When he needs peace and light, the traveller can direct his steps to the monasteries of Mountainous Banat. Although they do not have the fame of the Moldavian monasteries, you will still feel closer to the sky in these monasteries through the legendary places where they are erected, through the simplicity of life at the beginning of the world and through the reduced size of the buildings.
The road is tiring, but the elderly local Christians say that “God counts our steps to the monastery, forgiving as many sins as many steps we take.” Perhaps, therefore, the settlements in Mountainous Banat were built in the most secluded places, rather difficult to reach, facing rather loneliness than the world.
After Dobrogea, the Banat is chronologically the second region in Romania where the monastic life developed. According to the historical sources, St. Andrew was the first apostle to reach the Black Sea to Christianize the Dacian-Romans, the ancestors of the Romanians. In the cave of Dobrogea, it was easy for the Apostle to preach about the faith in Jesus, because the Dacians always believed in one god, Zamolxe. St. Apostle Andrew, the protector of the Romanians, is celebrated every year on the 30th of November. For his faith, he was beaten and crucified on an X-shaped cross in the city of Patras, Greece.
Then his disciples set out along the Danube all the way to Banat and started spreading Christianity from the first century after Christ.
With the penetration of Christianity into the Pontic Dacia (Dobrogea) through the Holy Apostle Andrew, and then through his disciples in the south of Banat, starting with the 7th century, the hermitage settlements appeared along the Danube, in perfect places for refuge and escape, in the caves from the Danube Gorge, from Dierna to Mudava, and in the Mountainous Banat near Oraviţa. Later, the first hermits spread across the lonely valley of the Cerna and the Semenic Mountains.
Most monks were anonymous. There are only “traces” of the hermit cells: objects with Christian symbols (such as the gold ring with Christian symbols discovered at Herculane Baths) and local traditions reminiscent of the existence of a monastic life in the Mountainous Banats.
“The first monastic settlements documentarily attested in Banat date back to the second half of the 10th century. The oldest of them is the Monastery of St. John the Baptist of Morisenia (today’s Cenad), since 1002, when the hermitage was transformed into a monastery with communion life by Ahtum, the ruler of Banat, by bringing Greek monks from Vidin. “, As PS Lucian, the Bishop of Caransebeș, [Timiş C., 2011] says.
From the very first step inside a Banat monastery, you experience a feeling of reconciliation with everyone, but especially with yourself, which only holy places can offer you. It’s quiet and yet a humming is floating in the air. It is standstill and yet you perceive a movement at every step. It’s different! It’s an inner peace, that you will long for all your life after returning back in the real world. The lighting of a candle at the monastery is equivalent to the restoration of faith, the fulfilment of a dream. The confessions made at the monastery will help you getting rid of the troubles caused by the oppressive weight of worldly worries.
The Banat inhabitants were born Christians. In the churches and monasteries of Mountainous Banat, most of inhabitants from Banat come in and out all the time. It is a continuous movement; the believers light candles for the remembrance of the dead and the health of the living, and kneel in a calm atmosphere, loaded with incense favour, before the miraculous icons, where they find their comfort.
If gentleness should bear a face and exist in a body, it would certainly be those of a monk from the hermitage monasteries.
In order not to miss such an encounter, it is important to note the agility of the mind behind the words full of kindness and the gentle look looking straight to your eyes.
Retiring from the world, the monk remains in spiritual communion with the world for which he is continually praying. Meditate deeply on the answers you will receive on the questions about human existence:
When is the end of the world coming?
When there will be no path between man and his fellow man?
What is heaven?
A sea of forgiveness and a mountain of prayer.
What are the judgments of God?
Man cannot understand them because he did not know immortality.
