In August, when I was visiting the Uspenia Monastery with my family, I didn’t really feel like attending the mass. I’ve been there many times and it holds no more misteries for me.
So I kept on going deeper and deeper. The road was vaguely following the small river which you could barely hear flowing downstream. Somewhere along the way, I run into some villagers in a carriage and asked them where exactly the road was leading. They told me that it was going to Fântâna Mare and that there were only 2-3 kilometers left.
I wanted to go there since I was a kid, but I never got the chance. This was my lucky day! I kept going, only that the two kilometers turned out to be more like ten. But it was interesting. I even had dogs follow me. What was interesting was that some of the sights were reminding me of Tuscany.
I finally reached the village, which wasn’t big by any standards. A couple hundred of souls at most.
It’s old name is Bașpunar, which in Turkish means “The fountain at the top of the hill”. People in Slava Rusă and Slava Cercheză (where my grandparent from my mother’s side come from) still refer to Fântâna Mare using its old name.
Coming out of the woods, when you first spot the village, you notice the white church which is by far the tallest structure of the place. When I got there, people were just leaving the church after the Sunday morning mass.
When I got closer, It struck me! The church looks strikingly similar to the Sfântu Nicolae Cathedral in Tulcea. I thought that maybe the same architect designed them. Funny enough, after this, I started paying more attention to churches and realized that there are actually quite a few throughout the country that share the same basic architecture.
Truth be told, there isn’t much else to see in Fântâna Mare. The location is great however. Located in between the hills, it is a really nice place to relax and have a barbecue.
When I was growing up, I envisioned this place somewhat differently. Not that I’m dissapointed, but I though I’d find something different.
How can you get to Fântâna Mare?
You could try my route, through the woods from Uspenia monastery, but that would shake you a little.
The easiest way it to follow the DN22A till Ciucurova, then turn to DN22D for a couple of kilometers then going deep in the woods following the DJ223A.