The Horezu Monastery was built between 1690 and 1697 and has preserved to this day most of its original murals. The history of the site (included in the UNESCO heritage) is closely tied to the life of the Romanian prince Constantin Brancoveanu, the founder of Horezu Monastery.
After a 26-year reign, during which he revitalized the country’s cultural life and developed a unique architectural style, with elements inspired by the local architecture and ornaments, he was taken prisoner by the Ottoman Empire and accused of treason. His imprisonment occurred in 1714, as a consequence of the fact that he was taking advantage of Russian and Ottoman alliances at the same time. He was discovered and deposed from his throne by Sultan Ahmed III. Then brought under arrest to Constantinople.
He was thrown into a dungeon within the fortress of Yedikule (the Seven Towers). There he was tortured by the Ottomans, who hoped to locate the famous fortune he had supposedly amassed. The prince rejected the Porte’s false accusations, refused to acknowledge any wrongdoing and was executed, together with his four sons.
Today, his portrait watches over the entrance to Horezu Monastery. Not to mention that the priests invoke in their prayers the name of this great man, whose act of defiance made him one of the martyrs of Christendom. Through his death, Constantin Brâncoveanu became the hero of many Romanian folk ballads. He was also depicted on some of Romania’s official coinage. According to the Romanian Orthodox Church, the reason for his and his sons’ execution was their refusal to give up their Christian faith and convert to Islam. In 1992 the Church declared him and his sons saints and martyrs. Their feast day is August 16.
Constantin Brâncoveanu became a legend figure in the conscience of the Romanian people; Constantin Brâncoveanu’s bones are worshiped as relics. On Saturday, Octomber 11, 2014, the reliquary with a part of his bones has been brought into the monastery of Horezu. I took all these photos on that special day.
“The content of the Brancoveanu’s model was related to time, as it happens, with all models, but it survived through the most noble of any model, artistic forms, and outlined a style. What keeps this style deep in Romanian consciousness is undoubtedly the sacrifice the great Prince who gave permanence of his work”. Alexander Dutu.