The Hermitage of “St. Elijah” from Semenic
Saint patron: St. Elijah (20th of July)
Year of foundation: 1946
Prior: Nica Porphyria
Cenobitic life: two monks
Accommodation: 15 people
“St. Elijah” Hermitage on Little Mountain
Saint patron: July 20th and September 14th
Year of foundation: 1940
Prior: Pantelimon Timiș
Cenobitic life: a monk
Accommodation: 5 people
The “Nativity of St. John the Baptist” Hermitage at the Apple’s Glade
Saint patron: Nativity of St. John the Baptist (June 24th)
Year of foundation: 1999
Prior: The Nun Olimpiada Tiliuţă
Cenobitic life: nuns (3 nuns)
Accommodation: 2 persons
The Serbian Orthodox Monastery – “Saint Sava” at Baziaş
Saint patron: Saint Sava (January 27th)
Year of foundation: 1225
Prior: Damaschin Radoicici
Cenobitic life: a monk
Accommodation: The Baziaş Serbian Culture Center
“Saint Mary of the Rock” Roman – Catholic monastery from Ciclova Montană
Saint patron: July 2nd
Year of foundation: 1727
Pilgrimage: July 2nd on the monastery’s saint patron day (Kirchwei);
August 15th, St. Mary (Sf. Marie Mare), and September 8th St. Mary (Sf. Marie Mică)
By knowing the mystery of existence in faith, the verb which guides us in life will no longer be “to have,” but “to be” in the sense of becoming. Having is transient, while being is eternal.
The silence of the soul, as it is called by the hermits, is the mother of prayer and of good deeds. “Ishihia in Greek, or hermitage in Romanian, is a gift with what God has harmoniously endowed the entire creation, from angels and men to the birds of the sky and the flowers of the field. It is meant harmony through silence, a reconciliation of man with his heart, with his conscience, with his fellow men. It is also exterior, natural and interior, without which man cannot grow normally, cannot develop, and cannot achieve anything useful in life. No one can pray to God with the mind and heart disturbed by worries, thoughts, and passions. The outer silence is the fruitful earth, the starry sky, the shepherd surrounded by the herd, the peasant bound to the earth, the mother with the baby at her breast. Inner silence is the mother of health, a quiet of the heart by faith and wisdom.” [Balan I., 1982].
There are three steps necessary for a tourist to achieve the desired tranquillity. At the first stage of peace arrive all those who live as much as possible in the middle of nature. That’s why almost all the monasteries in the Mountainous Banat are situated in retreated places, where the whispers of the prayers of those who visit them mingle with the rustle of the forests, the murmur of the valleys and the songs of birds.
The second level of tranquillity can be reached if, once you have reached the monastery, you will seek joy in simple things. Admire the vivid colours and the artistic perfection of the frescoes inside the churches of the monasteries that seem to come to life through their biblical scenes in which the life of the Saviour appears on earth and continue with the Christian’ s confession until the Judgment Day and the Heaven’s Stairs.
The third stage of tranquillity is reached only by the Christians who, once they have reached a monastery, they spend there several days, and on the “path of faith” they are longing for God, pray without thinking, master their imagination and senses, and acquire the gift of tears of joy and love for all fellow alike.
At the monastery, those faithful are called to service and prayer with bells or with the vesper. The vesper bell is a long plank that is hit with two wooden hammers. There is the belief that the chopping board is the board of Noah’s ark from the flood. The flood is an overflow of rivers across the shore. Today, the Christians in Banat are called by the vesper bell for prayer in front of the “flood” of temptations that pours on us every day.
The protector of Banat is St. Joseph the New of Partos, who is celebrated every year on September 15th. St. Joseph the New of Partos is a Romanian saint and bearer of God , who was born in 1568 in the town of Raguza, from Dalmatia, on the Adriatic Sea, from a family of Wallachian Christians, the parents being Ioan and Ecaterina. His baptism name was Jacob. Being an orphan since childhood, his mother gave him a good education, and at the age of 12 he was sent to Ohrida for studying. When he was 15 years old he entered the The Mother of God Monastery from Ohrida, and at the age of 21 he arrives to Mount Athos, to the Pantocrator Monastery, where he is ordained as a monk under the monastic name of Joseph. For the sanctity of his life, he is bestowed by God with the gift of wondrous works, healing many diseases, and he is named as a confessor of all the monks of Mount Athos. At decrepitude age (over 80 years), in 1650, he was called by the Romanians from Banat and sent by Constantinople to Timișoara, where he was seated as Metropolitan of Banat. He had led the Christians in Banat for three years, being known as a saint, bestowed by God with the gift of prophecy and miracles.
