HOREZU MONASTERYMOUNTAIN ROAD 58 Considered the best and largest example of the Romanian Brâncovenesc architecture style in the country, the monastery of Horezu was included in the Unesco World Heritage in 1995 and is considered one of the finest examples of Romanian religious art and architecture! Amidst the last ridges of the southern Carpathians in Romania and along a lush valley, the Hurezi or Horezu Monastery rises like a white fortress protected by the mountain peaks towards the north. It is among the best-known religious destinations in Romania, featuring an exceptional cultural heritage that goes back many centuries. Horezu Monastery holds countless religious and artistic treasures, but is also enveloped in a truly mesmerizing atmosphere of pure serenity and peace. It was founded by the Wallachian ruler Constantin Brâncoveanu, shortly after he ascended to the throne. It was built between 1690 and 1693, featuring an impressive complex of monuments. It is located in the village of Romanii de Jos that is part of the charming town of Horezu, known for its traditional ceramics! Surrounded by strong walls like a medieval fortress, the monastery of Horezu has two interior courtyards, the outer one being larger and including several buildings, orchards and a pond. The inner courtyard is surrounded by an imposing complex of walls, buildings and cells, with the impressive church in the middle. Inspired by the church of Curtea de Argeș Monastery, it also features many unique elements, like the unique porch with its ornate pillars. The main church of Horezu has several extremely valuable elements, including the original paintings in vibrant colors, the sculpted iconostasis made of linden wood with golden gilding, as well as the interior icons. It also includes the marble tomb built for Constantin Brâncoveanu, still empty as he is buried inside a church in Bucharest. Around the church, there is a complex of buildings and spaces on two levels, including the nuns’ cells, the chapel built in 1697 with superb frescoes, the impressive entrance gate under the bell tower and more. There is also an interesting library founded by the ruler, with thousands of old and rare books, as well as a priceless collection of icons and religious items. Surrounding this main courtyard, there are several other old and fascinating churches, starting with the Hospital Church founded by lady Maria Brâncoveanu in 1696, located a short distance to the east. About 50 meters to the north, the hermitage of the Holy Apostles was founded by the first prior of the monastery in 1698, while the hermitage of Saint Stefan is located to the west, over the river. Another old wooden church can be admired to the south, just before the first gate of the monastery. These four smaller churches form the sign of a cross, with the monastery in the middle. An exceptional architectural ensemble, the monastery of Horezu is definitely among the most fascinating and beautiful monuments in Romania, also being an important cultural center over the centuries. It is the largest Orthodox monastery in the country, also offering a few lodging spaces for passing travelers. Travelers can visit the ceramic workshops of Horezu to admire the colorful ceramic art, with a multitude of authentic symbols.