Bucharest Trip – Day 2 : Kretzulescu Church


This rather beautiful Orthodox church dates back to the 1720s, although it was modified in a neo-classical style between 1859 and 1860. It was decided to restore it back to something more like its original design between 1933 and 1936 and that meant making its brickwork become visible again.


It’s located in a central area of Bucharest, next to the National Gallery of Art.


Some of the external painting. These external paintings are original, although there are also internal paintings from the 1859 to 1860 restoration but these have lost their vibrant colours.


It’s certainly impressive from the exterior. I did go in, but there are signs saying no photographs so I abided by that rule. The church has been through a lot over the last century, there have been earthquakes that damaged it in 1940 and 1977, then there was further damage during the 1989 revolution.

These small Orthodox churches feel steeped in historic charm with the smell of incense and the artworks add character and mystique to the dark surroundings. I find the whole set-up of the iconostasis which separates the nave from the sanctuary to make the church so different to the Protestant openness between the nave and the chancel. It’s not for me to say which is the most appropriate form for a church, but it does change the dynamic of the building quite substantially.

Anyway, that beautiful little interlude over, Steve and I had to go and find the others who had charged off to find lunch.