Cozia Monastery

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Cozia Monastery
Mănăstirea Cozia
RO VL Cozia Holy Trinity church side.jpg
Holy Trinity Church of the Cozia Monastery
Basic information
Location Călimănești, Vâlcea County, Romania
Geographic coordinates 45°16′18″N 24°18′56″E / 45.27159°N 24.31549°E / 45.27159; 24.31549Coordinates: 45°16′18″N 24°18′56″E / 45.27159°N 24.31549°E / 45.27159; 24.31549
Affiliation Eastern Orthodox
Year consecrated 1388
Ecclesiastical or organizational status Monastery
Status Active
Heritage designation 2010
Leadership Archbishop Varsanufie of Râmnic and Argeș
Patron Holy Trinity
Architectural description
Founder Mircea the Elder
Groundbreaking 1387
Completed 1391

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 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'.

The wall facets' decorations with stone rosettes, horizontal Byzantine-style rows of brick and stone and vertical frames are unprecedented in Wallachian architecture. The resemblance with Lazarica church indicates that Mircea cel Bătrân has employed Serbian craftsmen from the Morava School.

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 stamp from the 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. 

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