The wooden Church of Pious Parascheva in Poienile Izei
This church was built 400 years ago and is one of the most beautiful Wooden Churches of Maramureş. People think its survival during the Tartaric invasion was a miracle, the metal crescent on the pinnacle of the tower, right under the cross, being a proof of the dangers it had to face. The church entrance is a genuine time portal, which takes you on a journey through the life of this small community throughout many generations. Here, you can feel the sense of history in the scent of old wood and in the dim light that brings to life paintings full of wit. This charming site off the beaten track is a true reward for tourists who wish to discover a remote corner of human experience.
The significance of images in the wooden church:
Spectacular frescoes cover the church on the inside. Scenes of the Last Judgment on its “pronaos” (walls) dominate the painting’s theme. The scenes depict images of terrible punishments for sins: the liar hanged by his tongue, the witch gored by cows for casting a spell on them, the farmer plowed by two devils for stealing his neighbor’s land, the mother forced to swallow her aborted baby, and the person who sleeps while the priest is preaching, is forced to lay on a burning bed and endure the devil’s violin. The large depictions of the Hell, the impressive diversity of the sinners and sometimes the violent punishment inflicted on the damned, demonstrate the emphasis on the moralizing and disciplinary functions which characterize the images of the Last Judgment in Maramureş.
This unrivaled monument, manifesting a high level of majestic art reached by craftsmen carpenters of Maramures, can be considered without a doubt one of the most beautiful and well preserved wooden church from Maramures. It also represents a vernacular expression of the cultural landscape in the northern Romania.