The Romanian Orthodox Patriarchal Cathedral is a place of worship for all Romanian Orthodox being located on Metropolitan Hill in Bucharest. Wallachia ruler Serban Basarab is the first person that starts the construction of this beautiful building, in the 17th century. The structure is finished in 1698 under the rule of Constantin Brancoveanu. The grandiose work of art has 28 meters in its interior and a nave of 14.6 meters. The cathedral is well-known, here being made the first Bible translated in Romanian language. The Bible had an important part in the Romanian literary language development.The Romanian Orthodox Patriarchal Cathedral is a larger copy of Curtea de Arges Monastery of Neagoe Basarab. This Cathedral is dedicated to Saints Constantine and Helena and is consecrated by Mihnea III in the 17th century. It is transformed in Metropolitan and after the First World War is changed in a Patriarchate. The Patriarchal Assembly is composed buy:

  • Patriarchal Cathedral “St. Constantine and Helena
  • Belfry Tower built by Constantin Brancoveanu in the 17th century
  • Patriarchal Palace Chapel finished in the 18th century by Prince Nicolae Mavrocordat and Bishop Daniil (1719-1731) carefulness
  • Patriarchal Palace is made for the first time as an abbot and then become the metropolitan residence

The Patriarchal Cathedral is for the first time painted in the 17th century in the times of Radu Leon Voivode (1664-1669). This ruler transforms this edifice in a Metropolitan one on June 8, 1668. During time, the Cathedral has gone through several repairs and after the restoration between 1960 and 1962, it was built after the architectural model of Curtea de Arges Monastery. Its interior contains an altar, a nave having a trefoil form. Visitors can see an expand narthex supported by stone columns, with outstanding carved capitals in composite manner. The four prismatic towers and the exterior surrounded by a stone belt approximately in the middle of the construction are worth seeing and discovering. The Romanian Orthodox Patriarchal Cathedral started to have mural paintings between the years 1932 and 1935. The Iconostasis is decorated with a glided sculpture same as the imperial doors. Travelers that visit the Patriarch Cathedral can see the Relics of St. Dmitry the New, assembled in a silver shrine. Saint Dmitry the New is the patron of Bucharest and is commemorated every year on October 27. These relics were brought from the village of Basarabi by Metropolitan Gregory II (1760-1787). This tourist attraction deserves traveler attention because of its impressive appearance, beautiful paintings and for hosting the relics of St. Dmitry the New, since 1774.

Located in Hunedoara’s village of Densuş, Saint Nicholas Church is an orthodox church and one of the oldest in Romania having a Byzantine rite, as it was built in the 7th century and bettered in the 13th century; although there are several disputes among historians about the age of this place of worship. It is said that the Church of Densus was built on a former roman pagan temple worshipping the god Mars built in the 2th century; and even this temple is said to have been built over a Dacian temple dedicated to their only god, Zamolxes. The late Roman architectural style can be felt as the church was built with rocks brought from the ruins of not far away Ulpia Traiana Sarmizegetusa. The interior exhibits invaluable fragments of murals dating back from the 14th century.

Considered the oldest church in Romania and Southeastern Europe, the church has held services continuously for 700 years.

The church hosts a series of unique murals. Even the church’s pillars are painted. The western wall shows a 18th century representation of the Last Judgment, Saint Marina fighting the devil, Jesus Christ dressed in a traditional Romanian shirt and a rather disturbing depiction of Saint Thomas wearing his skin on a stick.

The wooden paintings on the iconostasis are also from the 18th century. In the Holy Altar, the famous painter Stefan Zugravul made one of his masterpieces. The table is actually a roman tombstone taken from a sarcophagus. Above the area where the priests is in service, there can barely be seen a few strands from Jesus Christ’s hair.

