and icon painting established at the monastery in the 18th century was famous throughout the Balkan region." Because Brâncoveanu refused to convert to Islam before execution, in 1992 the Romanian Orthodox Church declared him, his sons, and Enache saints and martyrs (The Martyr Saints the Right-Believing Voivode Constantin Brâncoveanu, together with his sons Constantin, Ştefan, Radu, Matei, and the counselor Ienache). Their feast day is August 16.

About the stamps
On the postcard 0310
The stamp from the lower left corner, showing even Hurezi Monastery, is part of a series issued in 1995, which is no longer much in use, in Romania taking place a denomination of currency in 2005. The series, called Cultural Heritage, contains the following stamps:
• Moldoviţa monastery (675 lei)
• Hurez monastery (960 lei) - It's on the postcard 0310
• Biertan Castle (1615 lei)

The other stamp is also a special one from two point of view. The first is the value, much higher than that required for mailing within Romania (2.7 RON instead of 1 RON), so normally I would never have to receive this stamp on a postcard. The second is the undetached label with EFIRO (World Philatelic Exhibition) 2008 logo on the right. The stamp is part of the series Wild Orchids from Romania, designed by Corina Ardelean and issued on March 23, 2007, showing 6 of the 58 species of orchids which grow in Romania:
Cephalanthera rubra (RON 0.30)
Epipactis palustris (RON 1.20)
Dactylorhiza maculata (RON 1.60)
Anacamptis pyramidalis (RON 2.50)
Limodorum abortivum (RON 2.70) - It's on the postcard 0310
Ophrys scolopax (RON 6.00)

On the postcard 1869
The first stamp, depicting Anthericum ramosum, is part of the series Flowers’ Clock (II), about which I wrote here.

The second is part of the series Wild Ducks and Geese, designed by Radu Oltean and issued on July 12, 2007. On the postage stamps of the issue are presented the following birds, both males and females:
Lesser White Fronted Goose / Anser erytrophus (0.40 RON)
Red-breasted goose / Branta ruficollis (0.60 RON) - It's on the postcard 1869
Northern Pintail / Anas acuta (1.60 RON)
White-fronted goose / Anser albifrons (2.10 RON)
Red-crested Pochard / Netta rufina (3.60 RON)
The garganey / Anas querquedula (4.70 RON)

On the postcard 0472
The stamp is part of the third set of an extensive series, entitled Romanian Pottery - Peasant dishes, issued on August 3, 2007:
• a peasant dish made in Târgu Lăpuş, Maramureş (0.60 RON)
• a peasant dish made in Luncaviţa, Tulcea (0.80 RON)
• a peasant dish made in Horezu, Vâlcea (1.10 RON)
• a peasant dish made in Rădăuţi, Suceava (1.60 RON) - It's on the postcard 0472
The peasant dishes illustrated on the postage stamps of the issue are part of the Romanian Peasant Museum’s collection.

On the postcard 0473
The stamp is part of the series Romanian Pottery - Pots and Cups III, issued on August 10, 2007:
• a pot handcrafted in Horezu, Vâlcea (1.40 RON)
• a cup made in Baia Mare, Maramures (1.80 RON) - It's on the postcard 0473
• a cup made in Oboga, Olt (2.90 RON)
• a pot handcrafted in Baia Mare, Maramures (7.70 RON)
The pots and cups illustrated on the postage stamps are also part of the collection inherited by the Romanian Peasant Museum.

Domnitori şi principi ai ţărilor române, Bucureşti, Ed. Paideia, 2010
Istoria românilor, by Constantin C. Giurescu, Bucureşti, Ed. Bic All, 2007
Constantin Brâncoveanu - Wikipedia
Monastery Hurezi - Vâlcea Turistică
Monastery of Horezu - UNESCO official site
Biserica Bolniţei Mănăstirii Hurezi - Wikipedia
Romanian Wild Orchids - Romfilatelia official site
Romanian Pottery - Peasant dishes (III) - Romfilatelia official site
Romanian Pottery - Pots and Cups - Romfilatelia official site

Sender 0310, 0472, 0473: Adriana Popa (direct swap)
Sent from Râmnicu Vâlcea (Vâlcea / Romania), on 28.06.2012
Senders 1869: Eugen Mihai and the Romania postcrossers who participated to the meet-up which held on Bucureşti on August 27, 2015
Sent from Bucureşti (Bucureşti / Romania), on 29.08.2015
Photo: Eugen Mihai / July 13, 2015 

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful card and matching stamp!