The Bucharest churches under the communist blade
No other country in history has lived through such great loses such as those inflicted by the infamous communist plan, made by Ceasusescu, to systematize Bucharest. This lead to the disappearance of over 40.000 houses, public buildings, monuments, churches and monasteries.
But there were some initiatives which managed to save some buildings from the buldozer blades. Eugen Iordanescu, a local engineer, ordered the movement of 8 churches in the capital city, of the total 11 which saw a change of location.
The demolition started after the great 1977 earthquake. Nicolae Ceasuescu ordered the disctruction of 20 religios buildings, most of which historical monuments.
But the people of Bucharest will never forget the scar left by the demolition of so many places of worship. The first on the red list of the communists was Enei church, built in 1611. It was demolished in 1977, right after the earthquake, with a strong opposition from the Comision of Historical Monuments. The result: Ceausescu immediately dissolved the commission.
Later, in 1984, the demolition continued. The national heritage church, Alba Postavari, built in 1595, the oldest church of Bucharest, was raised to the ground. One legend about it sais that our famous king, Michael the Brave, stoped here to pray, on his way to the executioner. It seems that God listened to him, as the executioner could not find it in him to kill the king. In 1984 it was left only in our memories…
The year 1986 marked another tragic in the lives of Bucharest. 2 churches were to be demolished.
One of the most famous in Bcuharest, St. Friday, was the house of the famous St. Cuvioasa Parascheva icon, made in Vienna, in 1748. Eye witnesses recall of a sudden rain of ice, which started on the site of the church, as the bulldozers started taking it down.
Anul 1986 a marcat un alt moment tragic în vieţile bucureştenilor. Două lăcaşuri istorice aveau să fie dărâmate.
Monastery, prison, ruin
The Vacaresti Monastery, built the famous kings from the Mavrocordat family, in 1722, as the most relevant example of the Romanian architectural style from that century. The church here was famous, holding rare books, gathered by our famous king, Constantin Cantacuzino, who built so many public institutions in Bucharest. In 1848 it was transformed in a prison for the activists in the great revolution. For over a century it functioned as a prison and only in 1973 it was reverted back to a church. Sadly, in 1987 if vanishes forever.
5 churches fell to the communist regime, when Ceasusescu decided to build his famous House of the People. The great Cathedral of the People, which is being built nowadays behind the palace (it will be the largest church in Europe), will have 5 alters, to represent the 5 lost churches.
Most of the churches of Bucharest were cultural monuments, with a rich history of many centuries. Their distruction ment a great loss for the national heritage, a loss which will never be regained.
When were the churches demolished
• Enei, 1977
• Albă Postăvari, 1984
• Mânastirea Cotroceni, 1984
• Izvorul Tămăduirii, 1984
• Gherghiceanu, 1984
• Spirea Veche, 1984
• Sf. Nicolae Sârbi, 1985
• Sf. Nicolae, 1986
• Sf. Nicolae Jitniţa, 1986
• Mân. Pantelimon, 1986
• Doamna Oltea, 1986
• Olteni, 1987
• Sf. Vineri, 1987
• Mân. Văcăreşti, 1987
• Sf. Spiridon Vechi, 1987
• Bradu Staicu, 1987
• Sf. Treime, 1987
• Sf. Mina, 1985
• Izvorul Tămăduirii, 1982
• Buna Vestire, 1981