The Saint Nicholas Church at Densus has suffered a great deal of blasphemies. From 1556 to 1733, Calvinists were the ones in power in Transylvania, so around 1700 there were two priests in service alternatively at Densus, an orthodox and a Calvinist. When the Calvin priest was in service, he put all the sacred icons with their front facing the walls and when the orthodox Romanians came back, they always put them back in their place. All the sacred images were eventually vandalized and painted over by Calvinists. Even more, Turks also vandalized and set everything wooden on fire, but the rock made church survived.

The Church of Densus is part of Tara Hategului / Hateg Land; a place full of Dacian-Roman vestiges. The Hateg villages are known for keeping churches, manor houses and medieval fortresses.

One of the most enchanting cities in Romania is for sure Sibiu. If somebody asks why, the question is very simple: Sibiu is one of the most important cultural centers of Romania and was designated the European Capital of Culture for the year 2007, along with the city of Luxembourg. Sibiu’s Old Town retains the grandeur of its earlier days when rich and powerful guilds dominated regional trade.

Also, every tourist need to know that this city is a pedestrian-friendly city with two easily accessible levels: the Upper town, home to most of Sibiu’s historic sights, and the Lower town, lined with colorful houses on cobblestone streets and bounded by imposing city walls and defense towers overlooking the river Cibin.

The splendour of the city is certainly differently than other places on Transylvanian territory.

Besides many interesting museums, coffee shops, historical dates and pretty locals, Sibiu prepared for all Romanian people and international guests one of the most interesting cultural place named: The Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Church.

The Church represents one of the most important buildings in the Large Square dating from the 18th century. After Sibiu’s adherence to the Reform, the city was left without Catholic churches for a period of over a century, all the churches serving the Evangelic cult. The exterior of the monument is sober, seven smaller rectangular windows with stone cadres being superposed on the seven windows situated at the first floor. In the interior, the lateral altars are divided by Dorian doubled columns.

The statue of the saint martyr Nepomuk which was initially placed in the Large Square must also be mentioned in this article. During the communist regime, this statue was dismantled and at the present it is located in the interior courtyard of the parochial house in the immediate vicinity of the church.

The church is remarkable due to its early Viennese baroque style, with simple lines at the exterior and a richly decorated inside. The interior is really amazing. Here, travelers can find: the fresco representing “Mary and the baby”, the most important Baroque accomplishment in Sibiu; the headstone of count general Otto Ferdinand Traunn of Abensberg (1677-1747), the military commander of Transylvania and the pipe-organ dating from 1860 was made by Carl Hesse.

The members of the parochial community represent three ethnic groups. Therefore, the divine service is conducted in three languages: Romanian, Hungarian and German.

The Piarist Church (Romanian: Biserica Piariștilor), also known as the Jesuit Church (Romanian: Biserica Iezuiților) or the University Church (Romanian: Biserica Universității) is located on Universitatii Street, in Cluj-Napoca. Dedicated to the Holy Trinity, it was the first Roman Catholic Church built in Transylvania after the Protestant Reformation, being built in a Baroque style.

On 13 March 1718, Jesuit priests began a fundraising campaign in order to build the church. The church was completed in 1724 and consecrated the following year by Bishop Joannes Antalfi. The Jesuits were suppressed in 1773 by Pope Clement XIV, so in 1776 Empress Maria Theresa transferred the church to the Piarists. The church was restored in 1775, 1831, 1943, 1970 and 2005-2006.

The church stands out with two clock towers, each 45m high. Also the building has three narrow vertical windows above the entrance, meant to help illuminate the interior, some of them are painted. The main door is surrounded by rich ornamentation, above it there is a bas-relief of the Trinity with the Latin inscription Honori Sanctissimae Trinitatis (“In Honour of the Most Holy Trinity“). There are two smaller doors to the left and the right of this one; above each of them is a sculpture of a saint resting in a niche – Ignatius of Loyola and Francis Xavier, works of the Bavarian artist Johannes Konig.

In comparison with external design, the Church interior is lavishly ornamented. The building has only one central aisle between its western wall and its chancel.