Two of the miracles are depicted in images: The extinction of the fire that plagued Timișoara through prayer and the healing of the 11 crippled and sick in the Partos Monastery. In 1653, Joseph retired to Partos Monastery, 40 km from Timișoara, where he lived until 1656 when, at the age of 85, he ascended to eternal life.
Another saint who is celebrated with great holiness in Banat is St. Elijah the Prophet, on July 20th, every year.
The mountain lovers can visit on Mount Semenic and Little Mountain the two hermitages that bear the name of the stain patron Saint Prophet of Elijah the Tishbite.
The “St. Elijah” Hermitage on Semenic is situated on the mountain hermitage, having a Maramureș-style wooden church. The church, in the shape of a vessel with altar, nave and narthex, is 11.90 m long and 5.40 m wide. The tower of the church is placed on a metal skeleton to withstand the strong winds and frequent blizzards at the top of the mountain and reaches a height of 20 m. After reaching the summit of Semenic, at 1443 m, visitors can admire the natural beauty of the place, as far as the Timiș Plain, the Cerna Valley and the Danube Cauldrons. The surroundings of the hermitage delight the man’s eye, especially in winter, when it is possible to ski on the nearby slopes or slide with a sleigh that “is running, running, running and nobody can catch it”. When you have a moment’s rest, get into the sketch for a retreat and be close to God.
Here you will see the most beautiful icon of Saint Prophet Elijah the Tishbite, made on a board, about which nobody can speak nicer than the prior Father Profirie Nica. The Prior resurrected the monastic life of the hermitage after 1989, which ceased in 1949, with the establishment of the communist regime. The iconostasis is made of oak wood, with sculpted royal doors and icons of the painted holy apostles.
The tradition of this place is that every year, on July 20th, on the St. Elijah’s holiday, a pilgrimage is organized to the ” Eagle’s Bath”, the lake near the Piatra Nedeii peak, the smallest of the three peaks of Semenic: Gozna (1447 m) , Semenic (1446 m) and Nedeia (1437 m).
Here, the water flows from the mountain, forming the Eagle’s Bath, a small crystalline lake with clean and cold water, always at 6 0 C in summer or winter, and with healing powers for carnal passions. The believers in the area have inherited the habit of bathing seven times in this water, so that they can become healthier and stronger, and thus the women’s “mistakes” shall go down the drain.
Sântilie also marks the core of the pastoral summer, which begins on Saint George’s Day (April 23rd) when the sheep ascend to the mountains and ends at Sânedru’s Day (October 26th ).
In the past, in Semenic, on the Nedeia Peak, the “nedeia” feast of the shepherds was organized and the fair of agricultural and pastoral products of the locals who came to the mountain. Hence the name of Nedeia’s Stone. On the nedeia day, the shepherds could descend to the village for the first time after the sheep were ascended to the sheepfold, to meet their wives, to give them wooden stalks for spinning or sheep curd, made or realized by them. After the fair, parties with musicians were held or dances were thrown on the mountain.
The Prior will also show you the icon of the Virgin, Mother of God, baptised with the sweet name of “Semenica”, the only icon escaped from the fire that swept up the whole old hermitage from 1780, erected near the Eagle’s Bath. Forgotten until the Second World War on the crucifix near the bath, the icon appeared in a local villager’s dream asking to be placed on the top of Semenic Mountain. This event caused the believers in Reşiţa and from the nearby villages to build the hermitage between 1945 and 1946. The church was consecrated on August 6th 1946, by Bishop Veniamin Nistor of Caransebeș, but after only three years after the sanctification the monastic life ceased until the year of 1989.
After 10 years of renovation, on July 20th 1999, a blessing service was held by the service of IPS Laurenţiu Streza, the bishop of Caransebeș at that time.
