Putna Monastery

The Putna Monastery in Bucovina: a place laden with history and the spiritual centre for Romania. The indoor lighting of the monastery church is ERCO’s first ever project in Romania.

The orthodox Putna Monastery in the Romanian landscape of Bucovina is an important historical and spiritual centre: Prince Stephen the Great lies buried here, honoured by Romanians as founder of the state; and here a bustling monastic life with a growing number of old and young monks has blossomed once again since the fall of communism.

Generous benefactors enable the monastery to maintain its building in excellent condition, and to expand and renovate it in keeping with its status as a listed building. Impressions of monastic life can be found under the "image gallery" menu item.

Although the monastery was founded by Prince Stephen the Great (1433-1504), the original church was destroyed in 1653 and the current buildings date back to 1653-1662. The frescoes in the interior originate from more recent times: it was not until the 500^th anniversary of the death of Stephen the Great 2004 that it was decided to decorate the walls, vaulting and domes according to the old orthodox tradition.

Adding scenic lighting to the interior of the church with anything beyond the traditional, hanging chandeliers is still rather unusual in Romanian churches. Capitals, cornices and chains of chandeliers all serve as discreet mounting locations for spotlights. The metal halide lamps emit a brilliant light with high colour rendition quality. This shows the frescoes to their best advantage and the gold decoration is given an almost magical shimmer.

The Holy of Holies of an orthodox church is usually hidden behind the iconostasis and is reserved for the priests and monks. An exception was made, however, to allow our photographer to take some pictures of this area - but without setting foot inside. The portrayal of the worship of the Mother of God decorates the vaulting of the apse.

The chains of the traditional chandelier provide an optimum mounting position for spotlights. From this location, they can be aimed at objects in the room and the vaulting itself without causing any glare.

The plaster in the tomb is scored with diamond-patterns and awaits its decoration with frescoes. The intricate painting will take years to complete - but then again, here in the monastery, time is a different commodity than in the outside world.

This project - ERCO’s first ever in Romania - was managed by our offices in Budapest together with ProEnerg, an electrical store and installation company from Oradea. To enable efficient planning despite the great spatial separation, different lighting concepts were simulated and analysed in a virtual model of the church interior with the help of the relevant luminaire data records.

In this way, the designers were able to ascertain the optimum positions for the luminaires, positions that also ensured unobtrusive installation with minimum intrusion into the fabric of the building.

Putna Monastery
RO-727455 Putna

Electrical planning and installation:
ProEnerg, Oradea

The project was financially supported by Continental Hotels, Romania

ERCO Newsletter - inspiring projects, new products and fresh lighting knowledge

Subscribe to the newsletter
Your data will be handled confidentially. For further information see Data protection declaration
From now on, for convenience and speed, we will be emailing the ERCO Newsletter in a digital format on a regular basis to help you keep up with the latest news from ERCO. We aim to ensure that you’re updated about events, awards, fresh lighting knowledge, project reports and product news along with reports from the lighting and architectural sectors. The publication is free and you can unsubscribe at any time.