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The Mraconia Monastery, Cazanele DunăriiCod 1468

The Mraconia Monastery was built up on the place of a former observation and supervision point of the ships from the Danube, because thanks to the architecture of the relief, by the bluntness from place to place of the defile there couldn’t pass simultaneously two ships. This maximum bluntness and broadening of the river received the name of the “Danube’s depressions”.

The place where it was built up was named “at balloon”, because of the observation point from there. The Mraconia Monastery was also known as the monastery from the Danube Valley or from Ogradena Veche, a commune from the neighborhood. The word “mraconia” means “hidden place” or “dark water”.

The current monastery is built up on the place of the former Mraconia monastery, built up in the valley with the same name. The initial monastery was built up in the year 1523 under the jurisdiction of the Episcopacy from Varset by the mandarin of the border region of Caransebeș and of Lugoj, the ban Nicola Gârlișteanu. The church received the titular saint of Saint Prophet Elijah.

According to some documentary confessions, the monastery Mraconia existed even around the half of the XVth century. It is believed the fact that it was built up in the year 1453 and it was redone after 1800. Documentary certified from 1453, the Mraconia Monastery is destroyed during the Russian – Austrian – Turkish war between the years 1787 and 1792, being redone and demolished again in 1968.

Therefore, the renown chronicler Nicolae Stoica from Hațeg, former protopope of Mehadia, used to write in a chronic from the year 1829 because of the “fear of the Turks, and especially after the unfortunate from Varna and after the occupation of the Constantinople in 1453, the monks from Mraconia took refuge in Orșova.”

Although throughout the times the monastery Mraconia was deteriorated and demolished, in the year 1788 this was still lived, and in the year 1800, the inferior painting was still visible.

In the year 1823 it was found, among the ruins of the monastery, the seal of the former place of worship which presents the inscription in the Slavic language: “The inscription of the monastery Lubostinie Hram Uspenia Presvistaia Bogaraditi Leto 1735.” Another discovery was done in the year 1853, when there was also found under the ruins an icon of Mary, Mother of Jesus, which was taken later on at an exhibit from Vienne by the painter Victor Schram from Munich.

Following the construction of an Action committee, from the year 1931 it was started the reconstruction of the monastery and, because of the intense activities of the monk Alexe Udrea, in the year 1947 it was come at the building up again of the church and its covering with shingle.

The construction of the hydroelectric power plant from Porțile de Fier I executed in the year 1967 made that the construction to be demolished, its ruins being flooded by the waters of the Danube. The monastery no longer received the right to be reconsolidated. Because of its faith, this was attained to be known under the name of the “Monastery from under the waters, Mraconia”.

After the year 1989, the Metropolitan of Oltenia had the initiative of re-founding the Monastery Mraconia. In the year 1993, it is put the foundation stone of the new church, and in the year 1995, with the blessing of His Eminence Nestor Vornicescu and with the approval of the Holy Assembly, this establishment is being re-founded.

The church is made of brick wall, in the shape of a cross. It is compartmented in altar, nave, narthex and open porch. The Monastery Mraconia has a community of monks.

From the initial church, which now is under the waters of the Danube, there are still kept only the emperor doors and a candela – in the congregation museum from Eșelnița.


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