Also, the tourists can see three chapels on the different sides, each with its own altar and adorned with several paintings. One of the most interesting things in Cluj-Napoca Piarists’ Church is the altar in the choir that is more than grandiose and is dedicated to the Trinity. Upon it rests an icon of the Virgin Mary, painted on wood and framed in metal. Underneath the church building there is a crypt with 140 graves.

After visiting this marvelous Church, guests are encouraged to visit St. Michael’s Church which is the first building constructed in Cluj-Napoca and dates since 1316 and the Dormition of the Theotokos Cathedral. Another recommendation is to discover a monumental masterpieces located roundabout 10 minutes’ walk: the Matthias Corvinus Monument established in the Union Square, and Avram Iancu Monument situated in the Avram Iancu Square. Also, Cluj-Napoca Botanical Garden, officially Alexandru Borza Cluj-Napoca University Botanic Garden (Romanian: Grădina Botanică Alexandru Borza a Universităţii Cluj-Napoca), is waiting for its tourists. It’s a ten minutes’ walk from the Piarist Church.

Biertan Fortified Church is located in Biertan parish of Sibiu , in the Transylvania region of Romania. This Lutheran fortified church was built by the ethnic German Transylvanian Saxon community. Together with the surrounding village, the church is part of the villages with fortified churches in Transylvania UNESCO World Heritage Site.

This sanctuary impresses by its harmonious matching in locality, its esthetic and historic value and especially by the original substance preserved since the beginning of its existence. Biertan Fortified Church was built in 15th-16th centuries and was the episcopal see of the Saxon Lutheran Church from 1572 to 1867. It was built on the place of another old church, in the late Gothic style, with elements from the Renaissance architecture at some portals. This main edifice is a hall-church with three naves, with arches disposed in a network. This church has innovative defensive walls.

The Gothic shrine from the inside has the form of a triptych and was realized in more stages between 1515 – 1524.  Reychmut from Sighisoara made the pews between  1514 – 1523; today this pews are considered the most valuable from Transylvania. Another remarkable thing is the blocking system from the vestry door, built in 1515; this system simultaneously activates 19 locks when the door closes.  In 1977 the church was restored and consolidated because of the earthquake. The Church from Biertan preserved very well its previous aspect. Is embellished by walls painted and the basic structures are made of stone. It has the largest altar in Transylvania, carved in wood with 28 painted panels. This painting represents the Crucifixion of Christ, Virgin Mary and Mary Magdalene embracing the Cross.

The Pulpit is sculptured out of a stone block and impresses by its paintings, also representing biblical characters. Frescos from the beginning of the 16th century can be seen on the Southern tower of the inner wall.

Biertan Fortified Church has Baroque and Renaissance style contribution. In the period when the chancel from Biertan was fortified, the consolidation of the ecclesiastical buildings continued in most of the parts. The western tower is heighten and endowed with stones having a defensive role. Because of the architectural forms and intermixed defense there were plenty of possibilities for defense Visitors can also admire the towers surrounding the church, namely the Clock Tower, the Bell Tower, the Gate Tower and the Bacon Tower. Within the grounds are several other interesting buildings, including the Prison Tower – which once served marital counseling purposes.

There is a legend that says that spouses who were arguing, before the divorce were closed for two weeks in the stronghold and forced to stand each other. They had available one spoon, a fork, a table, a bed, a chair and had no knife. For this reason, in 300 years an only divorce happened in Biertan.

Tourists will remain bewitched by this fairy tale scenery. It deserves to linger for hours to admire this architectural jewel.

For sure Cluj-Napoca is one of the most gorgeous cities that have ever existed on Transylvania’s territory. Cluj-Napoca is famous for its primarily Renaissance, Baroque and Gothic architectures. But the most important tourist attraction is of course Dormition of the Theotokos Cathedral-Romanian Orthodox Church.

