Mraconia Monastery – Asociaţia Pro-Mehedinţi

Attested in documents since 1453, Mraconia Monastery is destroyed during the Russian-Austrian-Turkish War (1787-1792), rebuilt and demolished again in 1968. Its name is given from the Mracuna brook which means black water. Nowadays, on the Danube’s shore, was built a modern monastery which is similar to the old one and it was built on the skeleton of the former signalling Balloon building from Cazanele Mici.
The existing church has as Patrons Holy Archangels Michael and Gabriel and Holy Trinity.

The church has cross-shape, built from brick. It is divided into the sanctuary, nave and opened threshold. Nowadays, Mraconia Monastery has a monk’s parish.
From the initial church, that is nowadays under Danube’s waters, remained the imperial doors and an icon lamp, sheltered in the parochial museum from Eşelniţa.

Mraconia Monastery is situated in Dubova commune (Mehedinți County), at 15 km west of Orșova. It is located on the left bank of the Danube, where the river forms the most beautiful gorge on its course, gorge that is extended between Orsova and Moldova Noua.
The Mraconia Monastery was built on the spot of an old observation and control point of the ships on the Danube, because due to the unique relief, to the narrowness from place to place of the gorge, it was impossible for two ships to pass simultaneously.
The mentioned narrowness and maximum enlargements of the Danube were called the Danube’s Gorge (in Romanian “Cazanele Dunarii”)

Short history: Mraconia Monastery knew all the hostilities of the history, starting from the devastation of the invaders, the payment of the “pesches”, foreign possessions and being swallowed by the river’s waters.
The existing monastery was built on the old Mraconia Monastery, in the valley with the same name. The old monastery was built in 1523 under the jurisdiction of Vârșeț Diocese by Nicola Gărlișteanu. The Patron of the Church was chosen to be Saint Prophet Elijah. (Sf. Prooroc Ilie)
Thereby, the famous chronicler Nicolae Stoica from Hațeg wrote in one of his chronicles from 1829 that „scared by the Turkish invadors, especially after the battle of Varna and after the conquerer of Constantinople in 1453, the monks from Mraconia Monastery escaped in Orșova.

Although in time Mraconia Monastery was degraded and demolished, in 1788 the monastery was still inhabited and in 1800, the interior plaster was still visible.
Starting with 1931 the reconstruction of the monastery began and because of the intense activity of the hermit Alexe Udrea, in 1947 it was finalized the construction of the new monastery and its roofing was done with clapboard.

The construction of the hydroelectric power station from Iron Gates I, done in 1967 caused the demolishing of the monastery, its ruins being afloat by the Danube’s waters. It was not allowed to rebuild the Monastery in another place. Due to its faith, it gained the name “The Under Water Monastery, Mraconia”.

After 1989, the Mitropoly of Oltenia had the initiative of re-founding the Mraconia Monastery. In 1993 the foundation stone of the new church is laid  and in 1995 the new endowment is re-founded.
The construction of the endowment was completed in 1999-2000.