Father Profirie speaks slowly and with great emotion about the icon. It continues to give signs today, sometimes enlivening the features of her face, sometimes of joy, sometimes of sorrow, according to the mistakes and deeds of men entering the hermitage. In 2000, a Swedish man came to the hermitage, who was married with a Romanian. He was a convinced atheist, as he declared. The family had a beautiful little girl, but she could not speak or hear. At the request of her mother, they entered the hermitage. It was the day of the Holy Mass. The little girl approached the icon, and began to speak with the Mother of God. She heard and talked as if she had not had any illness in her life. The wonder did not stop here. After three days of staying in the hermitage cells, the father of the girl was baptized Orthodox and then married religiously his wife, living for the rest of his life as a true Christian.
While you are talking with the Prior of the hermitage, enjoy the sight of the meadow in every season. In winter, the white ridges of the Tarcu and Godeanu Mountains; in spring, the first gentle rays of the sun and the first song of the cuckoo; in summer, the huge carpet of flowers among which, like an angel, rises “The Flower of Semenic”; in autumn, the cloud of mist above the forests in a charming green, yellow, and golden colours. Every moment is unique, as a liturgy or a prayer
The “St. Elijah” Hermitage from the Little Mountain is built at 1620 m of altitude on Little Mountain, on the edge of a fir forest. The construction of the hermitage is closely related to the founding of the climatic resort Little Mountain in 1936 and the raising of the Banat Heroes Monument or the White Cross on “Cleanţul Găina” (1670 m altitude) on Little Mountain in the same year.
The hermitage’s church with the patron of “St. Prophet Elijah” was built between 1939 and 1940 and was sanctified on the 1st of May 1940 by the Bishop of Caransebeș, Vasile Lazarescu. It is made of wooden beams on a stone foundation and a 1.5 m pedestal, being 9.20 m long and 6.60 m wide. It is a vessel-type church with narthex, nave and altar and with a very high tower, 20 m, similar to the wooden churches of Maramureş and the Apuseni Mountains, in order to ease snow fall during the winter. The nave, as well as the tower, is covered with shingles.
If the Semenic hermitage was built by the inhabitants from Resita with the help of UDR, the hermitage on Little Mountain was erected by the inhabitants of Timisoara with the help of the Timișoara Electric Power Plant.
After admiring the view and the beautiful natural surroundings around the porch and the lateral prisms of the hermitage, go into the church and look at the painting realised by Elvira Dăscălescu in “wax oil” mural technique, helped by her husband Andrei Dăscălescu, having the following biblical scenes: The Resurrection of the Saviour, The Sermon on the Mount, The Resurrection of Lazarus, Jacob’s Fountain and the Apostolic Communion. The iconostasis is carved in oak wood by the sculptor Ştefan Gajo from Timişoara, who also executed the iconostasis of the Metropolitan Cathedral in Timişoara. The paintings on the iconostasis are the work of the painter Simion Băcala.
Each year, on July 20th and September 14th, the “St. Elijah” Hermitage and the White Cross on Little Mountain are places of pilgrimage for the faithful in the Caransebeș and Timișoara areas. The road starts from Caransebeș, passes through the towns of Zerveşti, Turnu Ruieni and Borlova, to the Chairlift. From here, you climb abruptly to the mountain and after 12 km you reach the hermitage where you can find rest and your work is rewarded plentifully by all that the greatness of nature and deity can offer you.
The Hermitage and the White Cross on Little Mountain have had a common history since their construction until today. After 1949 and until 1991 there were no monks or nuns in the hermitage, and the fir wood cross rotted a little every passing day. It is remembered that there are two such memorable crosses in the Carpathians of Romania: the one from the Caraiman Mountain, built between 1926-1928, at the initiative of the Queen Maria, in the memory of the First World War heroes (33 m high) and the one on Little Mountain, built in the memory of the border guards heroes of Banat (25 m high), between 1939-1940. The old cross on Little Mountain was built from 8 fir stems, chosen from the nearby forest and drawn on the “rock” with the help of 10 pairs of horses.
