Stavropoleos Church, Bucharest
The Stavropoleos Church in Bucharest is an Eastern Orthodox monastery from the 18th century.
The Stavropoleos Church in Bucharest is an Eastern Orthodox monastery from the 18th century. Built in 1724 by Greek monk Ioanichie Stratonikeas, the cozy Brâncovenesc style church is dedicated to Archangels Saints Michael and Gabriel. The original monastery and inn of the complex have been lost, with the extant parts being the church, the cloisters with old tombstones, a 20th century building which houses the library, a conference room and a collection of early 18th century icons and ecclesiastical objects.
The church is built in typical Romanian style on a trefoil plan with a domed tower. The façade features a marble portico with carved columns on a balustrade featuring plant and animal motifs. The marble cornice running along the top of the façade has floral motifs, and a band painted with foliage and large medallions featuring figures of saints. An exquisitely carved wooden door leads to the interiors, which have a central cupola and 3 circular apses, with beautiful frescoes covering all surfaces. The apses house a rich collection of gilded iconostasis in wood. The church is also noted for its choir that performs Byzantine and post-Byzantine music.
The adjoining structure, built in the early 20th century to designs by Ion Mincu, has the library collection of over 8000 books on theology, arts and history including the largest collection of Byzantine music books in Romania. The building also has a museum where icons and vestiges of the frescoes from the churches destroyed during the communist regime are on display.
The courtyard has a lapidarium with an interesting collection of tombstones dating from the 18th century.