Lainici Monastery is a Romanian Orthodox monastery located 32 km from Târgu Jiu, Gorj County, Oltenia.
In 14th century St. Pious Nicodemus of Tismana was sent in Northern Oltenia to support Romanian Orthodoxy and he sat in a cave near the today Lainici Monastery. Later, a hermitage was founded here. The importance of the settlement was noted by Empress Maria Theresa, who, by general Bukow, destroyed between 1750-1765 hundreds of Orthodox settlements in Transylvania. The hermitage, although not belonging to the Austria-Hungarian empire but located a few kilometers from the border, fell victim to the great anti-Orthodox persecutions of imperial court in Vienna.
Later, the hermit Athanasie gathered around the ruins a community of 30 monks. The boyars (noblemen) Sărdănescu, Brăiloiu, Fărcăşanu, Poenaru, Măldărescu, Bengescu, and Mageru constructed the monastery during the reign of Ioan Caragea between 1812 and 1817. Tudor Vladimirescu, who wanted to raise the country against the Turks, was hidden in the monastery for a while. In 1817 the Turks had devastated the settlement, and not finding Tudor, they beheaded the monk Maxim, dispelling the congregation. During the World War I, the Germans devastate again the monastery, restored in 1926 by pious Visarion Toia and six monks.
The exterior of the church has been divided into two separate registers by a frieze built of brick having the shape of a semicircle. The paintings, which were done in fresco, have been well preserved in the porch. The tower has the shape of a square and serves as a belfry too. Its frescoes were painted in 1860 by craftsmen of the Painting School of Târgu-Jiu.
The church was renovated in 1984. There have been constructed also modern outbuildings and facilities in the eastern and southern parts of the monastic complex, whereas the old ones have just been restored. An art collection that incorporated icons, liturgical objects and old printed books is also accommodated within the monastery.
In 1990 commenced the construction of a new church. Construction activities have also been initiated on two monastic outbuildings: one of them has been designed for the members of the monastic community, and the other one has been designed for the administrative offices and for the library of the monastery.
Place of pilgrimage of Romanians throughout the country, Lainici Monastery is called "Bride of the gorge" (it is located in Jiu Gorges), due of its strong white facade.