Bucharest Churches

Metropolitan Church (Biserica Patriarhala)

Set on top one of the city”s few hills, known as Mitropoliei, the Metropolitan Church has been the centerpiece of the Romanian Orthodox faith since the 17th century. The church was built by Constantin Serban Basarab, ruler of the province of Wallachia between 1656 and 1658, to a design inspired by the Curtea de Arges monastery.

The Byzantine interior, containing the most dazzling of the city”s iconostasis, as well as a couple of exquisitely carved side altars, bestows great beauty on the services presided over by the Romanian Patriarch. A huge crowd gathers here for the Easter midnight service.

The outstanding bell-tower at the entrance was built in 1698 and restored in 1958. Next to the church, and closed to the public, is the Patriarchal Palace(1708), residence of the Teoctist, supreme leader of the Romanian Orthodox Church.

Stavropoleos Church

The Stavropoleos Church was built in 1724 by the Greek monk Ioanikie Stratonikeas. Featuring a combination of Romanian and Byzantine architecture, it has a beautiful façade and a delicately carved columned entrance. Surrounded by a peaceful garden, it is an architectural jewel, with beautiful frescoes and wood-painted icons. The mass (in Romanian) is worth viewing if you can find room in this small and cozy church.

St. Joseph”s Cathedral

Constructed in red brick between 1873 and 1884, this Roman Catholic cathedral is an architectural masterpiece combining both gothic and Roman elements. Organ recitals are held every week.

The building is 40 meters long and 22 m wide. It is the most famous Romano- Catholic Church in Bucharest, being at the same time an architectural monument. It is known as an abode of culture – over the years, this famous cathedral held concerts of music for organ, with orchestras, choirs and famous artists.The Cathedral is dedicated in honor of Saint Joseph, husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and its feast is celebrated on March 19.

Built between 1873 and 1884, with the help of Archbishop Ignatiu Paoli, the building is in Gothic style. It was designed by architect Frederic Schmidt, who is also responsible for the design of the Vienna City Hall.

Inside are seven paintings of the life of Saint Joseph, the patron saint of the church, created by Meyer from Munich, who also made the rosette of the cathedral”s frontispiece and the mosaic in the portal. The ceiling is painted in gold by artist Georg Roder. The specialist Nicola Orasi made the altar in Rome from Carrara marble following Schmidt”s drawings. The Ascensio brothers dressed the columns in marble.

The cathedral was renovated in the past years and the painting was restored between 1957 and 1958 by Emanoil Kreiss and then again by Aurelian Bucatarul.

In May 1999 the Pope John Paul II visited the church.