The new metal cross on Little Mountain, built between 2002-2004 with the support and blessing of the Metropolitan Bishop of Banat, Nicolae Corneanu, is bigger and better lit so that it can be seen from Timișoara in good weather, especially from the dome under the Metropolitan Cathedral’s cross. P.S. Lucian, the Bishop of Caransebeș, has been organizing the “Pilgrimage to the Cross on the Little Mountain, within the Feast of the Sacred Cross (September 14th) since 2006, which became more and more known not only to the Banat believers, but also among those who practice religious tourism. From the metal cross, Little Mountain is even more generous in sceneries, stretching across the Timiș Valley and the Bistrita Valley.
Looking at the icon of Saint Prophet Elijah the Tishbite, you will see how the saint, holding the whip in his hand is ascending to heaven in a fire carriage pulled by white, winged horses.
Because St. Elijah did not die but was taken to heaven, there are many traditions and customs related to this great prophet in the folk belief in Banat.
When there are thunders and lightning, it is said that the Saint is following and striking the devil. Then Christians have to make the sign of the cross to escape the evil and not to be hit by the lightning. It is said that the thunder is the horse hooves or the rumbling of St. Elijah’s carriage, which is travelling through the sky, and the lightning represents the sparks coming out of the stone hit by the horseshoes or the fire whip, with which he urges his horses. He is the most celebrated Saint in the Banat.
The hermitage of Apple’s Glade is one of the new monastic settlements erected after 1989. The foundation stone of the church was put in 1999 by the Metropolitan Bishop of Caransebeș, Laurențiu Streza. The church is built in the Byzantine style, “cross” type, is 20 m long, 8 m wide and 15 m tall. It is a hermitage dedicated to the Birth of Saint John the Baptist, the Christian feast, during which on June 24th 2008, the church was consecrated by Father Lucian, the Bishop of Caransebeș at that time. Since then, every year, on Midsummer feast (June 24th), they bring the icon of the Miraculous Virgin Mary from Maru to the hermitage, with a unique, prevailing green colour.
As the painter Corneliu Baba says, the man who has made the “moving” icons in the area, which seem to be watching you from wherever you look, the icon of the Virgin Mary from Măru was painted on Mount Athos, and dates back to 1520. This icon, which is considered to have divine powers by the faithful in the area, has its own legend. It is said that, during the years of the Turkish rule, the son of an Oltenian ( a man of Oltenia) killed a Turk to defend the honour of a girl whom he had chosen as his bride. Being forced to leave the village, he received from his mother the icon “The Mother of God with the Child Jesus” to protect him on the road of exile. Passing the mountains to Banat and following the thread of the river Bistra, he reached the village of Măru, where the inhabitants received him well. At Măru he married and settled down, taking the name of Bistrian (from the name of the river Bistra) and he gave his icon to the village church. When the village church burned down in the eighteenth century, the wondrous icon remained intact, and when it was taken by the Serbian Bishop Sakabent to the Vrsec Episcopate, the horses stopped at the border of the village and did not want to advance, until the icon was not returned to its place in Măru church.
Many times, the icon showed its divine grace to the Christians from the Bistra Valley, being a symbol of the utmost faith of the Banat people.
Situated in a fairytale natural setting, the entire monastic settlement is a “spiritual oasis” for all visitors to the Apple’s Glade climatic resort, taking with you a “hand-made” souvenir created by the nuns in the embroidery and tailoring workshops.
In the silence of the Apple’s Glade Hermitage, the natural environment and the clean air from the horseshoe shaped amphitheatre of the resort, with the fireplace around the hermitage and the opening to the accumulation lake offer the pilgrim and the tourist moments of spiritual exaltation and bodily health.
The Mountainous Banat is not only a multiethnic space but also one in which each ethnicity can manifest its own faith, its own religion. Therefore, where there is an Orthodox church, there is also a Roman Catholic one nearby. If, with the sinking of Ada-Kaleh you will no longer be able to see a mosque in Banat, you can look at the specific architecture of a Jewish synagogue in Caransebeș. Special places have also the Serbian Orthodox churches and monasteries from the shore of the Danube.