The church was built between 1923 and 1933, after the Union of Transylvania with the Romanian Old Kingdom; therefore the construction of the Cathedral lasted almost 10 years. Dormition of the Theotokos Cathedral is showy because of its Brancovenesc style – a synthesis of Renaissance and Byzantine architecture, located in the middle of the city on Piata Avram Iancu street no. 18. The project of the cathedral was developed by the architects George Cristinel and Constantin Pomponiu, who also designed the Mausoleum of Marasesti.

On 5 of November 1933 the Cathedral was officially opened by Miron Cristea, the Patriarch of all Romania, Nicolae Balan, the Metropolitan of Transylvania and Nicolae Ivan, the Bishop of Cluj. The opening ceremony was also attended, among many others, by King Carol II and Crown Prince Michael I.

The Cathedral was endowed with four bells brought from Hungary and one of them weight two tons. Also tourists can enter inside absolutely for free and stay there how long they desire.

For sure every person will be impressed by the icon size which is located at a height of 4 meters; colors used for the priesthood portraits are showing imposingly priests clothing. Travelers interested in religious tourism can take a tour with a guide that can inform and tell the unknown story about this building.

Moreover if you are lucky you can attend a wedding ceremony between newlyweds and follow this saint event. One of the catchiest things that you can observe is the diverse attire of the priesthoods that are totally different in every event. For example in fasting before Easter, priests are wearing black color. On Holy Thursday priests are wearing red robes and on Whitsuntide they are changing their clothes in viola robes thus the clothes signify Romanian traditions and hallowed celebrations.

In subsoil every tourist can discover important information about first priest that served in this church and some of dates about items used during services since 1933. If you wish to take a look outward, near cathedral is located a small green park with banks for visitors and tourists.

 

When anyone thinks about Cluj-Napoca, they probably visualize the immense Gothic edifice placed exactly in the heart of the city. Saint Michael’s Cathedral is undoubtedly the most representative landmark of Cluj. Although most cities have a grandiose holy monument in its center, St. Michael’s plays an impressive role on the city’s identity. It has been a constantly notable sight all throughout history. The expansion of Cluj-Napoca owes a lot to this Cathedral because it sparked the construction of all the administrative and public buildings around it.

The Cathedral is the second greatest Gothic church in Transylvania, after the Black Church in Brasov. Its massive tower measures 80 meters and the cross on top of it is 4 meters tall. These make up the highest church tower in Romania.

The first documentation regarding the church’s existence is from the year 1349, although other sources claim it had begun 30 years prior. The piece of land on which it stands was initially used as a cemetery that has its own chapel. The construction was funded mostly by citizens of Cluj-Napoca and it was finished in 1444, as it is inscribed at the entrance. The initial tower was built in the early 1500s, but today stands the one built in 1862.

The Cathedral has undergone several changes and additions since its inauguration year. Today it is a harmonious mélange between Baroque, Gothic and neo-Gothic. The changes were undertaken as a result of a fire in 1679 and the Church was rebuilt in Baroque style in 1744. A second major event that changed the aspect of the church took place in 1763 when it suffered an earthquake and the tower was totally destroyed. After a while, in 1837 the existing clock tower was built this time in a neo-Gothic style.

The church served different confessions during history. First it was Lutheran, afterwards it became Calvinist, then Unitarian for about 150 years and in the end Catholic, as it is today.

Even though it has an undeniable architectural importance, it also has a historical reputation because several major events were hosted within. Some of these are: the baptism of Matthias Corvinus Rex and the crowning ceremonies of numerous princes of Transylvania.

The interior of the St. Michael’s Cathedral consists of elements varying in style, an assembly of visually appealing works of art.

Entering the cathedral, the first of these elements is the monumental entrance portal of the church. It was initially decorated with King Emperor Sigismund of Luxembourg’s coats of arms, a big contributor to the construction. Also at the entrance there is a representation of St. Michael, the church’s protector. The centerpiece of the interior is the altar, a neo-Gothic inspired religious artwork. The altar is decorated with a sculpture showing the Virgin Mary and two Hungarian saints to her sides, St. Stephen and St. Ladislau. The spiral staircase and the stained glass windows catch the eye of every tourist, as well as the organ above the entrance.

