The Monasteries
Surpatele Monastery

Access: DN7/E81 Rm. Vâlcea -Tg. Jiu, turn left in Gurişoara (km 17), DJ 6471 km.

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Schedule : Daily

Monastic life : Nuns with community life

Abbess: Nun Eftimia Constantin. 

Telephone: 0722/946683. 

Titular Saint: „The Holy Trinity "  (second day after Whit Sunday). Every year at July 12 is celebrated  “Virgin Mary Miracle working icon” when on the Holy Mount is celebrated the Icon Prodromiţa.  

History:  The first written record about this establishment dates from 1512, during the reign of Neagoe Basarab (1512-1521). The beginning of the monastic life is attributed to the “logofat” Tudor Drăgoescu (member of the ruler´s assembly) and his brother Stanciu, landowners of the bloodline Buzescu, who built a church.

Between 1703 and 1706, Mrs. Maria, wife of the martyr and saint ruler Constantin Brancoveanu (1688 - 1714), restored the old church, built around it the buildings necessary to conduct a monastic life, endowed it with precious jewels, estates and other wealth. In 1707 it was painted by the famous painters Andrei, Iosif Hieromonk, Hrantie and Stefan.  Being a withdrawn convent, Mrs. Maria spent the summer here during widowhood, together with the widow of “sfetnic” (counselor) Ianache, killed in Constantinople in 1714 at the same time as Constantin Brancoveanu and the four sons of the ruler.

                In 1815, it was repaired and repainted by the painter Gheorghe Gherontie from Hurezi. The monastery had close links with Jieni boyars, being a place of worship for their families, especially during the abbess Agapia Jianu,  Jienilor mother's sister. It is said that the boyard “haiduc” Iancu Jianu would sworn before the priest Antonie Bazachin Zugravu to fight to the death against the “ciocoii” of the Phanariot nation which had been oppressing the Romanian people.



In 1820, Tudor Vladimirescu with his army swore on the flag, the Gospel and the Cross, in the presence of PS Ilarion of Arges to lead to end the fight and to liberate the people from Phanariots. Around the same time was buried Florica, the sister of Jianu boyard, and fiancée of Tudor Vladimirescu. She was stolen and mocked at the very night of the engagement by the Greek Carserdarul Stoica, Governor of Oltenia.  She escaped and went to Surpatele where all Jianu women found their shelter, but could not endure the shame and ended her life in suicide. The perpetrator was caught, brought here, tried and killed on the grave of Florica by Florica´s brother, the boyard “haiduc” Iancu Jianu. The nuns who came here in 1926 to rebuild the monastery knew about this tomb. Surpatele Monastery had a rich activity, both in spiritual and in cultural-artistic domain. During 1837 - 1850, the writer and musicologist Anton Pann had worked here and at Dintr-un Lemn Monastery as music teacher and as a translator of religious books.


In 1872, due to landslides and weather conditions the monastery was ruined, except the church and bell tower, causing the nuns to move to the Monastery Dintr-un Lemn. In 1926 a group of five nuns of the Monastery Dintr-un Lemn came here to revive the monastic life, managing to clear the site from debris. With the support of the Historical Monuments Commission in 1928 were rebuilt the south - east corners and the south side of the enclosure, following the Brancovenu design of the foundation, known from the Lancelot's engraving. In 1991, July 12, celebration day of the miraculous icon of Virgin Mary, a crucifix in the memory of the people and Brâncoveni martyrs was erected. Between 1984 and 1986, the church was strengthened and coated with a lead sheet. Between 1996 and 2005, church consolidation works and picture restoration were carried out.

Historical Monument

Miracle Working Icon: Virgin Mary Icon „Smolenskaia" 

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