Travel Memories Travel

Comana Monastery, near Bucharest

Comana Monastery is only an hour away from Bucharest (or up to two if is heavy traffic). The monastery has an English website, if you fancy a read: manastireacomana.

I’m sure you’ve never heard of Comana Monastery before. Also, I’m sure most of you know its founder very well: Vlad the Impaler or, Vlas Tepes in Romanian, or… Dracula in fiction. Vlad the Impaler was the voivode (ruler) of Wallachia (part of modern day Romania). He founded this monastery in 1461 and it was also a fortress. As you can see in the pictures, the walls are very high, a stream that runs nearby made it easier to defend.
Initially built in the middle of a swamp, it was very easy to protect. The entrance was made through a wooden bridge that could be burned if necessary.

 Comana Monastery, Bucharest. Entrance

Archaeological excavations showed that in the 15th century it was a church, the footprint of the buildings is around 40 feet by 32 feet (12 m x 10 m). Vlad the Impaler was killed in 1477, in a battle near the monastery. Thus it is believed that his remains were discovered in excavations in the 70s. It is known that he was buried at Comana Monastery.

Radu Serban, another voivode of Wallachia, added three new wings to the monastery in 1588, making an enclosed garden. Now the monastery was impressive in size. It was 200 feet by 176 feet (61 m x 55 m) wide, with five towers for defense. The walls have embrasures on them for shooting arrows and cannons.

Serban Cantacuzino, his great-grandson and voivode of Wallachia, expended the monastery between 1699 and 1702. Later additions were made in the 19th century by Greek monks. In 1863 the monasteries’ wealth was secularized, and the Greek monks left Comana Monastery into disrepair. After over 100 years, in 1970-1971, archeological digging took place at Comana, followed by restoration. It was affected by the earthquakes from 1977 and 1986 and repaired again from 1988 to 1990. After that it was repainted.
Comana Monastery was visited by the late King Michael of Romania in 1998.

 Comana Monastery

 Comana Monastery garden

 Comana Monastery steps to cellar

Comana Monastery cellar

Comana Monastery tower

Comana Monastery building

Comana Monastery picnic area

Bunnies at Comana Monastery

They have few bunnies and some picnic tables. It is a lovely place to visit.

Picnic area

Comana Monastery entrance

Road towards the woods

The road to the Natural Park Comana. From the monastery you can go to the small village of Comana and from there to the park. It’s only a few minutes by car.

Woods

In the Natural Park there are picnic tables and you can sit in the woods too. There are cycling paths.

broken bridge

This wooden bridge led us to the beautiful marshes.

marshes

lake

crannogs

And to the crannogs. I’m not sure if the crannogs can be visited today, it depends if the bridge was restored or not. It was such an interesting place to discover.

crannog roof

close up of crannogs

bridge

crannogs at dawn

I hope you’ve enjoyed my post about the Comana Monastery. As I mentioned, it is close to Bucharest. There are a couple of nice restaurants along the way, like Casa Comana and Hanul Calugarenilor. Both of them offer accommodation.

4 Comment

  1. I’ve never been to Roumania but looking at these photos makes me want to go. Thank you for the info and photos about the monastery – what a fascinating history it has.
    love Bec x

  2. I’ve never been to Romania, but seems like it has some pretty interesting history to show! I gotta admit that the dark picture seems a bit scary (but that’s just me!!), the rest of them look lovely.

    My favourite part would be the Comana Natural Park, specially the pictures with those gorgeous crannogs.

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