Besides its religious masses and organ concerts, St.Michael’s also gives tourists the opportunity to see the panorama of the city from its tower, but exclusively once or twice a year, so do not miss it!

There are a great deal of restaurants, cafes, shops and libraries encircling Cluj-Napoca’s greatest landmark, which make it easy for tourists to spend all day roaming around it.

Discover Romania in the historic region of Maramures, in the northern part of the country, where great historic edifices rise under the eyes of viewers and visitors. With this tour travel, you will get to learn more about the religious and cultural identity of the Romanian people, dating from ages ago, where centuries old traditions and customs left their mark in these spectacular churches made of wood.

The Wooden Churches are important pieces of architecture, truly impressive creations, full of spirit and historic legacies and stories. The building of such worship places is traced from the beginning of 16th century.

They are found in a great number, but 8 of them were included in the UNESCO Patrimony as World Heritage Sites in the year of 1999. Some of them are almost ancient, others are built more close to the present, but being truly architectural masterpieces, their unique value is recognized in the entire world.

Maramures is a region of Romania with a strong cultural ethnicity and diversity, so this can be seen in the different features of the churches, the wood carving and the ornamentation. All over the northern part of the country, the 8 most important Wooden Churches are:

  • The Wooden Church of Budesti, Josani
  • The Wooden Church of Desesti
  • The Wooden Church of Barsana
  • The Wooden Church of Poienile Izei
  • The Wooden Church of Ieud Deal, Ieud
  • The Wooden Church of Surdesti
  • The Wooden Church of Plopis
  • The Wooden Church of Rogoz

Traveling along the beautiful scenery, the Wooden Churches stand as testimony of a rich heritage in this tour travel, that tourists get to see in their itinerary. Major historical and ecclesiastic monuments, they were masterfully crafted in wood. Narrow, but tall, with long and slim steeples, they have a sacred purpose to unite the people with their religion and faith.

Local tradition, the houses of worship were erected not only by local craftsmen with a great knowledge but specialized carpenters across the centuries, with influences from oppressors who roamed the region.

The Wooden Churches are made in a particular style, the iconography and biblical scenes in their interior are of baroque influences with beautiful paintings preserved very well over the years.

The roof in two levels of the church, and belfry with an open patio are specific architectural elements of the area. The history of Maramures is transmitted through the voice of the wood carved in these churches. They are the particular expression of the local tradition of this mountain area in northern Romania.

Nonetheless, the foreigner rulers of those times didn’t allow the people of the place to build churches from stone or other durable materials that would last for years. But, the villagers were not intimidated so they erected these beautiful wooden churches so that they can be close to God.

Discover Romania in this amazing tour travel, where across picturesque landscapes and cultural diversity, the Wooden Churches of Maramures leave a pleasant memory to visitors every year.

 

 

 

The Lutheran Cathedral of Saint Mary, typically known as the Evangelical Cathedral, is the most famous church built in a gothic style. It is located in the Huet Square, the center of Sibiu, Transylvania.

Around the 13th century, there used to be a Romanesque basilica on the same spot. The community of Sibiu went into a significant expansion, from a small village to an important borough. Therefore, they felt the need for a bigger place of worship, under the promise of a sky-reaching tower.

The works for the much wanted cathedral started in 1380, but the people abandoned the construction for a while, fortifying it instead, due to frequent threats of attacks. With the erection of the steeple in 1520, the church was considered finished.

The immensity of the Evangelical Cathedral is the main charm of this gothic shrine, its tower measuring 74 meters. The seven level tower, considered the tallest in Transylvania, is surrounded by 4 other medium sized towers. There are two altars, one of which is probably from the old church. The church also used to have a cemetery, which lasted for three centuries. Here laid at rest important figures of Sibiu and not only, such as mayors and earls. This practice was forbidden in 1796, although a single time exception was made in 1803 with the passing of the renowned Samuel von Brukenthal. After fifty years, the gravestones, 67 in number, were moved from their place and were incorporated in the church’s walls, in a room called ferula. These same walls are ornamented with paintings of Johannes de Rosenow Georgamvon, which date from the middle 1600s.

