Most hospitable next stop: Mânăstirea Pissiota!
The monastery of Pissiota, located in Poienarii Burchi, was built between 1928 and 1929 by Nicolae Pissiota (1860-1940), a great man of culture, and his wife, Zoe Pissiota (1868-1940), on the estate bought from the family of General Gheorghe Angelescu (1850-1923), an important name in the 1877 war.
The first record of the village of Poienarii Burchi dates back to 21st September 1594, on the former „Poeana” estate of Lady Stanca, the wife of Michael the Brave. The village was dedicated by Lady Stanca to the Simonopetra monastery of Mount Athos, in 1594. The original document is kept at the Archives of the State in Bucharest.
The engineer Nicolae Pissiota, of Macedonian origin, born in Greece and settled in Walachia, had a huge fortune that allowed him to build this place of worship. The church was designed by the architect Ioan Giurgea – a harmonious combination between Italian Renaissance style and the Byzantine elements that are specific to Romanian churches.
Famous names were called to decorate the church: Costin Petrescu (1877-1954), the one that painted the interior frescoes of the Romanian Athenaeum, or the Cathedral of Alba Iulia, and his apprentice, Gheorghe Eftimiu.
The portraits of the patrons and of the Patriarchs Miron Cristea and Justinian Marina were done by the painter Vasile Rudeanu (in 1956). The iconostasis is carved in rosewood and cherry wood, brought from Greece, creating a balance between sensitivity and detail, influenced by Italian art.
The furniture was carved of oak wood, with ethnic motifs, by the sculptor Anghel Dima, in 1928, the author of Mihai Eminescu’s sculpture in front of the Romanian Athenaeum. The floor is made of red Carrara marble; underneath the church lie the marble crypts where the patrons and their families are buried. Inside the church there are icons and silver icon lights, in Brancoveanu style, as well as triodyons, Pentecostarians and hymn books.
The defining religious element in the Holy Monastery of Pissiota is the Icon of the Holy Virgin with the Child – miracle-working icon. The icon is painted on oak wood, against a background of Byzantine brocade, signed by the famous painter Gheorghe Eftimiu, the apprentice of the great Costin Petrescu.
For two decades after the opening, between 1928 and 1948, the monastery was a monk monastery. In 1948, the Patriarch Justinian Marina transformed it into a monastery of nuns, and this is how it remained until 1962, when it was discontinued. In 1993, after 31 years in ruin, the monastery resumed its community life.
Currently, the monastery is inhabited by 23 nuns and a priest; prayer is in harmony with work, as there are tailoring workshops where priestly vestments and clothes are made, allowing people to add the little money they have for the restoration of the monastery.
Abbess Monahia Ioana Irina Calin