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The Ruins of the Vodița Monastery, VodițaCod 1497

The Vodița Monastery which represents the oldest voivode foundation documentary certified and, at the same time, the first monastic establishment from Romania autonomous administered according to the rules of the oriental church established by Saint Vasile the Great.

It was built up between the years 1370 – 1372 by Saint Nicodim on the expense of the voivode Vladislav I. Even with the foundation, the church was equipped by the prince with valuable church jewels, money and other incomes. All the beneficences made to the Vodița Monastery by Vladislav Voivode were later on strengthened by his descendants: Dan I, Mircea I from Wallachia, Dan the IInd, Vlad Dracul and Radu the Hndsome. Even Sigismund from Luxemburg, the king of Hungary (1387 – 1437) acknowledged and confirmed the fact that the possessions given to the Vodița Monastery by the Romanian princes, and Ștefan Lazarovici, the despot of Serbia gives it in the year 1406, 10 Serbian villages.

The expansion of the Ottoman Empire form the end of the XVth century for the occupation of the European nationalities influenced in an immediate manner the existence of the Vodița Monastery. Therfore, after the occupation of the citadel of Severin by the Turkish armies commanded by Baliberg in the year 1524, all the old properties of the foundation of Saint Nicodim are confirmed, once at a time, to the Monastery Tismana. The Vodița Monastery will be mentioned again, only in a charter from the 14th of October 1662 when the abbot of this monastery the archimandrite Nicodim received a help of 350 rubles from the czar of Russia, Alexei Mihailovici.

Later on, in a document from the date of the 15th of June 1689, it is stipulated the fact that the Vodița Monastery would have been re-built by Cornea Brăiloiu, during the period when he occupied the position of “great aga”. Also, it is mentioned together with other monasteries from Oltenia on the map drafted in the year 1700 by the High Steward Constantin Cantacuzino.

Even the prince Constantin Brâncoveanu gave by a charter issued on the 10th of March 1703. exemptions to “the skete which is situated at Vodița which is situated near the Danube where there was even before a great monastery built by Saint Nicodim”. From the same deed it seems that some of the re-construction works of this monastery would have been executed aso by Athanasie, the Father Superior from that period of Tismana.

Following the Austrian – Turkish war ended with the peace from Passarovitz from the years 1718, the Vodița Monastery will know a new period of decline. It will be also mentioned only on the map drafted in the year 1720 by Samuelis Köleseri. On the date of the 5th of September 1891, the bishop Ghenadie of Râmnic makes a canonical visit at Vodița, describing the ruins of the monastery. From the church of the oldest voivode foundation documentary certified there are still left only a few walls, and from the surrounding sanctums there can still be seen only the foundations.

The works for he re-construction of the Vodița Monastery started after the year 1991, the foundation stone of the new monastery being consecrated in the year 2001.


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