Cultural description

According to the legend of this land, the names of the two communes (Nistoreşti and Păuleşti) located near the natural protected areas come from two of the seven sons of old Vrîncioaia (Nistor and Pavel), that she is said to have offered to Moldavian prince Stephen the Great to fight against the Turks.

In terms of cultural heritage, in the two communes one can visit several landmarks of historical value and find out many interesting information about the life and especially the celebrations of these communities.

Thereby, in Nistoreşti there is Valea Neagră Monastery, a national historic monument of architecture dating from 1755-1757 and including the wooden church “Adormirea Maicii Domnului” (the first place of worship in archaic Vrancea and the spiritual symbol of the villages in Vrancea mountains) and the bell tower. The structure is made of wooden beams, the walls ending and being tied together with several girders. The church has no decoration inside, precisely to emphasize the wood sculpted iconostasis (with monarchal doors and religious paintings with vivid colors, showing a good technique of portrait painting).

Also in Nistoreşti there is the wooden church “Sfinţii Voievozi” from Vetreşti-Herăstrău village, built in the 18th century, one of the places of worship specific to archaic Vrancea, through its architecture and size.

The locals have also kept alive with great care the ancient customs and traditions. The best preserved traditions are those related to winter holidays, handmade crafts (embroidery, weaving, mill machine for wool rugs, traditional leather coats) or traditional folklore. The people living in Nistoreşti are proud of the their bagpipers band, famous all around the country and abroad, after participating in numerous festivals. The folk ensemble of the commune also includes other artists, such as whistle blowers, singers and instrumentalists known throughout the country for their cultural merits, for preserving traditions, ancient customs and traditional clothing.

Local events include the celebration of the patron saint of Valea Neagră Monastery (August 15), the Winter Customs Festival (December 23-25) and the Anniversary of Nistoreşti commune (September 8).

The other commune near the site, Păuleşti, is the first certified commune in Vrancea (by a document from 1507, when the voivode Bogdan “offers the village of Păuleşti from Vrancea to his servants Trifan and Ioan Ractov”).

Here, three objectives are included in the list of historical monuments in Vrancea County as monuments of local interest. The wooden church “Sfântul Nicolae” is the first of them, dating back to 1791, when it was built by the village community. The silhouette of the edifice is marked by the shingle roof and the artistic dowry of the church consists in the monarchal religious paintings that adorn the interior.

The other two objectives are classified as memorial or funerary monuments: the monument of the heroes from the First World War (built in 1937 in the courtyard of the church from Hăulişca village) and the monument of the heroes from the Independence War (built in 1927 in the cemetery of the church “Sfânta Maria” in Păuleşti).

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