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Cozia Monastery

Cozia, Romania

Known as the oldest and most complex historical and art monuments from Romania, Cozia Monastery is situated on the right bank of the river Olt, 22 km away from Ramnicu Valcea and 75 km away from Sibiu. It was built between 1386-1388, being one of the most important foundations of the ruler Mircea cel Batran (Mircea the Ancient). Initially, it was known under the name of Nucet Monastery, because it was built in an area proper for walnut trees to grow. The name of “Cozia” was given to it later, after the name of the mountain in its vicinity.

In the Great Church, namely in the nave, that has “The Holy Trinity” as its celebration day, one can see the original paintings. There, on the Western wall, there are paintings that present Mircea and his son Mihail wearing knight outfits and on the left, one can see the portrait of Serban Cantacuzino. In the pronaos, you can see the tombs of Mircea and of the nun Teofana, Michael the Brave’s mother, who became a nun after her son’s death. She eventually died in 1605.

There are barely any genuine traces from Mircea the Ancient’s time left at Cozia Monastery. The only items left from the time of the ruler – two bells – were taken one to the Bishopric of Ramnic and the other to the Bishopric of Arges. Mircea cel Batran (Mircea the Ancient’s) epitaph was taken as well to the Art Museum in Bucharest and only a small piece of the ruler’s tomb remained at the Cozia Monastery. Furthermore, the cross pattern that even today stands on the monastery tower dates from Mircea the Ancient’s time.

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