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Saint Nicholas Church, OrșovaCod 1478

The church from Orșova is mentioned for the first time in the year 1660, by a Turkish traveller, Evlija Celebi. He wrote the fact that in the “city” Orșova the “giaours” (the Christians) “have a church of their own”. It is the first recollection of the church which will later bear the titular saint of “Saint Nicholas the Poor”, being found again on the military maps from the XVIIIth century.

Also in the XVIIIth century, the chronicler Nicolae Stoica from Hațeg used to write the fact that after 1730 in Orsova Veche there was also built up here a catholic monastery with monks. But they left definitely from here, towards the interior of the Austrian Empire, in the year 1737, immediately after the outbreak of the new Austrian – Ottoman Empire.

The first stone and masonry church was built, probably, in the year 1746, in the year 1790 the professor Daniil Laitin from Orșova writing the fact that, already, “the Romanians from Orșova have a church and a school of their own.” At the beginning of the XIXth century, the church was equipped with its first bells, the first in the year 1808 being cast in the year 1808 being cast at Timișoara, the second one, in the year 1811, at Graz.

The new, monumental church, one of the biggest from the area, appears on the plan of Orșova executed in the year 1816 by the captain Johan von Pavici, on the western wing of the space or of the protection being also registered the sanctums – accommodations for the ones who service the church and the school. Also in these rooms there functioned later on the school and the teacher lived here.

The consecration of the church took place on the 18th of September 1817, being performed by the bishop of Varset, Petru Ivanovici Vidac.

This church has been described, in the year 1841, by the traveler Hans Christian Andersen, who wrote the fact that the “copper bubble of the church tower shines in the sun”. Later on, in the year 1849, it appears in an engraving which pictures the volume “Le Danube illustré…” by Bartelett-Sazerac.

In this church the religious service was performed in the Romanian and Serbian languages. Because of the fact that the Romanians were 70% of the Christians, and the Serbians 30%, in the year 1871, a mixed commission established the parts from the Holy Gospel which will be made in Romanian language and which one in the Serbian language. The agreement remained into force until the end of the First World War.

In the year 1896, the church was completely renovated. It was modified and re-covered with copper the tower, its shape remaining unchanged until the moving, even in the new city. Also on that occasion, the two bells built at the beginning of the century were moved from the exterior bell tower in the church tower. These bells were brought into requisition in the years of the First World War, by the Austrian – Hungarian authorities.

Between the years 1924 – 1926 there was passed onto the complete restoration of the church, in the first year being removed the entire interior painting until the brick and being applied a new layer of paint. Also, there was also worked at strengthening the church foundation and the board, on which occasion there was found the crypt with the coffins and bones from the old cemetery found in the surroundings of the church.

Following the moving of the city, between the years 1968 and 1970 the old church and the house which belonged to it were demolished, and between the years 1969 and 1970 it was built the church from Orșova – South also with the titular saint of “Saint Nicholas”. The new construction follows the plans of the old church, declared historical monument. The consecration of the new church took place on the 10th of October 1971. Between the years 1982 – 1984 there was executed a new painting of the church. The consecration of the church’s painting was accomplished on the 20th of October 1985.


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