Sambata de Sus Monastery was built in 1696 by Constantin Brancoveanu (1688-1714), the ruler of Wallachia, on the place of a church from 1654 to ensure that orthodoxy survives Roman catholicity. Therefore, he settled monks here, founded a school, a printing house and an icon-painting workshop. Despite the fact that more than 150 monasteries and churches were demolished during the reign of the Austro-Hungarians, this remained untouched.
After Brancoveanu’s decapitation and the decree which laid down the proscription of these monastic orders the Court of Wien sent general Preiss to tear down the monastery in 1785.The lodgings of the monks were destroyed, the church was left in ruins.
In 1922, following the union of Transylvania with Romania and subsequent land reform, the Romanian government transferred the property from the Brancoveanu family to the Sibiu Archdiocese. Nicolae Bălan, then Sibiu’s archbishop as well as Metropolitan of Transylvania, decided to restore the monastery. Work began in 1926, with the rebuilt church and other structures consecrated in 1946.
A number of further restorations followed, with a major one concluding in 1993. The monastery is classified at a historic monument by Romania’s Ministry of Culture and Religious Affairs. In addition, three individual properties are listed as such: the church, the annexes and the park.
The tower is octagonal outside, and cylindrical inside. On the Western wall of the parvis, there is a fresco of the founder. The healing spring, from the XVI century, was renovated. In the museum one can see icons painted on glass or wood from the XVIII-XIX century, as well as old books and church objects. The famous icon-painting workshop is one of the most prominent painting workshops in the country.
The monastery is always open for visitors, the museum can be visited according to a schedule.
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