Crasna Hermitage in Gorj County – A Tranquil Retreat with a Rich History
Crasna Hermitage is located in the commune of Crasna, Gorj County, on D.J. 675 Curtisoara – Novaci road, and was founded in 1636 by the great Pitar Dumitru Filisanu.
Its exceptionally tranquil and secluded location has attracted praying monks since the time of Cuviosul Nicodim from Tismana. In the 16th century, there was a small hermitage with a wooden church dedicated to Saint Hierarch Nicholas, where a few monks withdrew from the world, in the Crasna village area.
In 1636, Dumitru Filisanu from Filiasi, a high-ranking official, built new cells and a stone and brick church in Crasna, replacing the wooden one, and introduced communal living in the monastery. The church was completed on September 24, 1637, as indicated by the inscription on the church. The church’s founder and owner of the village, Dumitru Filisanu, was the nephew of the great ban of Craiova, Dobromir, and a cousin of Lady Stanca, the wife of Michael the Brave.
The Byzantine-style church has slightly high walls adorned with a brick frieze under the eaves and arches that seem to rest on a rich colonnade surrounding the church, with a single octagonal turret placed on a square base above the nave. The iconostasis, one of the most beautiful in the country, reaches up to the vault and is made of wood, with ornamental carvings, gilded with gold leaf. The nave and pronaos are similarly spacious, separated by a high wall up to the vault, with an opening like a regular door.
The porch is enclosed with thick walls. It is fully painted (walls and vault). It has two openings for the entrance of the faithful: one in the west, like a regular door, and another at the south entrance, 1.80 m high and 50 cm wide. Light comes into the sanctuary from a window placed in the east, in the nave, from a window on each side of the walls, and in the pronaos from a single window on the south wall. All windows are plain and without metal grilles. The porch has no windows, but is lit through the two entrance openings.
The turret on the nave is octagonal in shape, with eight tall and narrow windows. The flooring is made of planks in the nave, large concrete slabs in the pronaos, and small six-faced carved stones in the porch.