he “Nativity of the Virgin” in Ieud is one of the most beautiful places of worship in Maramures, being impressive due to its location on a stony slope, on the shores of the Ighişor stream, in the village cemetery.
It is a real wooden cathedral, being an eminent example of a typical church for Maramures, made by traditional technique. It is also a proof of the out-of-common ability of wooden craftsmen, but also a testimony of the religious life of the community. All this was the reason for the church registration on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
The church was probably built in the second half of the eighteenth century, when the old wooden church destroyed by the Tartars was replaced.
Later after 1717, the church preserved its original form and substance, with only two changes to the original appearance after the reconstruction: the tribune on the west wall of the nave and the opening in the wall of the narthex
he plan is the usual one in Orthodox churches, the volumetry being typical for the churches of Maramures, with a roof in two waters, without a portico. Remarkable is the interior space, perhaps the most elaborate in terms of conception, technical execution and carved details, the structural elements are used as decorative elements. It is placed on a low stone sill on which the walls of fir-beam beams, in parallelepiped shape, rise. The plan consists of the narthex, nave and altar. The priest and the nave make up the main body of the church, to which is added, on the east, the polygonally crafted altar.
The tower access staircase, cut from a single piece of wood, contributes to the configuration of an authentic, archaic and refined ensemble.
The interior painting was made by Alexandru Ponehalschi, probably in 1782, being the most important representative of the traditional post-Byzantine style in mural painting and icons in Maramures in the second half of the 18th century. In the nave, the main theme is the Last Judgment, painted on the west wall. On the nave’s vault is the “Old-Old-Day,” wearing the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove. On the wall of the vault, in a continuous register from the south to the north, there are scenes from the Old Testament. The paintings form one of the best preserved entities of the post-Byzantine murals in Maramures. They are made of textile pieces treated with uncoated lime top and attached to logs. The iconographic program is special and impressive, the scenes being arranged in the registers. You can see how each painting is related to the neighboring. No corner of the church has been unpainted, and the inscriptions are written in Romanian, with Cyrillic characters.