Manastirea Corbii de Piatra apare in documente, de la reinfiintarea ei in 1512 cu aceasta denumire. Dar, pe parcursul timpului, mai apare, din cand in cand si cu un alt nume: monastirea de la Meris sau monastirea Meris sau monastirea Merisul.Denumirea Schitul rupestru ‘Sf. Ap. Petru si Pavel’ este complet gresita. Hramul monastirii a fost, de la reinfiintarea ei la 23 Iunie 1512, ‘Adormirea Maicii Domnului’ si cu acest hram apare in documente pana in sec.XIX cand devine biserica de mir si cand a fost pus hramul ‘Sf. Ap. Petru si Pavel’. La fel s-a intamplat si cu titulatura in aceasta perioada, in sec. XVI-XIX, locasul de la Corbii de Piatra purtand in documentele vremii totdeauna denumirea de monastire nu de schit, iar redeschiderea lui in 1996 se face sub aceeasi titulatura: Monastirea Corbii de Piatra.
Cele trei lacasuri rupestre, de la Corbii de Piatra, Namaiesti si Cetatuia NU formeaza un triunghi echilateral, asa cum sustin unele afirmatii care incearca sa creeze spectaculosul ieftin acolo unde el se afla de fapt, dar “curatit si lamurit de sapte ori” in cuptorul istoriei si care nu se descopera neaparat mintii ci mai degraba inimii.
Monahia Magdalina, ctitora restauratoare a lacasului de la Corbii de Piatra ca si asezamant monahal, era matusa voevodului Neagoe Basarab. Aceasta legatura de rudenie face ca sa nu mai apara surprinzatoare inchinarea monastirii, la cateva luni dupa redeschidere, domnitorului Neagoe.Tamplaria (usi, ferestre) nu a fost inlocuita (asa cum sustin unii din mai marii zilei, care nici macar nu au trecut pragul bisericii) pentru simplul fapt ca nu exista! Actuala tamplarie s-a pus ca urmare a concluziei la care au ajuns specialisti in restaurare conform careia stricaciunile de pe peretele nordic al bisericii au fost de cauzate de infiltratiile de apa, corelate cu inghetul din timpul iernii. S-au incercat toate felurile de incalzire pe timpul iernii dar fiecare facea mai mari pagube: soba cu lemne, facea fum si praf, radiatoarele electrice, din cauza umiditatii excesive s-au scurtcircitat si au luat foc iar radiatoarele pe baza de gaz sporeau umiditatea. La acestea se adauga faptul ca in urma incalzirii, apa din pereti si podea se evapora, transformand biserica in sauna, rezultand un condens care se depunea pe fresca de unde apa picura asa cum picura inaintea unei ploi de vara. Asa ca s-a recurs la aceasta lucrare care izoleaza foarte bine termic si, in urma acestei lucrari, din iarna lui 2003 temperatura in biserica nu a mai scazut vreodata sub +50 C. Acest fapt a avut un efect benefic asupra picturii care si-a mai revenit si chiar unele portiuni care pana acum erau ilizibile acum pot fi vazute.
Corbii de piatra (The Stone Ravens). That is the way this place was named before and an endless history protects it with a wing. Well, this way, here, in Corbi village you have the feeling that you get sunk in the past, that crowds of unclear shadows haunt these enigmatic realms, stangely mixing with the people from this place.
They feel nothing, they don’t feel the shadows that are quietly mixing through them, these people are absorbed by the eternal second of this life and by the tiny victory of each moment,while the stones they step on are oozing, not with water, but with timeless memories. These places have always been lived and some of these old men still believe that here, at the cells, somewhere beneath the stone edge, God released the first human beings from His hands. The pilgrim feels, finds out and knows that some parts of this story are true. He knows that up there, above the dug in stone church, on the edge where the huge ravens were digging shelters with their beaks and with their claws, the traces of the first humans were found, he knows that these strange places bear chiseled in themselves the flood’s memory, he knows that in other times, the carpi tribes were grinding their blades on the crumbly stone and he also knows that on the Middle realm, there are the foggy ruins of Gezidava, the magnificent fortress of the dacian king – Dromichetes about whom the legends tell that he was scratching the sky with his towers and that the sun was turning pale in front of his glittering riches. He knows that the huge, strangelly hallowed out stones on which he walks, were blood-stained sanctuaries before Jesus, he knows that the outstanding cellars of these ravens’ edges have always served for worshipping an endless range of successive gods, that up there, above the river, there are the last stones of Voicu Corvin’s castle, Serb’s son and legendary Iancu of Hunedoara’s father, the one who was to keep the raven’s badge forever, turning it into a king’s symbol. After the Bonfini’s hungarian chronicle utters that Valachian Iancul Corvinul is one of christianity’s greatest heroes, it also talks about his birth place from Wallachia Transalpina, corvini’s native place.
