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St Nicholas Church – Dracenti village - panorama

St Nicholas Church –Dracenti village, Kitmani  rayon, year 1810

It is one of the churches which have the aspect of a house – widespread in Bucovina between the 16th and 19th century.  The architecture is classical trefoil: porch, nave, altar. It was built from spruce logs cleft in two. The vault is not visible from the outside; it is covered by the high roof, covered with shingles; that is why the church looks like a normal village house.
The inside of the church is typical orthodox. In the porch there are icons representing various biblical scenes, naïve folk paintings, crosses and church flags for funerals. A central place has the five-rowed iconostasis. The initial iconostasis which was painted in oil was not preserved. The present iconostasis is a combination of icons and different fragments of sculptured iconostasis from the 19th and 20th centuries – collected from the churches of Bucovina no longer in use in the 1980s. In the altar, the holiest place of the church, there is the Holy Table, the chalice with the Saint Eucharist and the vessel for the Holy Water, other liturgical elements and a multitude of church objects.

 

The nave of the church – Dracenti village, Kitmani rayon

The inside of the church is typical orthodox. In the centre there is the iconostasis, “The image of the celestial witnesses in human representation”. The iconostasis with the icons of saints is a visible illustration of the invisible Kingdom of Heaven. On the iconostasis, the essential episodes and deeds of the Holy Family are represented.

„ The Imperial Doors” contain, besides the sculptured margins, a medallion representing the Assumption of the Virgin (Blahovistanie) as well as the image of the four evangelists with different symbols.

The Deacon Doors contain representations of the Archangel Gabriel (on the right)  and Michael (on the left). On the right of the gates there is the icon of Jesus Christ and that of Saint Nicholas. The Icon of the Church protector (of the Celebration of the Church) is always on the side, on the right. On the left, there is the icon of the Virgin with the Child and Saint Demeter. Above, there is the icon “The Last Supper” and the twelve main holy days of the evangelical cycle. Higher up, there is the icon of Christ Panthocrator, the Great Bishop and the row of the Saint Apostles. Above the apostles come the Prophets and even higher up is the icon “the Lord Sabaoth”.

In front of the Iconostasis, there are the candlesticks and the small inclined support where the icons and the Saint Cross were placed to be adored by the worshipers and which was also used to hold the church books. During the wedding ceremony, this support is surrounded by the bride and groom. There are icons hung on the walls. Along the walls there are benches.