The name of VAD appears for the first time in 1467 indicating a crossing place over the river of Someş (roum.vad = ”ford”) and probably a custom.

It is quite obvious that such a place of intensive transit, having many relationships, favored the development of a settlement, as well as the foundation of a monastery which, according to some historians, should have been founded by the Voievodes Bâlc and Drag from Maramureş; they owned lands in the regions of Ciceu and Lăpuş in 1391.

According to the tradition the church was built in a Moldavian style, during the reign of the famous Prince Stephen the Great (1457-1504); it was to become also the residence of a diocese and the bishops were ordained at Suceava (the capital of Moldavia at that time), having been directly dependent on the metropolitan seat of Moldavia. It is en 1523 that the documents mention the first bishop of Vad to be ILARION, with three other priests: Matei, Şandru and Petru who, together with the princes of Rodna’s valley, asked the city of Bistriţa for the permission to build a monastery between the villages of Hordou and Telciu. By that time the church surely existed; we suppose ILARION has already been bishop since the beginning of the century, still during the reign of Stephen.

During the first reign of Petru Rareş (1527-1538) and than during his second reign (1541-1546) the domination of Moldavia in Transylvania grew firm and was extended. The stage of the reigns of Rareş is the time of the greatest flourishing and development of the diocese of Vad. It is the bishop Varlaam who came after Ilarion; the prince Petru Rareş made him a present of some “nabederniţe”(=a square texture piece, part of the sacerdotal attire of the bishop) embroidered with golden thread. His successor, ANASTASIE, prominent personality, who was also diplomat and warrior, took part, with Rareş, in the siege of Bistriţa and in other warlike expeditions. Anastasie presented the church of Vad with an iconmounted in silver and having an inscription from 1531. The bishops Tarasie in 1546 and Gheorghe in 1550 are the successors of Anastasie. The other bishops are the following: Eftimie (1571), Spiridon (1574), Ioan Cernea (1599), Spiridon (1605-1614), Teofil (1615), Augustin, Dosoftei (1622), Eftimie II (1623).

The villages of Vad and Slatina belonged to the church of Vad for a very long time; the church received also two other villages from Petru Rareş: Romanian Bogata and Hungarian Bogata, both lying not far from Vad. In 1552 the diocese of Vad received a mill in the village Câţcău.

This foundation of prince Stephen the Great is built upon a Moldavian trilobate plan, with a peculiarity-the apse of the sanctuary is polygonal, a specific Gothic element.

The sanctuary is arched, with the arch in the shape of a star; it also has a crown of the arch in the shape of a shield without heraldic ensigns. The nave has two lateral apses, like the Moldavian churches.

The nave was vaulted with two arches in the shape of a cross on ogives. These ogives do not exist any longer but- like in the narthex, which was vaulted too in a cross shape on ogives- there is only the beginning of the arches that remained in the walls. The portal of the narthex is in broken arch and the mouldings start from prismatic and spiral bases. The mouldings intersect at the top, a characteristic to be found only during the last years of the XV-th century. The door of the nave is rectangular, with the mouldings crossed in the corners and having also consoles. The use of the two types of doorframes is a specific element of the Moldavian architecture. The windows were bipartite, their mouldings being specific for the late Gothic period.

The master who planed the church, was maybe a Moldavian one, and part of the stonecutter’s work might be related to the working places of Moldavia.

This church is dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin.

Besides the diocese of Vad it existed also an ecclesiastical school, that functioned in the cells of the old monastery.

The locality of Vad had therefore an important contribution to the foundation of the Romanian culture.

In spite of its modest appearance and adornment, the church of Vad conceals much significance concerning Romanian history and culture.

The church was restored between 1969-1975.