Traditions across Europe-an eTwinning project

“Science and technology revolutionize our lives, but memory, TRADITION and myth frame our response.” (Arthur Schlesinger Jr.)

Churches in Bucharest November 17, 2008

Filed under: Religious traditions,Typical places — ivasil @ 5:48 pm

Antim Monastery
It was founded by the metropolitan bishop Antim Ivireanul, a famous name of our culture.
He started one of the first printing works in Romania, was a writer and a sculptor.
The monastery was designed by Antim himself, two of the original plans still exist. Antim payed for the building of the monastery himself.
It is one of the most beautiful buildings in Bucharest in the Brancovenesc style.
It was planned as a fortress, the church in the middle and the cells around it, with a tower in each corner. During the Phanariot regime the church was robbed by the Greek in1790 and brought to a pitiful state.
It was only restored completely in 1870.

Bucur Church
According to he tradition, it was first built of wood by Bucur, the shepherd who founded our town.
The ruler Mircea cel Batran then raised the brick church in 1416, even before the city had become the capital of Wallachia.
This is said to be the second oldest church in Bucharest.

Casin Monastery
It mixes the Brancovenesc style (with the entrance columns) and the Byzantine one (the shape of the Greek cross, mosaics, the high and spacious building).
It’s one of the tallest churches in Bucharest, meant to be seen from far away.

Coltea Church

It was founded by Spatarul (the Sword Bearer) Catacuzino between 1701-1702
I has rich adornments specific to the Brancovenesc style.
The frescos are painted by Gh. Tattarescu.

The Old Court Church
One of the most valuable buildings of the religious architecture from the Feudal Age, the oldest in Bucharest. It is preserved in its initial form built between 1545-1547 by the ruler Mircea Ciobanul for the needs of the Ruling Court. There are also some frescos from the reign of Serban Cantacuzino still preserved. It was declared a historical monument.

Domnita Balasa Church
The church is built in the Neo-Roman style.
The original building was founded by Domnita Balasa, the 6th daughter of Constantin Brancoveanu. Her tomb can be seen inside the church.
The stained glass windows were made in Munich and the chandelier in Vienna.
Just outside the church there is Domnita Balasa’s statue, one of the best works of Carol Storck.
The inscription on the pedestal mentions the estates the church had received.
The church is a historical and architectural monument.

Radu Voda Monastery
It was built in 1568 by Mircea Ciobanu’s son, set on fire by the Turks withdrawing from the glorious attack of Michael the Brave and restored during the reign of Radu Mihnea.
It hosts Gh Tattarescu’s paintings.
It is an important monument of our capital due to its troubled history and historical value. The first library in Bucharest functioned here during the 16th century.

Mihai Voda Monastery
It was built by Michael the Brave between 1589-1591 on the place of an old church.
It had strong defense walls and royal houses that were later used as residence of the Phanariot rulers.
The present complex includes the church (an architectural and historical monument), the Palace of the State Archives and the Belfry.

The Patriarchal Cathedral
This stunning 17th-century cathedral, situated on a hill overlooking Southern Bucharest, is the Romanian Orthodox Church headquarters.
A fabulous fresco of the blessed and the damned, ascending to heaven or tumbling into hell, adorns the entrance, as well as the oldest icon on the site, depicting patron saints Constantin and Helen (1665).
It was built between 1656-1658, by the ruler Costantin Serban Basarab and finished in the time of Radu Leon when it became the headquarters of the Metropolitan Church. The hill it is standing on is therefore called the Metropolitan Hill.
The only thing left from the monastery’s establishments is a beautiful belfry built during Constantin Brancoveanu’s reign, in 1698.

St. Nicholas Church
It is also called The Russian church, because it is built in a typical Russian style. It is the only such church in Romania.
People also call it Students’ Church because since 1933 it’s been the Bucharest University chapel of ease.
It was built between 1905-1909 and partly financed by the Tzar Nicholas. It was destined to be used by the Russian community.
The seven onion-shaped tower roofs used to be gold gilded, but it was washed away by the rain.

The New St. Spiridon Church
This is the biggest church in Bucharest.
The iconostasis is painted by Gheoghe Tattarescu and the stained glass windows were made in Vienna in 1860

The Old St. Spiridon Church
This small church on the Dambovita’s shore has many strange features.
First, its shape is unusual for the Orthodox churches, because it has no towers.
Then, it’s position: it stood at first on the left bank of the Dambovita. Due to the river’s channelling, it now stands on the right bank. As the ground went down after the works, it now is one meter lower than the street’s level, so instead of climbing stairs to get in, you have to go down.
It is the only Orthodox church in the world that has the inscription above the entrance written in Greek and Arab instead of Slavonic.
Last, but the most important: this is not the original church, the one built in the 17th century. That one was destroyed in 1987 during Ceausescu’s regime. As it was so small, one afternoon was enough for the bull-dozers to tear it down.
It was rebuilt in 1992 on the same spot and using the parts that had been preserved from the old church: the entrance with the inscription, the columns, the window-frames and the icons.

Stavropoleos Church
The small and beautiful Stavropoleos church is hidden behind the National History Museum, between higher buildings.
According to its story, it was founded by a Greek monk named Ioanichie, who settled down here.
It is built in the Brâncovenesc Style, a typical Romanian style from the 17th-19th centuries. It can be seen in its columns, pedestals, balcony and the carved ornaments showing plants and animals. The church survived many earthquakes, starting with two very bad ones in 1802 and 1838, but now both the building itself and the surrounding area need major rehabilitation.

Zlatari Church
The legend says it was first built of wood during the reign of Matei Basarab (17th century) by the Greek craftsmen who were making gold objects.
It was rebuilt in 1705 and then again after the 1802 and 1838 earthquakes, using Xavier Villacrosse’s plans.
The interior paintings made by Gh. Tattarescu and the silver framed icons are real works of art. Unfortunately, the painting needs urgent reparations.

Irina and the kids from School 92, Bucharest


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