The “St. Sava” Monastery in Baziaş is an imperishable source of faith on the Danube Gorge, being situated on the left bank of the river ever since 1225, at the place where the waters of the Danube touch the Romanian soil for the first time. The Serbian monasteries Baziaş, Zlatiţa and Cusici are as old as the Mraconia monastery at Ogradena, near the Cauldrons, or Călugăra, near Oraviţa. Tradition links the monastery at Baziaș to Saint Sava Nemanici, the first archbishop of the Serbs (1219). The legend says that St. Sava stopped here because of a strong storm, unleashed by the Coşava wind. In that gloomy weather, unable to advance, Saint Sava addressed the wind in two words: Bas-ziaş, which in Serbian means “you are really yelling” and since then the name of the monastery and place remained Baziaş.
“Being placed at the border of empires, the monastery had been destroyed several times during the struggles, but after each destruction, the monks and the Christians, out of love for God, had always joined their efforts and rebuilt it.” [ Lupulovici V., 1998]
It can be said that, like the legendary bird of Phoenix, the monastery was reborn from its own ashes, protecting the flame of the Orthodox faith along the centuries in front of the Turkish incursions, of the Catholic “pressure” during the Hungarian and then Austrian rule, the bombings during the two world wars and the “atheism” of the Communists.
Nowadays, on January 27th, the monastery is a pilgrimage site for the Serbian Orthodox believers on both sides of the Danube, with the occasion of the feast of St. Sava, and of the old-style celebration of “Our Lord’s Transfiguration”. With this occasion they are drinking water from the healing spring “Saint Sava” and organize holy liturgies and prayers at “Troyruciţa“, an icon representing the Mother of God with three hands. The icon was brought from the Mount Athos to Baziaș in the second half of the eighteenth century.
According to the legend the theme of the icon originates in the 8th century, when St. John from Damasc began to write texts against iconoclasts, and as a consequence his hand was cut off. Then he went to the icon of the Mother of God and prayed for his injustice to be reversed, falling into a deep sleep. After waking up, he realized that his hand had been given back to him, and full of gratitude, he made a silver hand, which he attached to the wondrous icon. During the year, the icon from Baziaș Monastery is being kept at the Serbian Orthodox Vicarage from Timișoara.
The Roman Catholic Monastery “Saint Mary of the Cliff” from Ciclova Montană is an ancient Christian worship place in Mountainous Banat, situated on the Cliff of Ciclova. The Christian monks and hermits were forced to withdraw from the path of the invaders or from the persecution of the wars from the Danube Gorge to the Mountainous Banats. This is how the hermits of Ogradena, near the Danube Cauldrons, settled in the cave on the “cliff” between Ciclova Română and Ciclova Montană, praying for the Christians from the surrounding villages. Later, after 1700, when the first German colonists came, including the Windberger and Lang families, the icon of the Virgin Mary with the infant in her arms was found in the cave, being brought here by the hermits withdrawn from the path of the Turks.
The road from the icon to the monastery on the hill was a road of love through mercy. To protect the icon, a wooden chapel was built on the rock above the cave. The chapel was sanctified on the 2nd of July 1727 by the Roman Catholic Bishop Ladislau Nadasdy of Morisena (Cenad), and on December 31st 1735, Bishop Falkenstein of Cenad approved for Kutzman the right to use the hermitage from the cliff. When the first Turkish-Austrian war broke out in 1737, the German colonists fled and the chapel together with the icon remained solely in the monk’s care.
He hid the icon again in the cave, before the fall of the city. As by a miracle, the chapel is spared by the fire of the war that sprouted everything around. There were more and more pilgrims coming from the surrounding settlements, but also from a larger distance, from the Crasoveans villages. This is how the idea of building a new church was born, planned to be built down in the valley, not on the rock. According to the legend the construction plan had been continuously thwarted because, whenever the icon was removed from the chapel, it always returned miraculously to the old place. Thus, the founders of the monastery took the decision to build the new church on the “Cliff”’ slab, where the chapel was situated. The new church was sanctified in 1811.
