At the foot of Mount Cozia, not far from the waters of Olt, rises the slender silhouette of the monastery of Turnu monks, situated 600 m from the railway station of the same name. At the foot of the Turneanu hill in the Cozia massif, over time, there were many monasteries, chapels dug into the rock, some of which are still preserved today.
The old church that is immediately at the entrance, was built in 1676, on the place of another wooden one, the foundation of the former Bishop of Ramnic, Varlaam, Metropolitan of the Romanian Country, who died in 1702. The church was a copy of the Cozia-Veche monastery, being rebuilt by Gherasim Timus (1894-1911), but the old church was consumed by flames in 1932, escaping from the fire only the house of Gherasim Timus and the chapels in the valley. The whole ensemble was rebuilt in 1933.
This smaller church is dedicated to “The Entrance into the Church of Our Lady”. Around it there are numerous stone-built chapels and two caves where the hermits used to isolate themselves from the world.
The new church, also called the Great Church, was built between 1897-1901, by Gherasim Timus himself, and was dedicated “The Transfiguration”. It has a square shape, with two levels, ground and first floor, on each level there is a church where the service is held separately, by another priest. It has a central dome, with access via the recently built external staircase on the south facade from the nearby lake.
Between 1935 and 1938, two-storey chapels were built and the whole complex was renovated. Until 1939, a school for church singers operated here. The villagers here lead an austere life, not eating meat.
In the vicinity of this old monastic settlement there are still some famous historical vestiges such as the Roman castrum “Arutela”, the stone rock called “Trajan’s Table” and the thermal baths of Bivolari – on the left bank of the Olt.
Thanks Vâlcea Turistica for permission to use the photos and information.