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Frăsinei Monastery – the only place of worship where access to women is prohibited

manastirea frasinei

The Frăsinei Monastery was built of wood and erected in 1710 by two monks of Bulgarian origin, Hilarion and Stefan. The Monastery had the blessing of the bishop of Râmnic, Inochentie, with the patron saint of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist.

The Monastery is located in Muereasca commune, Vâlcea county, 24 km from Râmnicu Vâlcea. Also, the Simfonia hotel offers you luxury accommodation, where you can spend a few relaxing days with your family. The hotel also has a panoramic terrace from where you can admire the mountains and the city. Everything will be according to your expectations. You will have beautiful days, far from the hustle and bustle of big cities.

While you are in Râmnicu Vâlcea, you can visit the main tourist attractions, such as the Vâlcean Village Museum, the History Museum, the Anton Pann Memorial House, the “Casa Simian” Art Museum or the Râmnicu Vâlcea Courthouse. Also, in Râmnicu Vâlcea, a place full of history, there are several churches that all tourists can visit. You have the opportunity to visit the Church of the Annunciation, the Pious Paraschiva Church, the Church of St. George or the Church of St. Dumitru.

Frăsinei Monastery – a brief history

The Frăsinei Monastery is one of the oldest monastic settlements in the Metropolis of Oltenia. In the place of worship, access to women is prohibited, reserved exclusively for monks and male persons who come to pray. This decision was made by the Holy Hierarch Calinicus, who visited the Monastery in the 19th century and decided that no woman should set foot there. The consumption of meat should be prohibited. If a woman breaks this rule, she will be under a curse, and all misfortunes will come upon her, such as poverty, filth and other harsh punishments. A specific law does not give this prohibition. Still, women respect this decision and avoid stepping on the threshold of the Ash Monastery because of the legends related to the curses of Saint Calinicus. According to some stories from the area, all the women who violated the rule imposed by Saint Calinicus were punished, except for one daughter of a shepherd in the area. She entered the Monastery without being aware of the ban and fell ill with epilepsy. However, Saint Calinicus saved her, as the girl did not purposely break the ban.

Women are not allowed to approach the church within two kilometres. Those who want to pray can do so in the new church, where services are held on holidays and Sundays. Two kilometres before reaching the Monastery, the ban on women is announced through the following warning: “It is strictly forbidden for female persons to climb higher” through the “Covenant of Saint Calinicus.”

Also, the Frăsinei Monastery is the only one whose wealth has not been secularized. Thanks to Saint Calinic, who intervened with Nicolae Krețulescu, the assets of the Monastery were saved.

The name Frăsinei comes from the ash forests in the area. The place of worship was built by two monks, Ilarion and Stefan, who had retired to that area. At first, they lived in a wooden hut, having only a chapel where they prayed. After 1718, the two decide to settle there permanently. They go to Bishop Inochentie of Ramnic and New Severin to obtain the blessing necessary for the foundation of the new hermitage.

The Frăsinei Monastery – Painting

The painting in the Frăsinei Monastery was made in an academic style by Mişu Pop from Braşov. The blue colour is predominant and gives the place of worship an ambience of peace and serenity. In the pronaos are represented significant figures of hermits who each carry in their hands a rag on which is written an idea from the teaching or practice of prayer and his asceticism. In the Monastery, we also find the portrait of Saint Calinicus, the founder, inscribed: “Calinic Cernicanu Românu Pămănteanu.” On the right side is painted Metropolitan Nifon, the metropolitan primate since then, with a red scarf around his neck, symbolizing the importance of Romania. In the nave are illustrated scenes with the Ascension of the Holy Cross, Deisis, the martyrs Calinicus and Tryphon, and George and Demetrius. In the upper part of the naos is the Nativity on one side and the Resurrection on the other. The iconostasis is made of wood and is painted.

Frăsinei Monastery – visit this place of worship and choose accommodation at the Simfonia hotel

Frăsinei Monastery is a place of worship worth visiting if you are in the area. You can also admire other monasteries, such as the Hurezi Monastery or the One Wood Monastery.

Hotel Simfonia is the only place in the city where the view of the mountains of Făgăraș opens wide, of overwhelming beauty. Everything is a symphony of ideas meant to gladden the hearts of those it hosts. This 4-star boutique will make your dream stay, and you will want to extend your vacation as much as possible. The hotel is perfect for those who want to relax and escape from the overcrowded cities, which do not offer the necessary tranquillity we sometimes crave. Our staff will make you feel at home.

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