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Bucharest: 10 churches to see 

Explore the beauty of churches in Bucharest with me!

By Anna Purpurpurpur

Bucharest has beautiful architectural sites you can easily explore by walking its streets. However, I’d like to focus on a special type of building because there are many of them, and you might want to explore them from the inside as well! Here’s my list of 10 orthodox churches I spotted in the centre of Romania’s capital!

Just wanted to note that in some churches, you’re not allowed to photograph inside, and not all of them are always open.

1. Curtea Veche Church 

The Curtea Veche Church, or the Old Court Church, is first on my list because it is the oldest church of Bucharest, and the original church dates approximately to the mid-16th century! It’s dedicated to St. Anthony and located on the Curtea Veche part of the city where the princes of Wallachia’s court once stood.

Sadly, the building was heavily damaged during the Great Fire of 1847 and restored later: now it’s a beautiful building in a small green area with many cats running around. Near the church are a few other historical sites, including the Manuc’s Inn. 

2. Zlătari Church

The Zlătari Church is located on Calea Victoriei, one of the main streets of Bucharest. It’s a Romanian Orthodox church whose origins can be traced back to the mid-17th century. Its founders were believed to be goldsmiths – Zlătari in Romanian.

It was rebuilt on multiple occasions following the damage caused by natural disasters and man-made alterations, with the current building entirely rebuilt in the mid-19th century. Come in to see its amazing frescoes with your own eyes!

3. Stavropoleos Monastery 

Stavropoleos Church, or Stavropoleos Monastery, was probably my favourite church on the list! Located just across the street from the famous historical restaurant Caru Cu’ Bere and steps away from Calea Victoriei, Stavropoleos monastery is dedicated to Archangels Michael and Gabriel.

It was originally built in 1724, albeit being demolished in the late 19th century and fully rebuilt later – this style is called ‘Brancovenesc’ combining Byzantine, Oriental, and Renaissance elements (you’ll see a few more examples of it below). Some of the remains are kept in the inner courtyard of the monastery.

If you love Byzantium heritage, that’s a place for you: you can even listen to Byzantine music here!

4. Colţea Church 

Colţea Church, an over three-century-old church in central Bucharest not far from University Square, is often called an important historical treasure of the city. However, I must confess that we found it in a very poor state (as you can see in the picture).

It dates to 1699 and is dedicated to Three Holy Hierarchs and Saint Paraskeva. A beautiful building you see nearby is the Coltea Hospital, the oldest hospital in the city.

5. St. Nicholas Russian Church

May not the views of St. Nicholas Russian Church confuse you – although it’s covered in scaffolding, the church is open for visits!

It dates to 1909, constructed on funds sent from the Russian Empire; however, now, it belongs to the University of Bucharest. The official church in Russia is also Orthodox, as well as in Romania, and the former Russian Church with seven beautiful domes sits in the very centre of the city. 

6. Lutheran Church 

Sadly, we didn’t manage to visit Biserica Luterană, or the Lutheran Church, as it seemed to be under reconstruction; however, I cannot miss it on my list as this is a non-Orthodox church here and its architectural features are pretty distinctive, for instance, you can find there a spire and rose windows.

It was erected in the mid-19th century on the site of the older Lutheran church founded in 1778.

7. Bărăția Church

As you can see from its appearance, Bărăția is also a non-orthodox church. It’s a Roman Catholic church located on Brătianu Boulevard, and ‘Bărăția’ means brotherhood of monks, referring to the Franciscans who founded the first church here in 1314.

The current building dates to the 19th century, although it was damaged and reconstructed a few times later.

8. Kretzulescu Church 

Crețulescu church, or Kretzulescu Church, dates to the first half of the 18th century and was commissioned by the Crețulescu family (hence the name). It’s located on the side of Revolution Square and was erected in Brâncovenesc style, as I’ve mentioned above.

In contrast with many other churches, it was never touched by wars, earthquakes, or any other disasters, so make sure you walk inside to admire its frescoes!

9. Sf. Gheorghe Nou Church

New St. George Church, located not far from the Old St. George Church on Calea Moșilor, dates to the early 18th century, with the oldest remaining dating to the 15th century.

It’s primarily known as a church where Constantin Brâncoveanu is buried: it’s a Romanian religious martyr who was killed by Ottomans alongside his four sons in 1714. 

10. Cathedral for the Salvation of the Romanian People 

Did you know that the largest and the tallest orthodox church – People’s Salvation Cathedral dedicated to Saint Andrew – is currently being built in Bucharest?

It’s located not far from the Palace of Parliament in Centrul Civic, a relatively new district of Bucharest. During the communist era, the whole old district in the city centre was demolished in the 1980s to clear up space for it.

Any other Bucharest churches?

Other churches you might be interested in exploring are the Patriarchal Cathedral, Mihai Voda Church, Antim Monastery, Doamnei Church, Sf Apostoli Church, Doamnei Church, Spiridon Church, Radu Voda Monastery, and Antim Church.

You might also want to read more about Balkans:

Hope you liked my blog!
Yours,
Anna xxx

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