If you are truly interested in getting “off the beaten tracks”and learning about the local culture of Transylvania, a place I highly recommend visiting is the Orthodox Monastery Sighisoara.
Located 4 km outside the town, in a scenic natural area surrounded by dense forests, the Monastery dedicated to Saint Demetrius was founded in 1997 on the willing of the local orthodox community and the Archpriest Ioan Boian. The land on which the monastery was built was donated by the families Ferezan Aurel and Elena and Botea Maria, and 5 monks from came here to begin extensive works of construction and arrangement of the monastic complex.
This monastery follows the Orthodox rule of monastic life: a brotherhood of monks and novices holding all things in common and following a daily schedule of prayer and work under obedience to the abbot, their spiritual father. The monks’ daily program begins in the morning with personal prayer time and spiritual reading, followed by the cycle of morning prayers and the Divine Liturgy. After noon the monks begin their work day attending prayers and tasks such as: gardening, groundskeeping, cooking and offering hospitality. The day ends with Vespers and Paraklesis of Holy Mary followed by dinner.
The Monastery is dedicated to Saint Demetrius of Thessaloniki who is revered as one of the most important Orthodox military saints, often paired with Saint George and celebrated 26 October for Eastern Orthodox Christians following the Gregorian calendar and 8 November for those following the Julian calendar. In the Roman Catholic church he is most commonly called “Demetrios of Sermium” and his memorial falls on 8 October.
Currently in Sighisoara Orthodox Monastery there are 12 monks and 4 novices living together, but every Sunday, a few hundred people are attending the Holly Liturgy. It is open for the general public 7 days a week and no entrance fee is required. You can find more info (in Romanian) about this monastery visiting their official webpage: www.manastireasighisoara.ro
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