Saint Nicholas Church - Amaradia
Monastery / Church
TThe Parish of St. Nicholas Church - Amaradia, with St. Nicholas and the Transfiguration as patron saints, was named in the past St. Nicholas - Belivaca, after the name of one of the founders.
The name of St. Nicholas - Amaradia was given in 1950, after the name of the street and the neighborhood where the church is located.
The church was established by Hristea Belivaca and Mihail Socolescu in 1794, on the location of an old church.
The consolidation works carried out between 2010-2012 confirmed the fact that the present church stands on the foundations of another older one, having the same layout.
It is highly possible that the previous church was seriously damaged during the March 26 / April 6, 1790 earthquake which might have ruined it. This is the reason why Belivaca and Socolescu had the initiative of restoring it and its nearby cells. Hristea Belivaca was a famous local merchant at the end of the eighteenth century and the beginning of the nineteenth century, who traded cows, leather and cattle suet (1). He was born in Motoci village and was the brother of monk Clement, the abbot of Motru Monastery.
Between 2010-2012, by Father Bonea Florin’s diligence, the entire historical monument has undergone an extensive restoration process, based on a project drawn up by architect Iulian Cămui.
From an architectural point of view, the Belivaca Church keeps unaltered the post-brâncovenian style of the old churches of Oltenia and Wallachia, with a triconic plan, a porch opened on arches and brick columns. It is the first two open towers church in Oltenia.
The original fresco painting dates back in 1794, being of remarkable historical and artistic value. From the artistic point of view, this painting includes, according to the Byzantine representations, the specific features of the post-brâncovean's painting, as well as the local traditions of the Oltenian painting school from the end of the seventeenth and beginning of the eighteenth century, with bright colors, rich floral elements, embossed aureole and gold-plated garments.
It is among the few post-Byzantine paintings that can be found today in the churches - a monument from Craiova and the oldest fresco preserved entirely in a church in this city.
The list with the name of the painters is painted on the wall, at the Prothesis: Marcu and Tudor.
The pargets on the frontispiece, representing the Archangels Saints Michael and Gavriil as protectors of the entrance to the church (the earthly heaven), unique in an Orthodox church from this region, are of Baroque inspiration. Perhaps Belivaca, in his travelling as a merchant and carrier, had also visited the Catholic churches from Banat and Transylvania and wanted such unusual compositions for his establishment in the Traistari slum.
Also important are the two outer nonreligious paintings on the southern facade of the church: an allegorical representation of death and an officer on a horseback. The impossibility of deciphering the original inscriptions and subsequent unfortunate interventions on the painting in which the officer is represented have left room for various theories, being subject to numerous historical documents and continuing to draw the attention of historians. Some scientists considered that the character was Tudor Vladimirescu himself, who was supposed to live for some time near the church, but others believe he is one of the church founders or donors.
From the architectural point of view, St. Nicholas-Amaradia Church preserves the post-brâncovenian style of the old churches of Oltenia and Wallachia, with a triconic plan, a porch opened on arches and brick columns. It is the first two open towers church in Oltenia.