Object of the Country


St. Nicholas Church in Densus (Romania)


St. Nicholas Church it is located in the village of DensuČ™, Hunedoara County, Romania. It was built in the XIIIth century with additions made in the XVth and
XVIIth centuries. The construction is considered the oldest church still standing
in Romania and South East Europe, and was recently restored, both architecture and mural paintings. The masonry is made of mixed materials like stone, bricks and
marble taken from the Dacian Sarmizegetusa fortress.

It has an apse and a stone tower above the naos. Inside the church there are 15th century (1443) mural paintings made by painter Stefan. The painting decorating the church of St. Nicholas in Densus was made using the affresco technique. The plaster that binds the stone blocks is made out of lime paste and sand with different grain sizes. The plaster on which the painting is executed in affresco technique is often composed of two layers: arriccio and intonaco but at Densus there is a simplification of the process described above – it was applied a single plaster layer with a dual purpose. The intonaco was made of lime plaster and chaff.

The pigments are the ones used in wall paintings in the XVth century: white lime, charcoal black, yellow and red ochre, green earth, cinnabar red, azurite blue. The technique of the paintings and their constituent materials are specific for the wall paintings of the fifteenth century in Transylvania. It can be stated that the technical execution of these murals have conditioned their good state of preservation and strength for over half a millennium.

  click images to enlarge
St. Nicholas Church, detail
St. Nicholas Church, mural paintings
St. Nicholas Church St. Nicholas Church, mural painting
St. Nicholas Church, exterior mural paintings St. Nicholas Church