The Plopis wooden church from the 12th century was restaurated after the attack of the migratory peoples in the 17th century. The church displays a wonderful interior painting and a rich collection of wooden icons from the 17th and 18th centuries.



Ancient Romanian province, with lasting cultural and artistic tradition, The Chioaru County preserves a large number of monuments of religious architecture in wood, valuable tokens of the local craftsmen's akill and artistry. Among these, one remarks the Greek-Catholic wooden church in Surdesti - a village lying on the road leadin from Baia Mare to Cavnic. The church dates back from 1721 and is dedicated to the Holy Archangels Michael and Gabriel.

The famous Arch Angels Church from Surdesti, built of oak beams skilfully blended, has a floored veranda like the roof from which the 54 meter high tower raises, surrounded by four little towers. The interior canvas paintings in watercolours are well preserved. It is one of the highest constructions of this kind in the world. In the cemetery, around the church, there are several stone sarcophaguses in roman style.

A particularly bold achievement of folk architecture, remarkable by the lofty height of its spire, the church in Surdesti is known to be the highest oak building in Europe, with its overall height of 72m, of which 54m the spire alone.

Erected at a later time, the porch - located on the east side - is unique in the Chioaru county by its singular design displaying two rows of superposed arches of dissimilar apertures, yet identical in shape and decoration, that make up an impressive composition.

The double - caved roof reveals another noteworthy particularity: on the wall between the overlapping eaves there is second row of windows whose shape and size match the windows at the eye level. Carved in the thick oak girders, a rope-shaped frieze girdles the building, thus enhancig its beauty.

The inner nave walls are painted with biblical scenes taken from both the Old and the New testament. The painter's name "Zugravu Stefan" is mentioned on the iconostasis, beside the year 1789, under Emperor Joseph's II reign.

Classified as historical monument, the Greek-Catholic church is still in use nowdays, the divine service held here being attended every day by the worshippers of Surdesti.



Desesti wooden church was built in 1770 in traditional style with a very slender tower. The inside paintings were realised by the local painter Radu Munteanu. The church displays a collection of 14 wooden painted icons of great artistic value.



The "Arch Angels" Church was built in 1701 from elm wood. It is the only one in the region that has the steeple and the little towers perfectly conic with square foundation. The roof is asymmetrical having the northern side larger and lowered to protect the people staying outside the church during important religious celebrations.


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