Vodița Monastery – Asociaţia Pro-Mehedinţi

Vodiţa Monastery, placed 15 km west of Drobeta Turnu Severin, in the valley with the same name, represents one of the oldest foundation of voivode in the country. It was built during 1370-1375 by monk Nicodim (who came from Serbia, founder also of other Romanian monasteries – Tismana, Crivelnic and maybe others, the organiser of the monastic life in Ţara Românească), on the expense of the voivode Vladislav I of Ţara Românească.

From its beginning, Vodiţa was built as an outpost of the orthodox Christianity in this region and as a spiritual irradiation centre for all the near regions inhabited by Romanians. Aware of the extraordinary importance in the region of this settlement, Vladislav I and his descendants endowed it with reach donations of villages and incomes. Being placed in a strategic spot, on the border between the empires, the monastery was not spared from the vicissitudes of history, attacks and pillages of the invaders. For this reason, after only a century of existence, the first church was abandoned and pulled down. On its spot, at the beginning of the XV-th century another church was built whose ruins are visible even today. It was built by Vladislav Vlaicu, the lord of Ţara Românească, during 1370-1375. Since its foundation, Vodiţa Monastery bas been endowed by the lords with lands and villages, rich donations in cash, food and books. Concerning the architectonic style, Vodiţa church represented the classical prototype of the churches built in Ţara Românească: rectangular transept followed by a vessel with two lateral apses. After that comes the altar with apse.

Monastery’s life was not untroubled due to the strategic importance of the Iron Gates region where the military, economic and politic interests of Hungary, Ţara Românească and Bulgarian Czardoms as well Serbia created a permanent conflict situation. After 1500 the monastic life disappears, being resumed in 1996 under the care of Abbot Nicodim Nicolaescu, bishop of Severin and Strehaia.

From the archaeological point of view, the Vodiţa monastery ruins were studied during the period between the two world wars and it was ascertained the existence of two building fazes, Vodiţa I and Vodiţa II, as well as a defending wall built towards Vodiţa brook. Some elements of architecture and ceramics discovered during these researches are placed in the collections belonging to the Iron Gates Region Museum in Drobeta Turnu Severin.