Discover The Stone Ravens Monastery: A unique rupestrian church in Romania!

I came across Corbii de Piatra (The Stone Ravens) Monastery while looking up articles about Romania. In my opinion, Romania is one of the most underrated touristic destinations in Europe. According to online stats, only 13 million tourists visited the country in 2019. This is significantly lower compared to Hungary for example. They’ve had 61 million tourists visiting the country in the same year. As you can see, there is a huge difference between Romania and Hungary. Romania recorded almost 3 times fewer tourists than its neighbour country.

Out of the tourists who come to Romania, many of them visit mostly the hot spots like the Bran Castle aka Dracula’s castle, The Transfagarasean Road and maybe Balea Lake. As well as a handful of cities like Bucharest, Sibiu and Sighisoara. Despite having so many other tourist attractions to visit, Romania is usually known for a few tourist hot spots.

Thus, the purpose of this blog post is to change this trend and introduce you to less known tourist attractions you can visit in Romania. Many of these places are not even known to the Romanian people. This is indeed a shame because I found them very beautiful. For today’s blog post, I chose to talk about Corbii de Piatra (The Stone Ravens) Monastery.

If you are interested in other less known places in Romania, please check out my blog post about Fundatica village

Interesting historical facts about Corbii de Piatra (The Stone Ravens) Monastery

Corbii de Piatra (The Stone Ravens) Monastery is in Corbi Village. Although nowadays the village looks pretty regular, Corbi Village was founded more than half a century ago. The village is first mentioned in local historical documents in 1456. The village is also linked to some of the most prominent noble families in middle age Romania: the Corvin family. The Corvin family played a pivotal role in Romania’s history. Therefore, it’s no surprise that the national anthem mentions one of the Corvin family members. This makes the monastery and the village even more interesting to visit.

Similar to the village, there isn’t much information about the monastery’s origins. There is no historical evidence to prove how old the monastery actually is. From the information I could find, the monastery is mentioned in historical documents in 1500. So around the same time, Corbi village is first mentioned too. The mysterious origins of both the monastery and the village make them both so interesting to visit. What also makes the monastery impressive is that it’s one of the few rupestrian settlements in Romania.

Corbii de Piatra (The Stone Ravens) Monastery

Corbii de Piatra (The Stone Ravens) Monastery is a rupestrian settlement, unique in Romania. Its English nickname, as you might have already guessed is The Stone Ravens. The monastery was built initially as a place of worship, however, nowadays Corbii de Piatra is only a tourist attraction. Corbii de Piatra (The Stone Ravens) Monastery is very similar to other rupestrian settlements in Europe, such as the rupestrian churches from Matera, Italy. The building technique, as well as the paintings of the interior walls, are very similar.

Corbii de Piatra Monastery, Romania

The rock formation the monastery was carved in is impressive. When you go inside there are only 2 worship rooms. Apparently, it is quite unusual for a church to have 2 altars. Although most of it faded away, you can still see the original painting.

Corbii de Piatra (The Stone Ravens) Monastery has a dedicated website. The information is available in Romanian, English and French. I think the website is a good source of information if you want to learn more about the place.

Go for a walk around the Corbii de Piatra (The Stone Ravens) Monastery

After finishing your visit, I recommend going for a walk around the monastery. It does not take more than 30 minutes to complete the walk. And at the end, you will leave with some amazing pictures of the village too. You can see in the pictures below some of the highlights of my walk.

The Blue House

The blue house is something I recommend visiting at the end of your tour. You will find it next to the monastery. It’s a traditional Romanian house and belongs to a family from the village. According to the woman, the house is 150y old.

The house looked so pretty and felt so tiny. The style made me think of the so trendy minimalistic approach. And out of a sudden, I realised that after all people don’t need much stuff in their lives. It was one of those realisation moments you have during your travels.

The house has one hallway and 2 rooms. The woman told us that one of the rooms was a guest room. So the family was actually using only one room. We couldn’t visit the loft, although the woman said the house had one. Below are some of the pictures I took of the tiny blue house.

Romania is full of these amazing, secluded places which I hope some of you will visit one day. Personally, I adore discovering hidden gems like Corbii de Piatra Monastery or the Blue House. I try to visit less famous places everywhere I travel. I will continue sharing my discoveries with you. Corbii de Piatra Monastery is worth visiting as much as the more popular Romanian tourist attractions.

Did you know about Corbii de Piatra (The Stone Ravens) Monastery before reading this blog post? Which part did you find the most interesting?

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