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 Churches
 
ZLATARI CHURCH

Address: Piata Victoriei, near the National History Museum 

It was built up in 1637, on the spot of an ancient wood church and then rebuilt in 1715 through the care of the sword bearer Mihai Cantacuzino.

In the Zlatari Church there was a true treasure: the hand of Saint Ciprian, the great protector from spells and curses.

Originally, the Zlatari Church had a yard with a flowing fountain made of fashioned stone by Italian wrights. Beside it there was an inn – of the goldsmiths – and a cemetery with voivodal graves. These no longer exist today. 

The church escaped miraculously from the demolition action during the communist régime of Nicolae Ceausescu. In the 80’s, the church was on top of the list of closed churches. It was included in the Ceausescu’s systematization plan. The church was not demolished and how it escaped still remains a mystery.
CRETULESCU CHURCH

Address: Piata Victoriei, nr. 45A, near the National Art Museum – Royal Palace

It was built during the period of 1720-1722 by the Great “logofat” Iordache Cretulescu and his wife Safta (one of the daughters of the ruler Constantin Brâncoveanu). In time, the church crossed several repair stages. In 1815, the church was partly repaired. The earthquake in 1838 damaged its arch very badly and battered down the bell tower above the entrance gate. Later, the steeple was built of wood, with sheet metal roof. The Cretulescu Church regained its original aspects after the rehabilitation made by the architect Ştefan Balş in 1935-1936. The wood steeple was replaced with a brick one, according to the original plans. The resistance structure was reinforced with a concrete belt.

After the earthquake in 1940, the church was rehabilitated again between 1942 and 1943, according to the original architectonic style, i.e. that of Brancoveanu. After the events of December 1989, the church was seriously damaged by the shooting. In 1991, the authorities decided to start the rehabilitation. Currently, from the Brancoveanu period, the porch painting is preserved. Inside the church, the painting made by Gh. Tattarescu (1859-1860) can be admired. The Cretulescu Church is dedicated to the “Assumption” and to the “Saint Archangels Michael and Gabriel”. It is one of the most valuable architectural monuments built between the Brâncoveanu period - epoch of glory of the Romanian architecture – and that of the first Fanariot princes.

WHITE CHURCH

Address: Piata Victoriei, nr. 110

The White Church was founded by the priest Neagu Darvas at the beginning of the 18th century. Its interior is painted by Gheorghe Tattarescu. 

STAVROPOLEOS CHURCH
www.stavropoleos.ro

Address: Str. Stavropoleos t, in the Old Center of Bucharest, behind the National History Museum (formerly the Post Palace).

Considered to be a beauty of the religious architecture, the Stavropoleos Church was built between 1724-1730 by the Greek monk Ioanichie. 

It’s a halidom with the most representative influences of the late Brancoveanu architectonic art, being dedicated to the “Saint Voivodes and Saint Athanasie”.

The church was built inside an inn. From the original construction of the enclosure of the monastery and of the inn, only the church has been preserved, which is currently undergoing a complex rehabilitation process. Like almost any historic building in Bucharest, the Church crossed several rehabilitation and repair stages after earthquakes and with the passing of the years. One of the most intense rehabilitation processes was during the period 1900-1912 and was managed by the architect Ion Mincu. The Church escaped the demolitions period during the régime of the dictator Ceausescu. Currently, the stone columns, the pedestals and the handrail porch, the sculptures with vegetal or animal motifs can be admired. An interesting aspect about this church is that the poet Tudor Arghezi was a deacon here.

COLTEA CHURCH 

Address: Bulevardul I.C. Bratianu, nr. 1, sector 3, Tel. 314.28.31, near the Coltea Hospital

Built by the sword bearer Cantacuzino between 1698-1702, the Coltea Church is dedicated to the “Three Saint Hierarchs”. It was built in the Italian baroque style, with a rich ornamentation belonging to the Brancoveanu style. Partly destroyed by a fire, the Church was rebuilt in 1739. Just like the Kretulescu Church, and inside it can be admired the mural paintings made by Gheorghe Tattarescu.

The Coltea Church is near the Coltea Hospital, a building erected in 1888, one of the architectonic successes of Bucharest of the late 19th century.

MIHAI VODA MONASTERY

Address: Str. Sapientei , nr. 35, sector 5, Tel. 410.71.16

Founded in 1591 by the voivode Michael the Brave, the Monastery is dedicated to “Saint Nicholas” and it is built on the spot of an old church that was surrounded by a strong defense wall and by princely manors that later served as residence for some Fanariot princes.

In 1984, because of the urbanization process imposed by the dictator Nicolae Ceausescu, the Monastery was relocated at 289m. The constructions around it were mostly dynamited or pulled down with a bulldozer, building blocks of flats instead. 

The monastery has several unique architectonic features, such as the annexes to the altar, which were envisaged as small independent chapels, each with its own tower.

ICON’S CHURCH

Address: Str. Icoanei, nr. 12, sector 2, Tel. 211.77.40, close to the Icon’s Park

Erected between 1745 and 1750, the Icon’s Church is a historical monument, painted in oil by Gh. Tattarescu.

The church shelters the “Virgin Mary’s Icon”. It is said that this icon has curative powers. This Icon named the church, the street it is located on, and the nearby park. 