Even after the first years of its erection, in 1817, the monastery on the Ciclova’s Cliff was visited by Emperor Francis the First of Austria and his wife, Augusta Carolina.
The icon of the Saint Virgin Mary has become over the years the symbol and the protector of the monastery built at Ciclova Montană. In 1854, a wonderful miracle took place at the monastery. Elisabeth, the daughter of the churchwarden Karol Windberger, fell from a rock, being seriously injured. Distraught, her mother prayed at the icon of the Holy Virgin Mary, and the girl got stronger again miraculously. Thankfully, the family donated an icon inspired by that event. In 1899, the renowned church painter Rebernig donated a large painting, entitled “St. Peter’s Fishing”. Then, in 1910, the well-known architect Johannes Biebel placed near the church a white marble statue representing the image of an angel.
Today, on the Calvary Hill, thousands of Catholic and Orthodox pilgrims are coming to the “Saint Mary of the Cliff” to celebrate the church’s patron, the Kirchwei, on July 2nd. The feast cannot be imagined without the inhabitants from Carașova, who have been doing this well-established route on foot for centuries. The services begin as early as the first of July, when the confessions take place, and the Holy Liturgy is celebrated on early morning of July 2nd. The same day, around noon, the returning home begins.
At the “Saint Mary of the Cliff” Monastery from Ciclova Montană, there are two other pilgrimages of the Serbian, Pem and Romanian believers from the Danube Gorge, but also from other parts of Banat, held at the two great Christian feasts: Assumption of the Virgin on 15th of August, and the Birth of the Mother of God on September 8th.
From the Roman Catholic Monastery from the Ciclova Cliff you can reach the Romanian Orthodox Monastery of Călugăra, under the Rolul Cliff nearby.
Each church in Mountainous Banat has a very unique element distinguishing it from other churches and it is worth visiting.
On the Bistra Valley you can see the church of Glimboca called “Banat’s Voroneţ “, with renowned mosaic paintings, similar to the Monastery Voroneţ in Moldavia. The paintings of the church delight everyone’s eyes due to their special blue chromatic.
In the centre of Caransebeș you will see the only place in the world where the Episcopal Cathedral is united through an “arcade” with the Roman Catholic Church of the city.
Also in Caransebeș, you should visit the Jewish Synagogue, built between 1893 and 1894, in a neo-gothic style. It is one of the most distinctive and original buildings from the Mountainous Banat. Among the special architectural elements, you can see the two thin towers with David’s Star on the top. Moreover, the Mosaic worship place is constructed in a style that suggests the viewer the feeling of fine art combined with great taste. Today, the synagogue sometimes hosts top-level organ concerts.
At Orșova you can see the most modern and beautiful Roman Catholic Church from Romania, being the first church raised during communism. The church is dedicated to the “Immaculate Conception” and was built between 1972 and 1976 during the time of the Catholic priest Johann Marcovity, following an idea of the sculptor Peter Jecsa, architecturally transposed by Hans Fackelman and with engineering executions performed by Mr. Gioncu. At first glance, it will surprise you with its tent –like exterior shape and cross-shaped roof, unique in Europe and considered a wonderful masterpiece of the twentieth century. Entering the church, the astonishment will be even greater through the non-conformism of the paintings on the “Road of the Cross” created by Gabriel Popa. The painting will awaken your pros and cons regarding the modern illustrating way of the painter chose to represent the biblical scenes and the contemporary figures. Thus, for example, near Pontus Pilatus Lenin appears also, instigating people against Jesus. The well-known Beatles component, John Lennon, symbolizes the joy of resurrecting the Saviour. You can see in the stylized icons the famous gymnast Nadia Comăneci and the well known Romanian actor, Florin Piersic. The Church is today a “cultural bridge” connecting all the ethnic groups living in Orșova: Germans, Hungarians, Czechs and Romanians. The religious service is held in all four languages: German, Czech, Hungarian, and Romanian, and delights by the godly music performed by believers and accompanied by both the electronic organ and the old mechanical organ of the church. It is the church Pope Paul the Second sought when he visited Romania in 1999.