Stavropoleos Church (1724)
Stavropoleos Church is a must-see landmark of the city for anyone visiting Bucharest. It is included in two of my private guided Bucharest city tours:
Full-Day Bucharest City Tour and Walking Tour Downtown Bucharest
Stavropoleos is perhaps the most brilliant in the “pleiad” of churches to be found in Bucharest’s historical center. At the end of the 19th century, the now famous church was in such a bad condition that it was strongly considered to be demolished. Fortunately, it has eventually undergone a complex reconstruction and restoration under the supervision of the Romanian architect Ion Mincu. He also laid out the plans of the abbot’s house and the lovely peristyle court (the cloister or “chiostro”), complying with the style and dimensions of the church, resulting in a perfect harmonious ensemble.
The beginnings of the church go back in the early 1720s, in the time of the first Phanariot prince Nicolae Mavrocordat, when the Greek hieromonk Ioanichie settled in Bucharest, in the thriving area around the Princely Court, where he decided to set up an inn, followed shortly by a monastery. The inn was to ensure income to the monastery, a customary arrangement at the time.
In the turmoil of times the inn perished, but the small gracious church survived. The rich carved stone decorations adorning both the pillars and the window frames, the fine portal, the colorful floral pattern of the exterior mural paintings are impressive testimony of the refinement of Brancovan art.