About 70 km away from Săpânța going through Sighet to Valea Izei, you reach Bogdan Vodă. In the past, the village was known as Cuhea, being mentioned for the first time under this name in 1352 (Kohnya).
For a long while, this was the place where the Romanian voivodes of Maramureș lived. At that time, a fortress was built on the high bank of Iza, from south, analyzed on the occasion of the archaeological findings conducted by Radu Pop in 1984, on the place named Grădina lui Cârlig (Hook’s Garden) and a stone church in Iza’s meadows, the ruins of which can be seen even today.
This is the place from where Bogdan the voivode left together with his soldiers in 1359.
In 1365, the locality and the adjacent villages (Ieud, Bocicoel, both Vișeu localities, Mosei, Borșa, Săliștea de Sus and Săcel) will be gifted by the King of Hungary, Ludovic I de Anjou to Balc and Drag, grandsons of Dragoș Vodă expelled from Moldavia by Bogdan and founders of Peri Monastery, as a compensation for the damage suffered.
The last invasion of the Tartars in 1717 set the wooden churches of Maramureș on fire, that’s when the wooden church of Cuhea was set on fire. Here, on the site of the old church, a new church was built with the titular saint “St. Nicholas” in 1718, specific to the Maramureș architecture.
However, the existence of this church, well-kept until now, has also been marked by disturbances. Between 1992-1994, the construction of the new wall church started that needed to be big enough for the orthodox community of the village. But the old church was nominated on the list of UNESCO monuments, and the rules do not allow the emplacement of other constructions in a protection area of 100 m.
With all the priest’s efforts, who found several solutions to locate the church in a place in the middle of the village, there was no support from the authorities. They were recommending that the construction should be located at the end of an outside cemetery, solution that was no accepted by the villagers, because the church traditionally represents the heart of the community. Then, under the pressure of needing a new church, the construction of the new church started right next to the old one. This affected its status, because one of the most beautiful Maramureș churches was not able to be on the list of UNESCO heritage.