Panoramas / Churches and belfries

Roman Catholic Church fortress


There is contradictory information, in the literature available on the subject, regarding the history of the building. The Roman Catholic Church in Racu is at the end of the village of Gârciu. Building the church at the border of two villages could be explained by the fact that it was originally meant to serve several villages, as other churches were. The great majority of debates concerning the church are related to its tower, which, because of its strange drawings, is unique in the entire region.

Many experts believe they are pagan symbols and, based on this, they dated the construction of the church in the 12th – 13th centuries. But recent research challenges this hypothesis and supports with evidence that the drawings date from the 17th, stating that the mortar on which the drawings were made is identical with the original one used to hold the stones of the tower. Therefore, they concluded the tower is not a medieval one. It is certain though the tower does not date from the reign of the Árpád house, because it is in line with the framing of the Gothic nave.

The nave and the sanctuary were probably built at the end of the 15th century, as it can be seen on the exterior of the church: the polygon shaped sanctuary, the system of counter forts, the two ogival windows, the east walled in window covered with stone tracery.

The building is surrounded by an irregularly shaped protection wall, dated in the 17th century, and the entrance is arch-shaped in Baroque style. Connected to the fortress wall, south-east from the church sanctuary, there is a chapel-shaped polygonal building whose function is unknown.

The church was built in the 18th century – the cross vaults and the portico-shaped structure with arcades in front of the south entrance were built in 1758, when the church was rebuilt in Baroque style.

The most preeminent parts of the building are the stone ribbed vault of the Gothic sanctuary, with sculptures on the keystone, and the mural paintings representing women saints, that can be seen on the Gothic triumphal arch that separates the sanctuary from the nave, on the part of the nave.