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The Buluc Monastery was founded in the second half of the 17th century, when a famous landowner of those times in Odobesti, named Ioan Caragea built in a grove today’s church of the monastery, a wooden construction dedicated to The Pentecost and The Holy Trinity.

Photo credit (c) Traian NEGULESCU / AGERPRES

At its consecration on March 8, 1679, the church received as donations several plots of land and forests from the landowners in the surroundings, and it turned into a hermitage where subsequently, its founder himself took vows, becoming hieromonk Isaia. He became then the abbot of this place of worship. The fact is mentioned in the documents discovered by historian C. C. Giurescu in the “Collection of the Pamfilesti” in Odobesti.

The donations have also continued over the 18th and 19th centuries. An authentic document dated May 2, 1744 reads that Athanasie the monk gave the church a plot of land when he became a monk.

A monastic settlement safe from the very beginning from the invaders’ eyes and anger, the Buluc hermitage was defended by the secular dangers of those times.

Over 1922-1928, the monks constructed a new church, next to the old one, dedicated to The Transfiguration of Jesus. Made up of bricks and much bigger compared to the first one, this was partially destroyed by the powerful earthquake occurred on Nov. 10, 1940, but the legionary leadership at that time ordered its full demolition.

Disbanded by Decree 410/1959 and removed from the List of Historic Monuments, the hermitage hardly came through the communist period thanks to the missionary activity of priests in the Varsatura village. Its official closing by the then-authorities, between 1959 and 1989, did not prevent the Christians from visiting the hermitage each and every single year. On the contrary, the pilgrimages to Buluc became a mass phenomenon after 1959. On The Transfiguration of Jesus feast, large groups of believers from all the surrounding towns used to climb the century-beaten roads till the little wooden church to attend the church service held by the priest of the Varsatura parish.

Reopened after 1989, the settlement, elevated to the status of a monastery, continues to be the spiritual refuge of the believers in the area of Jaristea. Over the past four years, a steeple and a big house for cells, home to nuns and charity sisters were constructed.

At the proposal of the Vrancea County Department for Culture, the Buluc monastery regained its status of tourist attraction included on the list of monuments of the national heritage, on Nov. 11, 2014, under the signature of the prime minister.

The interior walls of the church are not painted with images of saints, but painted in a simple colour, blue, being adorned with over one hundred iconographic representations, such as the icon with double face, one representing St. Mina and St. Charalambos, the other one the Mother of God ”Hadighitria”, painted in oil on wood in 1831.

“The Buluc monastery is visited by many believers for both its religious significance, and the noise and pollution-free natural environment,” abbess Justiniana Talaban told AGERPRES. The place of worship is very well maintained by the nuns who found here their peace of mind, living in communion with nature and divinity.

Summer is the best time to visit the monastery, when the flowers in the courtyard form a multicolored carpet and the forest smells like heaven. The pilgrim finds the peace and calm one rarely “hears” nowadays, but also the humility of the local residents, and the modesty of those who come from other parts of the country and even beyond the country’s borders. The cells are true oases of coolness in the hot days of summer and in the winter, the fire of the wood burned in stoves spreads a unique fragrance, heat and mystery.

To arrive to the Buluc monastery in Focsani, one travels to Odobesti for 16 km, then from the city centre there is a 4 km-long road leading to the Jaristea commune, and another 4 km till the end of the journey.AGERPRES

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