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In a little village, Gurasada (Hunedoara County), near of Mures river there is a church with a unique architecture for the Rumanian architecture history. The central part is a building with a four-lobe plane, to which, nowadays, is attached a bell-tower. In a document issued by the Hungarian king Andrew III, from 1292, is mentioned the name of the place, which could be a village, - terra Zad -3, reason for which many scholars thought that the central church is from this time. Today the church is an orthodox one, and the painting from inside the bell-tower and the pronaos is dated in 1765 AD4.
During the archaeological excavations from 19775 and 1983-19846 has been pointed of that in Gurasada there are four building phases, to the oldest belonging the central four-lobe church (Fig. 1). Following the Romanic architecture, some time later, in a second phase, another structure with three naves and an external bell-tower over the west entrance has been attached to the central four-lobe together a sacristy erected on the northern wall of the east apse of the first church (Fig. 2, Phase II). The third phase is represented by the same structure with three naves and the sacristy, but this time with a new bell-tower erected over the main nave, the whole structure remaining a Romanic one (Fig. 2, Phase III). The sacristy is the reason for which we think the structure belonged all this time to the catholic cult and, later, had become a parish church, perhaps after the Tartarian invasion in the mid 13th century. Over that, in the fourth building phase, has been erected the nowaday bell-tower; the naves were overbuild, this time, by a single hall - a pronaos in an orthodox manner -, with a new entrance on the northern side. Likely in this time, the church became an orthodox one, which could be related to the so called "Olacos possit aggregar et aggregatos retinere" and in case with the noble family Akos/Akus, mentioned in the document from the end of the 13th century7, who such a permission to bring some Rumanians in its villages, one of which being Gurasada8. Much later, in the 18th century the church was painted again in a typical manner for the orthodox religion. All the graves discovered are later (16th-18th century after the coins) and disturbed the earlier burials. It was found only a small silver made so-called Schlafenring, but in a secondary position9. Unfortunately we could not find ever inside archaeological features or materials in situ for the absolute chronology of the four buildings because the high level of soil water and works including a drain made all around the church at the beginning of the 20th century, but the fact that the second phase is a Romanic one is a good reason to consider that the four-lobe church is much earlier. In this case the document from the end of the 13th century is also useless for the church10, but good for the first mention of the village as an asset of the family Akos/Akus, perhaps related to the Coman warlord Akos/Akus already mentioned in Cronicum pictum Vindobonense11 for the end of the 11th century.
In Western and Central Europe as in the Byzantine World in the 11th-12th centuries are well known a lot of churches belonging to the so-called rotunda category. In this much larger category there is a group, designated as Tetrakoncha, the four-lobe, in Czech, Slovakia and Hungary12. Some of these could be of a byzantine origin as a result of the relationship between Arpadian Hungary and the Byzantine State. In this case the four-lobe church from Gurasada could belong to one small group, altogether with the rotundae from Alba Julia and Geoagiu, again by Mures river, in a more large frame concerning the relations between the first Hungarians warlords from Transylvania and the emperors from Constantinople with a likely function, first of all as baptistery and then as court/parish-church. The second and the third phases could belong to the time when Transylvania became part of the Hungarian Kingdom13, and Gurasada church, in this frame, acted as a catholic parish-church. It is tempting to assume the destruction of the second phase to the Tartarian invasion, but we have, unfortunately, not yet not proves. After a while the church became an asset of the Rumanian and, such as an orthodox community from Gurasada, as it is proved by the plan of the fourth phase and the paintings (Fig. 2/fourth phase).

* In memoriam Radu Popa.
1 Abstract of a forthcoming paper.
2 I. Chicideanu = I. Motzoi-Chicideanu.
3 See R. Popa, I. Chicideanu, SCIVA 35.1, 1984, 54, n. 2.
4 V. Drăguţ, Buletinul Monumentelor Istorice 41.2, 1972, 63-sqq.
5 R. Popa, I. Chicideanu, SCIVA 35.1, 1984, 54-67.
6 R. Popa and I. Motzoi-Chicideanu, with the sponsorship from Episcopia Arad.
7 G. Popa-Lisseanu (ed.)., Izvoarele istoriei românilor, vol XI, - Cronica pictată de la Viena, Bucureşti 1937, p. 22, 76, 89.
8 Documente privind istoria României, Seria C, veac XIII, II, p. 389.
9 R. Popa, I. Chicideanu, op.cit., p. 62, fig. 4/a.
10 V. Vătăşianu, Istoria artei feudale în Tările romîne, vol. I. Arta în perioada de dezvoltare a feudalismului, Bucureşti 1959, 95-98, with a wrong sketch on fig. 86.
11 G. Popa-Lisseanu, op. cit., loc. cit.; M. Rusu , Revue roumaine d'historie 21.3-4, 1982, 384..
12 Vera Gervers-Molnár, A középkori magyarország rotundái, Budapest 1972, see also the plan for Gurasada , pl. 39.
13 For the hungarian conquest of the inner Carpathian basin ( = Transsylvania) see K. Horedt, Contribuţii la istoria Transilvaniei în secolele IV-XIII, Biblioteca istorică VII, Bucureşti 1958, 109-131.