The old organ of the Lutheran Cathedral, built in 1585, was substituted with a newer one, a Baroque style organ built by a Slovakian craftsman in 1671. It is now considered the largest organ from southeastern Europe. Two sculptors, namely Elias Nicolai and Sigismund Moss, contributed in the 16th century with carving marble stones of blood-red and grey color.

Although a series of artifacts are not shown to the public, such as a gilded silver cult pot made by Sebastian Hann, there are other treasured pieces left for the admiration of the public eye. Perhaps the most precious item in the Evangelical Cathedral is a calyx decorated with the most beautiful existent bronze gothic fonts in Romania. The font is a work of master Leonhardus and dates back from the 1400s.

The courtyard in front of the church is a bronze statue of the famous historian and bishop of Transylvania, George Daniel Teutsch. Besides its massive tower, probably the most striking exterior aspect is the colorful roof, which reminds of Vienna’s Stephansdom.

The main altar, the secondary altars, the paintings, the emblems, the bronze font, the organ and the architectural details fairly make the Evangelical Church of Sibiu it one of the most striking churches in Transylvania.

Besides these, during the summer, there are concerts every night. It also facilitates access for disabled persons, tourist information and it has its personal souvenir shop.

Bucovina is well-known for its respected traditions, hospitality and amazing landscapes, but what draws tourists’ attention the unique places are of worship located all over Northern Moldavia. The numerous painted churches are the tour travel’s highlights and would be a pity to miss them.

With a specific architecture, fine exterior and interior frescoes, these medieval gems have been well preserved during many centuries. Because of their uniqueness and artistic value they were added in the UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 1993.

Initially, built approximately between 1487 and 1583, as family burial places for nobles and rich princes and boyars, they were surrounded by high walls in order to defend them in the troubled medieval times.

Thereby, the churches in Moldavia are very special because the painters interpreted the scenes from the Bible in their own personal way, giving different styles in the ways of painting and showing the scenes in the Holy books.

These important 8 churches are part of the UNESCO’s Heritage and represent some of Bucovina’s legacies:

• Arbore Monastery (Beheading of St. John the Baptist Church)
• Humor Monastery (Dormition of the Mother of God Church)
• Vatra Moldovitei Monastery (Annunciation Church)
• Patrauti Monastery (Exaltation of the Holy Cross Church)
• Probota Monastery (St. Nicholas Church)
• Suceava Monastery (St. George Church)
• Voronet Monastery (St. George Church)
• Sucevita Monastery (Ressurection Church)

Each church has its characteristic colors and shades, so we can talk not only about the famous Voronet blue, but of the red of Humor, green of Arbore, yellow of Moldovita or the green-red of Sucevita. The paintings describe Biblical scenes of heaven and earth and of the life of Jesus Christ, Virgin Mary and numerous saints.

The interior walls were first painted and then the scenes continued on the exterior. These vast pictures represent the religious world medieval people lived in and they promote the Orthodoxism of these parts. Although of Byzantine inspiration, the paintings on the exterior and interior walls of these worship constructions are authentic. In an era where very few people could read or write, the suggestive images served as explications for the parish to understand Biblical writings.

Architectural monuments, they serve as testimony of faith and beliefs of Christians passed through generations, in time. While the composition of some shades is unknown, it is remarkable the fact that the harmony of the colors that give life to the walls blend with the rural surroundings. The churches merge with the nature creating a beautiful scenery that visitors get to see in this tour travel.

Founded by great figures in Romanian history, princes and rulers of Moldavia, such as Stephen the Great, his son Petru Rares, Georghe Movila or Bogdan III, these churches are evidence of a complex and rich history.

Discover Romania in a land of myth, religious cults and powerful beliefs, visiting the most important medieval constructions in Northern Moldavia, the painted Churches of Bucovina.