Saint patron day: Saints Michael and Gabriel (November 8th) and the Holy Trinity
Year of foundation: 1453
Mother Superior: Theodore Angheluta
Cenobitic life: Nunnery
Accommodation: guesthouses from the Cauldrons
Born and killed several times, the “underwater monastery” found its “place under the heaven of God” at the Small Cauldrons of the Danube under the vigil look of the statue of Decebalus and under the protection of Emperor Trajan, through Tabula Traiana.
The Mraconia Monastery is the “underwater monastery” that found its “place under God’s heaven” 12 km from Orşova, in the Small Cauldrons of the Danube.
“Born and murdered several times, the monastery appears today, beyond death, as a certainty of faith, a hope of Resurrection and the foundation of love,” as Mother Abbot Theodora Angheluta says.
Mrăcunei Valley is next to the Veterani Cave from the Great Cauldrons, one of the shelters where hermits laboured from the beginning of the second millennium. Here, in the dark valley (the word Slavic “mractia” means “hidden, dark place”) there was a small wooden church where the hermits used to gather for prayer. After the battles of Kossovo (1389) and Vidin (1393), when the Turks occupied Serbia and Bulgaria, several monks withdrew to the valley of the river Mracunia and built a stone church instead of the wooden one and turned the small hermitage into a monastery with a cenobitic life.
Being attested documentarily since 1453, the Mraconia Monastery has witnessed all the storms of history, beginning with the plundering of the invaders, the payment of gifts, the foreign destruction, and finally the swallowing of water. The original monastery was “rebuilt” from its foundation in 1523 by the Ban / ruler of Severin Nicolae Gârlişteanu, considered the founder of the church. It received the patron of the “St. Prophet Elijah”. Being situated in the path of the Turks, the monastery was destroyed in the 1788-1792 war between the Austrians and the Turks. It is not known how far it has come with the reconstruction of the monastery of Old Ogradena since 1931, effectuated by the care of the monk Alex Udrea, but it is known that its walls have sunk in the waters of the Danube after the construction of the Iron Gates in 1968.
The new church of the Mraconia Monastery was built between 1993-2000, on the left bank of the Danube, in the place called “La Balon” – a point of observation and guidance of the boats to the Cauldrons, where, because the narrowing of the river, two vessels could not pass simultaneously next to each other. The church has a “cross” shape with a narthex, nave and altar. The holy place has a porch open towards the Danube, and the buttress to the steep slopes of Almăj Mountains. Seeing it from the water, you will feel as if you were standing in front of a monastery on Mount Athos, built on a cliff and a stone foundation that stops the Danube waves without moving anything from its cornerstone. The Mraconia Monastery has been a nunnery since 2008, with two patronages: “The Archangels Michael and Gabriel” and “The Holy Trinity”. The prayers at the Mraconia Monastery bring you good luck all year long, thanks to the “four-leaf clover”, under which you can see the ruins of the old worship shelter, when the Danube decreases.