DARVARI HERMITAGE (SCHITUL DARVARI)

The Darvari Hermitage was founded in 1834 by Mihail Darvari and his wife Elena, born in the Buzesti family.

The church was made of wood, without a steeple and is dedicated to the “Resurrection of Saint Lazarus, Saint Emperors Constantine and Helena and Saint Voivodes Michael and Gabriel”. The church yard was enclosed by thick and high walls and it sheltered the cells of the priests that served the halidom. Mihail Darvari built it as a place of prayer for his family members.

Between 1933 and 1934, the halidom was completely demolished because of its advanced deterioration. The general Mihail Darvari, founder Mihail Darvari’s nephew, built the church in its current form, in the style of Oltenia and Muntenia, according to the plans of the architect Gheorghe Simotta. Its inside was painted in fresco by Iosif Keber.

In 1959, the communist régime forcedly evicted the 13 monks from the Hermitage, together with their superior, father Simeon Ciumandra. All of them were sent to the Cernica Monastery. The Hermitage was transformed into the subsidiary of the Icon’s Church.

After the fall of the communist régime in 1989, the church was rehabilitated in 1993, under the management of Father Sofian, the superior of the Antim Monastery. The interior painting of the church was discovered after it was washed by the smoke deposited along the years.

Three years later, in March 1996, the Darvari Hermitage was reopened, resuming its statute of monastic establishment, led by the superior Ambrozie Meleaca, originating from the Crasna Monastery of Prahova. In the autumn of year 2000, the superior of the Darvari Hermitage, the Vicar-General Ambrozie took holy orders as Patriarchal Bishop Vicar, while Father Vicar-General Ghervasie Mânzicu was appointed as Superior.

ANTIM MONASTERY

Address: Str. Mitropolit Antim Ivireanul, nr. 29, sector  4, Tel. 337.46.04

It is a foundation of the Georgian metropolitan bishop Antim Ivireanu, one of the outstanding cultural personalities that lived during the reign of Constantin Brancoveanu. The monastery was erected during the period of 1713-1715, on the spot of an old wood church and it is dedicated to “All Saints”.  

Originally, the monastery had the form of a citadel, with the church in the center of a yard surrounded by the monks’ cells. Windows are large, framed by stone sculptures. The church is the only one erected during the 18th century, having its plan in the shape of clover.

After the earthquake of May 1738, the two brick steeples of the monastery fall collapse, being replaced by wood steeples. Between 1746 and 1747, the Monastery was rehabilitated thanks to donations. It is decorated with a new, gilded painting. Then followed a period when the monastery’s estate was robbed, and the building was neglected. The Monastery witnessed another two rehabilitation periods, in 1812 and 1860. During the rehabilitation of 1860, the chapel was completely refurbished and the painting on the walls and on the iconostasis was remade by the painter Gheorghe Tattarescu. Also, the monks’ cells were refurbished, the steeple was completely repaired on the outside, new icons and votive lights were purchased, as well as other cult objects and books. Starting with 1910, the Monastery entered a period of oblivion.

Between years 1964 and 1966, a new restructuring of the monastic complex was achieved (church, steeple, chapel, cells, abbey), also building a central heating plant.

In 1950, the Antim Monastery became an Episcopal dwelling, a happy solution to avoid its demolition. Also, a museum was founded on the east and south sides of the cells, which, in time, became mere repositories.

After the terrible earthquake of 1977, a new rehabilitation of the church, particularly of the paintings, took place.

During the interval 1984-1986, which was the harshest period for the existence of the churches of Bucharest, a part of the monastery, which sheltered the cells, was demolished to make place to a street surrounded by blocks of flats. The building of the Holy Synod was relocated almost 20 meters to the west. 

This is one of the most beautiful architectural monuments of Bucharest, which belongs to the Brancoveanu style in terms of decoration and conception, with a slight influence from the Italian baroque

Despite all the difficulties it has been through, inside the Church one can still see the original paintings made by its founder, the Metropolitan Bishop Antim, among which the Icon of “All Saints” and the Icon of the four saints (Alexis, Nicholas, Antim and Agatha). Also, the massive entrance door, made of oak wood, was sculpted by the same Metropolitan Bishop Antim.

PATRIARCHAL CATHEDRAL

Address: Dealul Mitropoliei, nr. 21

A historic monument, the Patriarchal Cathedral of Bucharest was build according to the architectural pattern of the church of the Curtea de Arges Monastery.

It was built around the middle of the 17th century, while Tara Romaneasca was ruled, for a short while, between 1654 and 1658, by the voivode Constantin Serban Basarab, also called Constantin Voda. Not much is known about those who built the Cathedral, except that Constantin Voda put Radu Logofat Dudescu and Gheorghe Sufariul from Targoviste in charge with supervising the erection of the construction.

The Cathedral is dedicated to the “Saint Emperors Constantin and Helena”.

Starting from June 1668, the foundation of Constantin Serban Voievod has become the “mother of all Wallachian churches”. It continuously kept its quality of Metropolitan Cathedral until 1925, when the Romanian Orthodox Church received the rank of Patriarchy, and the old metropolitan church became what it currently is: the “Patriarchal Cathedral”.