2/50.- Surdesti, the tallest wooden church in the world


We start our daily tour of historical Maramures by visiting the village of Surdesti, where on a hill by a stream in the middle of a fruit tree orchard stands the tallest wooden church in the world. Its tower measures 54 meters, the total height from the ground is 72 meters. The reason for a high tower of a church is symbolic for the belief that prayers could reach up easily Heaven. The church dates from 1721, after the last massive invasion of Tartars that ravaged the country and it is made entirely of wood (oak) that is no iron nails were used in its construction. In all Maramures villages churches are built on a hill in the centre of the village, so its size would appear greater and impress the faithful.

The church consists of a porch, a main room, and a tower or steeple. Wooden columns connected by arches support the porch. The entrance to the church, always located in the west, opens into a large hall leading to the main room. In this room, the altar is found farthest east, as in every other church.

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