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Saint Nicolas Church, CilieniCod 1604

All inhabitants of commune Cilieni are Orthodox.

In 1774, in Cilieni, a village at that time, was mentioned the existence of a church. It was built in a hut, located in the “Sălişte”, meaning in center of the village, located close to the Olt riverbed. To prevent the Turks from entering with horses in the church and profane it ,they made the entrance shorter. With time was collapsed by the waters of Olt, another one was done in the same old place. According to the 1840 census, on  the old wooden church from Cilieni, dedicated to Holy Emperors Constantine and Helena, was not found any inscription or the year in which it was built. It is known that it was built by villagers. In 1847 the villagers made of brick the church today. It would have been completed and consecrated on 19 October 1847 and was dedicated to “Saint Nicholas”. It is located in the village center behind the school near the town hall.

The church is boat-shaped and has no towers.  It is 18 meters long and 7 meters wide. The brick wall has a thickness of 0.85 meters, has five windows and are arranged as follows: 2 in the narthex, 2 in nave and 1 in the altar. The painting is the original, but it is not high quality. Remarkable as execution and coloring are three wooden icons in the narthex. They represented Jesus Christ, the Virgin Mary and Saint Paraskevi.

The documents and oral tradition attests that the church congregation was made by the village. At the time renter of the Cilieni estate was Iordache  Ceatalopol that din not not contributed with any dime to build the church, but because they did not have the means to end the building, the villagers asked him to lend them 100 gold coins and he accepted. Is to be remembeedr that the tenant had an estate in Islaz and its houses were near the church of Holy Archangels in Craiova. He was greek as the name suggests. About the date when the church was built, the colected sources speak of 1847, but written documents presented by the Holy Bishopric of Râmnic states the year 1825. So the church from Cilieni was built in the years 1825-1827 and as a result in 2015, St. Nicholas Church celebrated 190 years of existence. The first documentary written about Cilieni settlement dates from January 3, 1537, during the time of Prince Radu Paisie. Since then is known that Cilieni was a village of freeholders. This ancient document proves that Cilieni on 3 January 2016, it has existed for 479 years.


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