Cozia Monastery

Coordinates: 45°16′18″N 24°18′56″E / 45.27159°N 24.31549°E / 45.27159; 24.31549
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Cozia Monastery
Mănăstirea Cozia
Holy Trinity Church of the Cozia Monastery
AffiliationEastern Orthodox
Ecclesiastical or organizational statusMonastery
LeadershipArchbishop Varsanufie of Râmnic and Argeș
PatronHoly Trinity
Year consecrated1388
LocationCălimănești, Vâlcea County, Romania
Geographic coordinates45°16′18″N 24°18′56″E / 45.27159°N 24.31549°E / 45.27159; 24.31549
FounderMircea the Elder

Cozia Monastery, erected close to Călimănești by Mircea the Elder in 1388 and housing his tomb, is one of the most valuable monuments of national medieval art and architecture in Romania.


The name of the monastery is of Cuman origin and it means "walnut grove", from Turkic word koz, meaning walnut.[1] The original name of the place was the Romanian equivalent, Nucetul, but already in 1387, a document of Mircea cel Bătrân uses the current name.[1]

The fortified cloister dates from the foundation (1388) and is the only in Byzantine style preserved in Romania. Two chapels are incorporated in the side toward the Olt River and their Byzantine cupolas are reflected in the water, creating one of the most iconic cultural - natural landmarks in Romania.

The church façades' decorations with stone rosettes, horizontal Byzantine-style rows of brick and stone and vertical frames are unprecedented in Wallachian architecture and are typical from the Serbian Morava School, which flourished in central Serbia between the 14th century and the 15th century. In fact, the strong resemblance with the Lazarica church indicates that Mircea cel Bătrân employed Serbian craftsmen.[2] [3]

The appearance of the church was modified under Neagoe Basarab (1517), Şerban Cantacuzino and Constantin Brâncoveanu (1707), who added a veranda, a new fountain, a chapel and a watch tower, adding to its architecture the 'brâncovenesc style'.

Of great value is the hospital church, 'bolnița' (1543), with original well-preserved indoor frescoes like the votive portrait of ruler Mircea cel Bătrân and his sons.

Cozia was painted between 1390 and 1391. Some of the original frescoes (1390) are still well preserved.

The church of the monastery was put on a Romanian stamp in 1968.


Cozia features a museum of exhibiting old art: old manuscripts and prints, embroideries and objects of worship.

Walls of Cozia Monastery on Olt River's bank
Mural painting from the Cozia Monastery



  1. ^ a b Iordan, Iorgu (1963). Toponimia romînească. Bucharest: Editura Academiei Republicii Populare Romîne. p. 84. OCLC 460710897.
  2. ^ Millet, G. (1933). Cozia et les églises serbes de la Morava, in: Mélanges offerts à M. Nicolas Iorga par ses amis de la France et des pays de langue française (in French). Paris. pp. 827–856.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  3. ^ Theodorescu, R. (1974). Bizant, Balcani, Occident la inceputurile culturii medievaleromanesti (secolele X–XIV) (in Romanian). București.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)

External links[edit]

Media related to Cozia Monastery at Wikimedia Commons