Hurezi (Horezi), Abbey of

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In Moldavia, district of Vîlcea, built in 1690 by order of Prince John Constantin Brâncoveanu in the forest of Hurezi. Accomplished craftsmen, using the costliest material, worked on the abbey, which was built to commemorate Brâncoveanu's reign. It was the most important and representative Romanian monastery of its time, and was made stauropegial, i.e., subject directly to the patriarch of Constantinople. It comprises, besides the principal church, a chapel to the Virgin, several sketes (hermitages), and a hospital. Its beautiful arcades, graceful loggias, and intricate columns, as well as its windows and gates framed with floral designs, show the influence of Venice on Romanian religious art. The walls of the principal church are richly decorated with paintings representing religious subjects and also portraits of the founder, of his family and ancestry. This abbey once owned an excellent library and a rich treasure of sacred objects. At present it is inhabited by nuns.

Bibliography: n. iorga, Istoria bisericii românesti, 2 v. (2d ed. Bucharest 192932); and g. bals, Histoire de l'art roumain ancien (Paris 1922). Enciclopedia României, 4 v. (Bucharest 193643) 2:506.

[t. fotitch]