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The “Adormirea Maicii Domnului” Church, Drobeta Turnu SeverinCod 1454

After the town of Turnu Severin was reproclaimed county residence, on April 23rd 1833, major Ion Ciupagea settled here with his wife, title lady Dumitrana. To their name we also tie the „Maioreasa” church foundation. It was raised at the advice of father Mitrică from Cerneţi, at the time archbishop. With a special piety for the Virgin Mary, the major decided that the church be sanctified and dedicated to „Adormirea Maicii Domnului”. It thus became the first and only church in Turnu Severin dedicated to this great holiday. Thanks to popular tradition, the church is also known by the name „Maioreasa” from the title its founder had.

The church was raised between 1842 and 1846 at the wish and expense of major Ciupagea and his wife. At the sanctification there was also metropolitan Nifon of Wallachia, at the time replacing bishop in Râmnicu Vâlcea. The first servant priest of the church was archbishop Mitrica from Cerneti, friend and close advisor of the founding family. The initial architecture of the „Maioreasa” church had three towers: a big one above the nave and two smaller side ones in the narthex, the altar screen was brick and was surrounded by a solid brick wall. All of this changed in time. As such between 1871 and 1872 the side detached and knocked down the wall separating the nave from the narthex. The old altar screen was replace by a linden tree one, with beautiful paintings painted by skills artists.

Between 1881 and 1884 construction was consolidated by supressing the three towers, by restoring the foundation and tying iron circles to the whole building. Instead of the central tower there was a low arch and instead of the two side towers there was a gothic style bell tower, sustained by four masiv wall square columns.

In 1906, under the care of priest Iorgu Stănescu, the current narthex was built to serve the mass services, the church capacity being tight for the great number of believers crossing its threshold. In this same time the parrish house of the church was also built. The original painting was executed in a bizantine style by the famous painter Alexie from Câmpulung. In 1902, after the holy church was radically restored, the painting in the „Maioreasca” church got another shape. The new fresco was executed by painter Gheorghe Ioanid, one of the discipols of the great painter Gheorghe Tattarescu, who had painted the Grecescu church in Turnu Severin in 1872. The biblical scenes and the saints in the narthex belong to priest and painter Constantin Petrescu from Craiova. The emperor icons (Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Mother) in the narthex and nave are pre existing painting.

As promised by metropolitan Firmilian of Oltenia, the painting of the „Maioreasa” church was restored in 1957 by painter Iosif Keber from Târgu Jiu, who painted the icons on the side of the „Sfântul Dumitru” metropolitan Cathedral in Craiova.

In 1974 the church was restored again, the painting being reconsitioned by painter Nicolae Glăvan from Novaci-Gorj. The last restoration of the painting happened in 1992 and was done by the painter family from Severin  Florica and Eugen Papici.

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