IMG_3649.JPG IMG_3661.JPG IMG_3664.JPG IMG_3709.JPG IMG_3712.JPG Mamu1.JPG Mamu_01.JPG Mamu_02pict_interior_bismare.JPG

Mamu Monastery

  • Code of the Historical Monument List (LMI): VL-II-a-A-09921
  • Location:

    hamlet Stănești-Lunca, village Lungești, Vâlcea county

  • History:

    The Mamul Monastery, whose patron saint is "Saint Nicholas", was founded by Constantin Brancoveanu between 1696 and 1699, on the spot of a previous wooden building founded by the Buzesti family, which had been repaired by Stanca Cantacuzino, Constantin Brancoveanu's mother. The ruler was aided by the officials: captain Tanase Maldarescu and Badea, a former court dignitary, according to the inscription carved in stone on the porch, above the entrance. The painting was completed in 1699 by the painters Parvu Mutu and Marin, according to the inscription painted in the narthex, above the entrance door.

    Prince Constantin Brâncoveanu was the founder of Mamul Monastery and also became its official protector in 1659, when he also consolidated its properties with a number of donation deeds. Once the wealth of monasteries and religious establishments were secularised in 1864 and 1873, the monastery of Mamul was closed down and the church became a village church supported by the villagers of Lungești. The monastery was again opened in 1932 and then closed down again in 1959. A competent team has repaired the monastery recently and has turned it again into a genuine Brancovan establishment.

  • Description:

    The Mamul Monastery includes the Church patroned by St. Nicholas (VL-II-a-A-09921.01), the wooden Holy Trinity Church used as an infirmary. (VL-II-a-A-09921.02), the cells ( VL-II-a-A-09921.03) and the precinct wall (VL-II-a-A-09921.04)
    The "Saint Nicholas" church is a triconch building (20x7 m), with polygonal apses on the outside, a stalled altar apse and an open porch with three-lobe arcades supported by masonry blocks at the front and round arch arcades, supported on octagonal columns. An octagonal steeple is raised on the aisle and a big square belfry on the porch. The access to the belfry is provided from outside, through a polygonal little tower attached to the Northern wall. The nave and the narthex are split by a full wall penetrated by a single arched opening. The exterior decoration consists in two rows of recesses, which are rectangular on the lower side and arched on the upper side, separated by a torus. The original wall painting made by Parvu Mutu and Marin (Preda) in 1699 is of a great artistic value. The iconographic church program features the Deisis image: Jesus the Great Ruler on a throne, with Mary and John the Baptist on each side. Another iconographic item belongs to the nave, comprising themes connected with the life of Christ (divine nature, the image of the sacrifice, human nature) and the cycle of the sacred holidays: the Birth of Our Lord, the Baptism, the Entrance into Jerusalem and scenes related with Virgin Mary (The Dormition and Birth of Mary). In the narthex, the iconographic theme is confined to Virgin Mary and the saints. Two saints from Olt appear here: Grigorie Decapolitul and Nicodim from Tismana. The votive painting is actually a family portrait that features also the ruling family with the 11 children, together with the parents and grandparents of the ruler Constantin Brancoveanu.

  • Bibliography:

    1. D. Bălașa, Mănăstirea Mamul, Mitropolia Olteniei (Mamul Monastery, the Metropolitan Church), VIII, 1956, No..1-3, p.48-54.
    I. Barnea, Sondajul de la mănăstirea Mamul, în Materiale și cercetări de arheologie, (The survey carried out at the Mamul Monastery, in Archeological materials and research) 1959, p.661-664.
    2. T. Bulat, Arhivele Olteniei (The Archives of Oltenia), 1924, p.337, 473, 1925, p.192, 326.
    3. V. Drăghiceanu, Monumentele istorice din Oltenia (Historical Monuments of Oltenia),
    4. BCMI *,1931, part. 69.
    5. Î.P.S. Gherasim "Istoria Eparhiei Râmnicului" (The History of Ramnicu Bishopric), Conphys Publishing House, Râmnicu Vâlcea, 2009
    6. N. Ghika-Budești, Evoluția arhitecturii în Muntenia și în Oltenia, Partea a patra, Noul stil din veacul al XVIII-lea (The evolution of architecture in Wallachia and Oltenia,Fourth Part, the New Style of the 18th century),, BCMI, 1936, p.104-105 .
    7. Nicolae Iorga, Portretele lui Constantin Brâncoveanu și ale familiei sale (the Portraits of Constantin Brancoveanu and his family) BCMI, VIII, 1915, p.49-54.
    8. Nicolae Iorga, Inscripții (Inscriptions) I, p.172;
    9. Corina Popa, Monumente medievale din Oltenia (Medieval monuments of Oltenia) ACS Publishing House, Bucharest, 2011, p.165+167
    10. Sacerdoţeanu, Constantin Brâncoveanu și ctitoriile sale din Oltenia, Mitropolia Olteniei, (Constantin Brancoveanu and the buildings founded by him in Oltenia, the Metropolitan Church of Oltenia)1964, No..9-10, p.724-725.
    11. N. Stoicescu, Bibliografia localităților și a monumentelor feudale din România, I-Țara Românească(The bibliography of the feudal monuments and places of Romania / Wallachia), vol.2: M-Z, indices, the Mitropolia Olteniei Publishing House, Craiova, 1970, p.414+415.
    I. D. Ștefanescu, La peinture religioase en Valachie (Religious painting in Wallachia) p.190-192.
    12. Teodora Voinescu, Pârvul Mutul, SCIA (Art History Studies and Research), 1955, No. 3-4, p.138-144.
    13. Marele Dicționar Geografic al României (The Big Geographic Dictionary of Romania) Bucharest, 1901,the Graphic Socecu Establishment, vol. IV., p.225-226.
    14. DIR, centuries . XIII-XV, p.99.
    15. Record file, 1964, archives of the National Heritage Institute
    *BCMI = The Bulletin of the Historical Monument Commission

Institutul Național al Patrimoniului         Administrația Fondului Cultural Național

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