The Greek archimandrite (monastic priest) Ioanikie Stratonikeas was born in Greek-Macedonia, back then a region with a large Wallachian (Romanian) population. He migrated to Walachia at the beginning of the 18th century during Prince Constantin Brancoveanu and preached in an Orthodox church of Bucharest.
In 1722 he bought a lot and built a chapel and a lovely inn for travelers and merchants. Earning lots of money, the archimandrite Ioanichie Stratonikeas, helped by an experienced team of workers, started to built-in 1724 a church which became famous for its beauty. As the metropolitan priest of the church, his fame and respect were raised a lot. Due to this fact, the church received many donations like estates, vineyards, and money. As a good manager, between 1729 and 1733, the former monk will embellish the church by adding the lateral apses and the porch formed by 6 carved stone columns. This porch, through its beauty, equals the carved porch from Mogosoaia Palace.
The monastic life ceased in 1863 when the Law for the Secularization of the Monastic Estates was adopted. Then the church fell into ruins, being renovated between 1904 and 1908 by the Romanian architect Ioan Mincu. A new belfry was built together with new cells, a museum, a library, and a refectory. In 1940 the church was re-consecrated.
Although small, the church has an artistic value because of its carved stones and indoor and outdoor frescos. Also, another valuable piece is the carved wooden door and the princely chair. The iconostasis is divided into three registers – The Prophets, the Apostles, and the Emperor Feast. In front of the iconostasis stands a casket containing holy particles of saints like Saint Andrew and Saint Peter.
A curious collection of tombstones dating from the 18th century was gathered in the courtyard.
Stavropoleos Church represents an artistic contribution of the Romanians to the world patrimony, a place we highly recommend.
The Schedule of the Stavropoleos Church:
Daily: 08:00 – 20:00
Entrance fee: free
Address: 4 Stavropoleos Street
Link: Stavropoleos Convent