Historical Monument presentation:
The Hurezi monastery
Location: No. 164-164 A, 164 B, Mănăstirii st.
Datation: 1690 - 1709
The grand construction work of Prince Constantin Brâncoveanu was started in 1690 and finished in 1697, when the prince “saw the monastery finally completed”. Initially, in charge of the works was Pârvu Cantacuzino, first cousin to the prince, who died though in 1691 and was replaced by the monastery’s first abbot, Ioan Arhimandritul, who played a major part in the monastery’s foundation.
The Hurezi monastery is the most important foundation of Prince Constantin Brâncoveanu and, at the same time, the most representative monument for the art of the Brâncoveanu period. After serving as a monastery for monks, today it is a nunnery.
The monastic complex is made up of the Main Church, the Princely Palace, the dining hall and the chapel, Dionisie’s tower, the belfry, inner precinct and the outer court.
The precinct forms a rectangle around the church, containing the princely palace, the abbot’s residence, library and belfry on the southern side and Dionisie’s tower, the dining hall, chapel and monks cells on two levels (with access to open galleries with semi-circular arcades resting on stone columns) on the western side; the northern side contains only monks cells and annexes, as well as a tower on sculpted columns.
The eastern side finishes in a high wall with battlements at a height of 5m; set against the northern wall there is a fountain covered by a canopy supported upfront by two tronconic columns with sculpted capitals. Outside, the precinct’s buildings end up in high walls, reinforced in certain places by buttresses. The northern wall continues westwards and eastwards on a considerable length.
The church is monumental, with a trefoil plan. It has polygonal apses, the altar’s apse has two smaller apses, and the narthex is enlarged. The porch has semicircular arcades resting on 8 cylindrical columns and 2 engaged semi columns. The 12 sided spires over the nave rest inside on arches and masonry. The 8 sided spires over the narthex rests inside on the wall dividing the latter from the nave and on 2 strong columns in the middle of the same nave, connected through arches with its walls. The peripheral spaces of the narthex are covered by cylindrical vaults on 3 sides, with vela vaults in the corners.
The porch is covered by 3 caps supported by arches and consoles. It is preceded by a smaller porch supported by 2 grooved columns. External decoration: a row of rectangular panels on the lower level and a row of arched niches in the upper level, decorated each with a stucco circle, separated by a torus decorated in stucco and flanked by two rows of dents on the church, spire and spires’ bases; similar arches decorate the spires’ windows.