Bârsana is one of the big communes in the region of Maramures, lying on the right bank of the river Iza, 20 km off Sighetul Marmatiei.
According to tradition, the Bârsana monastery stood across the river Iza, in the
Slatina Valley, wherefrom it was moved here, to the right of the river, on the site
that would be later called Podurile Manastirii (The Monastery Bridges). The Bârsana
commune was first documented in 1326, when King Charles Robert I of Anjou acknowledged
and reinstated by a deed in these places prince Stanislau, whereas in another deed
the same prince is called of Bârsan. The toponymic Bârsan comes from the shepherds’
tradition, which used to grow this breed (bârsane) of sheep with long, rough, thick
wool. The descendants of Prince Stan Bârsan still represent the basic families of
the village. A deed dater 21 July 1390 regarding the possessions of the Dragos family
The Bârsana Monastery was built probably around of the 14th century by the Dragos family, on one of their estates. So, the worship place was contemporary with famous monastery at Peri, with that at Biserica Alba, having the same founders and benefactors.
The old monastic settlement, dedicated to St Nicholas, was one the most important
ones in Maramures, considering that, in 1738, it was residence of the last Christian
Orthodox bishop, Gavril Stefanca -
The old monastic settlement of Bârsana also meant a school for the priests of the
villages in the region. It used to supply Romanian religious books, printed and brought
from Moldavia and Walachia -
Six hundred years since the monastery’s first documentation and two hundred years after it ceased to exist, the monastic life returns to Bârsana. In 1993, Bishop Justinian Chira of Maramures and Satmar blessed this place that was loaded with prayers of the ancestors, for a new monastery.
The monastic compound is made of wood, according to the local tradition, built only by Bârsana masters, supervised by architect Dorel Cordos; it consists of the Maramures gate, the belfry, the church (12 x 12,20 . and 57 m high), the summer shrine, the house with cells and chapel (with several floors) and a more recently arranged museum that offers a comprehensive image of the Maramures history, culture and civilization.
The community is now led by the Prioress Filofteia Oltean and counts 11 nuns and 4 sisters.
Every year, on 30 JUNE THE BÂRSANA MONASERY CELEBRATES AND VENERATES THE 12 APOSTLES that are the protectors of this HOLY PLACE. MAY the prayer of our forerunners bring holiness and salvation to the founders of the monastery, to those who live here and to every person that enters this Holy Place dedicated to the ALMIGHTY GOD, THE FATHER, THE SON, AND THE HOLY GHOST. AMEN.