Panoramas / Churches and belfries

Saint Imre Church


It is one of the most valuable religious monuments in Kovászna County that dates back to the 13th century. The Szent Imre church preserves Romanesque, Gothic, Baroque and Renaissance stylistic devices that date back to the 13th century. The simple building is surrounded by a stone wall reinforced with a tower, having entrances at northwest and southeast. The church has got three annexes: there is another rectangular building constructed in the foreground of the western and southern gates, whereas in the northern part a sacristy was attached to the sanctuary.

The western wall of the nave, which has a rectangular design, is reinforced by buttresses. Such a buttress is placed in the southwestern corner of the nave. The walls of the nave have four windows altogether. The corners of the sanctuary that is formed of two rectangular sequences are decorated by slender buttresses. On the southern and southeastern walls there are stone-framed lancet windows.

Looking from the southern entrance of the nave, there is a small urn with holy water carved in the wall, and there is another one on the left side of the western gate. In front of the southern wall, eastward off the gate, there is a carved baptizing basin, the two walls of which are decorated with two carved crosses. In the lower part of the northern and southern walls there are two small pointed compartments.

The ceiling of the nave, made in 1628, is covered with panels that are organized into 8 columns and 13 rows (there is a total of 103 panels). The panels are distributed on a surface of 125 square meters, and they present late Renaissance characteristics. Charts with inscriptions inform us that the ceiling was made and redecorated in several different periods: during Prince Bethlen Gábor`s reign, then during Mihálcz Pál and István, Dok Mátyás, Finta Lőrinc, Biroga István and Miklós, as well as  Pakó István`s country deputies provision.

The sanctuary is separated from the nave by a triumphal arch made of big blocks of stone. There is a stone pulpit attached to the northern side of the triumphal arch, the way leading to it starts from the sanctuary. The small tabernacle located in the second sequence of the northern wall of the sanctuary is supposed to be the work of a local craftsman.

The church of Gelence gives home to several valuable wall paintings dating back to the 14th century. In the upper row of the western wall of the nave there is the sequence of the Legend of Saint Jacob in a faded condition. Under it visitors can see two paintings of the Christological cycle - the Escape to Egypt and The Infanticide in Bethlehem - , whereas the sequence presenting Mary’s coronation and death is located north off the door. In the upper part of the northern wall one can see the Legend of Szent László, under it there are the pictures of the Passio, the last scene of which –Christ’s Resurrection – was painted on the southern wall. The upper part of the southern wall is decorated with the composition named Doomsday, in the middle of which one can see Mary and John the Baptizer with Jesus sitting in judgment between the two. On his right there is the image of Paradise while the illustration of the Inferno was painted on the wall onto his left side. In the lower part of the wall one can see the Legend of Saint Catherine of Alexandria. But it is not only the inside of the church that hides so many valuable sequences of wall paintings. Specialists have opened up sequences of other wall paintings on the external walls of the nave as well as in the tympanum of the southern gate.