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Panoramas / Churches and belfries

Roman Catholic Church fortress

Cârța

It is assumed that the first mention of the village of Cârţa and its church is to be found in the papal records from 1332 to 1337, but not under this name, but under that of Tarcău. This hypothesis is supported by the order of mentions and the church location, on a cliff.

The first certain mention of the church was in the 15th century when the priest of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary parish is mentioned, while the village is registered under the name of Karcfalva - Cârţa, for the first time in 1566. Back then, there was definitely the sanctuary one can still see nowadays and the nave that was demolished in the 18th century. Archaeological excavations revealed an interesting connection between Csonkatorony – the unfinished tower – in Tomeşti and the church in Cârţa, as illustrated in the writings of archaeologist Botár István. Therefore, due to the similarities between the arches and vaults profiles and the cabin where the monstrance is kept, it may be assumed that we are dealing with the same masters’ work – and all this information provide evidence for establishing the date of construction of the church in Cârţa. Therefore specialists consider that the construction started at the beginning of the 15th century.

In 1796 the medieval nave was demolished being replaced with a larger one. This reconstruction caused a reduction of the sanctuary, where a section of the vault was cut down (at the triumphal arch one can see that the vault was continued to the west), whiles the sacristy door, which used to be in the middle of the sanctuary, is no close to the triumphal arch.

There is no certain information on the tower and the wall surrounding the church. There is however information on the wall surrounding Csonkatorony – the unfinished tower, which was demolished, and according to archaeological research, it was built before the beginning of the 16th century. The surrounding wall in Tomeşti was, according to records, almost eight meters tall, thus a comparison could be drawn with the fortress wall in Cârţa and could offer evidence regarding the latter’s date of construction. Nevertheless, the southern gate of the tower, which lost its function and doesn’t open on anything nowadays, could suggest that the two buildings are not the same age. There is also the possibility that the lower part of the tower was built earlier than the Gothic part, as the Gothic tower windows are located above the cornice, which usually indicates an extension.




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