church

The complex of the religious buildings includes: „Saint Nicholas” church -1810, from Dracenţi village and the bell tower from Berehomed village, Kiţmani district -1786. Both constructions are authentic examples of the exquisite skills of wood craftsmen in Bucovina.
The church is built on three plans; following the axis, it is east-west oriented; the church planimetry is very similar to a typical peasant house. The construction is erected on a massif stone foundation. The same massif stone slabs were used for the floor. The walls are made of resinous logs, split in two. The tall four sloping roof is currently made of shingle. On the roof ridge there are three knobs, which end in three forged crosses. The entrance to the church is through the porch. The central part, the nave has a cylindrical plank roof. In the porch, the roof is straight. In order for the church to have light, the walls of the nave and altar have windows, not too large in size. The iconostasis is particularly beautiful; this part of the church is considered the visible representation of the celestial witnesses. The iconostasis, placed on the Eastern side of the church, on beams covered with a special type of primer, suffered damage due to the lack of attention during transportation and needs to be restored. The current iconostasis is mixed, made of icons and various fragments of sculpted iconostasis dating from the 19th – 20th century – XIX- XX – gathered from churches no longer in use from Bucovina in 1980. In the altar, the holiest place of the church, there is the Holy Table with a cross, the chalice with the Holy Communion and the vessel for the holy water, other liturgical elements and a multitude of other church objects. On the iconostasis, the essential deeds and episodes of the Holy Family are presented.
„The Imperial Doors” include, in addition to the side sculptures, a medallion with the traditional representation of the Annunciation (Blahoviştania) as well as the images of the four evangelists with their corresponding symbols. The Deacon’s doors include a representation of Saint Archangel Gabriel (on the right) and Michael (on the left). On the right of the doors there is the icon „Jesus Christ” and „Saint Nicholas”. The icon of the church protector (the Celebration) is always on the left side, to the margin. On the left side there is the icon of the „Virgil Mary with the Infant” and „Saint Demeter”. Above, there is the „Last Supper” and the „Twelve Feasts” from the evangelic cycle. Higher up, there is „Christ the Panthocrator, the High Bishop” and the row with the „Saint Apostles”. Above the row of the apostles, there are the prophets, and on the last row, „The Lord Sabaoth”.
In front of the iconostasis, there are the candle sticks with the lectern – a type of table inclined to the side on which the Holy Cross and the icons were placed for the people to worship and which served as a support for church books.
The simplicity of the church icons painted by self-taught artists, simple peasants which started to paint out of a spiritual call, is impressive. The representations are somehow different from classical orthodox representation, as they do not observe the proportions, they lack a plan and they are very plain and simple. Nonetheless, they express the living and immortal soul of the people, their love for beauty and the search of harmony. Out of the original icons belonging to the church, only three remained, located on the left wall of the nave: „The Flight into Egypt”, „Moving the relics of Saint Nicholas from Myra, Lycia, to Bari”, „The Sacrifice of Abraham”. These icons date from the end of the 18th century – the beginning of the 19th century and are a faithful expression of the primitive folk trend of Bucovina.
The bell tower from Berehomed village, built at the end of the 18th century deserves attention. The two-level construction is erected on a solid foundation. The type of construction is 4/4, with a tent-shaped roof. The walls of the first level are protected by a small roof, which is supported by some consoled attached to the walls. The upper level is built on a frame and has large openings, so that the sound of the bells can remain full. The four sloping roof is made of shingle.
The first level of the bell tower served as a larder for some of the church things, the above level being destined for the bells. The wooden level can be reached by means of wooden stairs hidden inside the building.
The bells were calling the believers to the religious services, announcing good or bad events (war, fire) or the death of a believer.
For the casting of bells, money was collected from the entire community, according to their wealth and the community made all the possible efforts for the bell to contain noble metals. The people believed the sounds of the large bell (the Announcer), had a healing effect and were capable of chasing away the bad spirits.