The rupestral church Corbii de Piatra known with good reason an enigma, won’t allow you to discover it, so you have to go and see it, to pay astonishment tribute in front of it’s beauty. Embeded in stone, hidden as a cave in the mountain’s wall, it doesn’t resemble anything: neither the rupestral cells from Bozioru, nor the cave from Namaiesti, nothing. The earliest dating of the rupestral church, as an orthodox dwelling creed, date from the end of the II nd century A.D., when it is believed thet the church was perfectly adapted for those times of persecutions,beeing well hidden, having no connection with the outside, except for a small door towards North, which was well hidden and it could be entered only on all fours.
The monastery’s diptych mentions as it’s first founder Voivode Basarab the I st, but the villagers go far earlier,talking about a certain Voivode Harabo, during the XIII th century, or even Voivode Vlad, towards the end of the XI th century. The church, strangelly, but also beautifully keeps a great part of its paintig: Deisis, The Annunciation, Avraam’s sacrifice, Christ’s birth, Lord’s meeting, Lazarus’s resurection, Lord’s Baptism, The Transfiguration, The Ascention, Archangel Gabriel, Military Saints, Jesus Emmanuel. The stylistic characteristics, the painting’s quality, exclusivelly followed by Greek inscriptions, corroborated with documentary news, all allow the precise dating of this ensemble at the beginning of the XIV th century, reaveling “Corbii de Piatra” as the church with the oldest painting from our ountry.The rupestral ensemble from Corbii de Piatra is the final proof for the existence of some monastic centers of anachoretic type, long before the Muntenian church from the XIV th century was organized.
Corbii, caught between steep hills and valleys, is in fact the end of a world-a place from where start and finish all the roads which lead from Arges to Transilvania. The mountain has never separated, but it has been a secret way of passing, of connection, of harmony, a way of fraternity, through which the wandering Romanians from Jina came to Corbi at the beginning of the XVIII th century. They settled around the monastery, which, through years, made the Hesychasm loving monks look for their hearts’serenity, in the heart of the mountain, leaving the monastery to the new community. And soon after that the people left the church to become a victim of time, building a new one. Nearby, there is a blue house that belongs to Maria Vladescu, known as Mother Uta. The yard doesn’t really look like a yard, but like a piece of heaven, with a lot of green-green grass, with a stream which treks the yard by the house, flowing down from the waterfall, through a huge stone cavity, a sort of stone scoop, which serves this woman instead of a fence and of shelter, just like a huge, stone tent. These are huge rocks, fell down in time immemorial, which lay spread all over; and high above, there is that water stream which flows down,scattering into thousands of translucent shivers. Maybe here, at the stone scoop’s shelter, there used to be the famous crusaiders’ training camp of Iancu Corvin, knights came from all over Europe to fight under the badge of the raven with the cross in its beak. Alexandru Odobescu – a researcher interested in “local antiquities”- being inspired by the local folklore, wrote down about the presence of another army around the monument, at the beginning of the XVIII th century, in a report from 1861: “At Corbi village,there is a dug in stone church, it is said that the mortal remains of Mihai Viteazul’s army, were gathered up after the masacre from Turda.”
A history impassioned dicovered on one of the gritstone scoop’s walls, a giant’s leg, fixed in stone, with his heel standing out and with with the thigh lying in an endless rest.Now, the right arm, can also be seen, and the fallen head can be noticed on the tile’s floor. ‘The Giant’ has been simplified by the villagers. A shaped in stone head can also be seen. Could it be a dinosaur? Maybe.Or maybe it’s Spielberg’s E.T. Each person’s imagination should decide.
Anyway, in the heart of Muscel, at “Corbii de Piatra”, one can shot the greatest film about rocks and stones, about legends and giants, about hermits and piuos people -just like Elizabeth Rizea from Nucsoara – a poetical film, as a prolonged and quiet meditation, as a heart’s beat, as a prayer.The memories, no matter how far they are, don’t vanish once with the people, but they get attired in a tale’s cloth, identifying with the place.The STone Ravens. That’s the way that place was called before. And a blessed mystery protects its history nowadays.