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The wooden church of Videle, with the Saint Pious Paraskevi patron saint offers the site an air of both uniqueness through its architecture and the paintings here.

Photo credit: (c) Luiza ABU-SALEM / AGERPRES STREAM

After earthquakes and floods which affected it, but couldn’t ruin it, the church has made it in the past years through an ample process of restoration so that its threshold could currently be passed through by the tourists interested in the story of the building. The church was originally made of wood, but it needed consolidation, so it got added brick walls.

“Of the few wooden churches of the Teleorman county, only two were restored: the church of Bujoreni and the one in Videle. The other wooden churches face a precarious state due to the time’s hostility. The Videle church, also named the Cartojanca (after the name of the neighbourhood), was erected at the beginning of the 17th century of oak beams and was coated on its outside with bricks. It was endowed, initially with a belfry tower which never exists anymore, as it has disappeared and could have never been rebuilt. The revamped church is special due to its architecture and traces of painting which it preserves inside its walls. Presently, it is not used anymore, only occasionally for the religious services for the dead, as it is placed in the cemetery at the margin of the city. But, through its presence it attests that in the county of Teleorman wooden churches were erected, too, some of which are still up and in use, such as the church at Scurtu Dracesti. Yet, the church in Videle, for those who wish to visit this part of the county, an objective which deserves to be seen thanks to the architectonic beauty and to those special jointing used in its construction, the wooden edifice being protected with the brick construction and due to the paintings which are still preserved inside the church,” says His Grace Galaction Stanga, Bishop of Alexandria and Teleorman.

The church with modest dimensions and garmentless shapes, still preserves a genuine trait. In front of it stands a cross of stone dating from 1819.

Photo credit: (c) Luiza ABU-SALEM / AGERPRES STREAM

”Currently, in Teleorman there are ten wooden churches. And, very curious they all lay in the Eastern side of the county. Why so? Not accidentally that part of the county belonged to the former county of Vlasca. There was a county called Vlasca, torn apart into several pieces. These ten wooden churches were brought in particularly from Arges and Dambovita. Not by chance these areas were localities of free peasants. They have had the money to bring them here, too. There are two theories as regards the church’s construction. The historical reality says it has been erected before 1782, we don’t know exactly the year. But, why 1782? Firstly, because, on a religious book dated 1782, there is a note referring to the church, so the church already existed in that period. Secondly….in 1819, this is where the confusion starts, it has been restored and modified. Portions of wall have been added. With portions of wall, it was also painted on those sides. An extremely well done painting and extremely resistant. Then, it degraded and was restored through the National Restoration Programme where the Culture Department of the county played an important role because otherwise it wouldn’t have existed. The 1977 earthquake has very much affected it, followed by the 2005 floods. It was one step of total collapse, but it has been restored, re-introduced within the cult,” the director of the Teleorman Culture and National Heritage Department, Constantin Tintariu, says.

Another worship place which impresses through architecture and grandeur, is the Assumption Church, located in the NW of the county, on the road to Pitesti, in the Balaci commune, a locality with tourist potential.

Of the official records we learn that the erection of this worship place began in 1684, but was only finished in 1825 because of some hard periods through which the Balaceanu family has crossed, the one which actually has been busy with the erection of this edifice.

The church is different from the other constructions of this kind erected in the rural area. Its tower is octagonal and its porch has three arcades. The painting degraded in time, remaining visible just a small part of it.

”The Assumption Church of Balaci is a place of special historical value, yet it is also remarkable through its architecture. It is built in the second part of the 17th century by Constantin Balaceanu, and its architecture is special. Unfortunately, as the time passed by and due to the hardships it endured, the interior painting is not visible anymore but in fragments. Still, even these fragments of painting speak to us about the beauty this worship place has had when it was garnished inside on its entire surface with paintings. The edifice needs refurbishment, but due to the high costs, its reparation is delayed. The roof was only repaired so that the water could not infiltrate inside the building. The Balaci Church is a tourist objective worthy to be searched by the travelers and pilgrims, keen to see special places and holy places in the South of our county,” his Grace Galaction Stanga, Bishop of Alexandria and Teleorman, says. AGERPRES

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