Polovragi commune takes its name from a rare plant that grew here, “polovragi” used by a famous medicine man that lived in the mountain cave to cure people of stomach and bones diseases. Archaeological excavations in Polovragi have revealed the remains of a fortress and a cemetery since Dacian times. A big celebration (Nedeia) takes place every year, on the 20th of July, in Polovragi, where people from Gorj, Vâlcea and Transylvania come.
The camp was built and used between the two wars against Dacia by the Romans (101-102 and 105-106); It was originally made of earth and then, in 201, stone walls were raised. Today it retains only the east side (167 meters) and partially the south side (88 meters). In 2002, inside the fort there was discovered a Roman imperial treasure consisting of 92 silver coins, covering a period of almost 50 years.
The old church was built between 1812 and 1813, on the site of an old wooden church shaped like a ship (1770-1794). After 1990, a new church was built near the old one shaped like a Greek cross. Near the monastery, at an altitude of 750-800 m, there is Locurele Hermitage which was sanctified in 1860.
Constantin Brâncuşi (1876 -1957) was a Romanian sculptor with overwhelming contributions to the contemporary sculpture. Considered by some critics as the greatest sculptor of the XXth century, Constantin Brâncuşi is the most famous Romanian artist. He attended the School of Arts and Crafts in Craiova, Bucharest and Munich; after six months he starts walking through Bavaria up to France, where he takes the train to Paris – where he lives much of his life. In 1905, he was accepted to the prestigious École Nationale Superieure des Beaux-Arts. He died when he was 81 years old, leaving behind 1200 photographs and 215 sculptures of an incalculable aesthetic and cultural value. He was buried in Montparnasse cemetery from Paris. His works are exhibited in New York, Washington, Paris and Bucharest. In 2009, one of Brâncuşi ‘s sculptures – Madame LR- was sold for $ 37 million.
“The human body is beautiful only when it reflects the soul.”
“Work like a slave, command like a king, create like a god!”
The founder of the monastery was the monk Nicodim. The legend says that Nicodim walked along the valley and the beauty of the landscape was decisive in choosing the place for the holy sanctuary, on Stârmina rock, with a 40 m waterfall whose waters flow in the river. There were also other reasons in choosing the place: the trout, the forests of edible chestnut, the walnut and the grape-vines that grow in the wild, but also historical events related to maintaining the independence of Ţăra Româneascã and stopping the Catholic influence south of the Carpathians. On the back of a document of the Romanian ruler Dan II there are two dates, namely that the church was sanctified in 6886, ie 1377-1378 and that Nicodemus died in 6915 (1406-1407). Near the monastery there is Cioclovina Hermitage.
- The Statue of Buzeşti Brothers – Crasna
- The Chocolate Factory – Crasna
- “St. John the Baptist” Church – Novaci
- The Crosses Museum – Mãceşu
- The Museum of Mountain Civilization – Rãnca