Hidden Gems of Bucharest

This morning to continue celebrating Julian Easter I decided to enjoy another walk and listen for the sound of church chant that would lead me to prayer. The church reflected in the glass was consecrated on September 8, 1850 hence its name: The Birth of the Virgin Mary Church. The original structure from the 17th century was destroyed by an earthquake.

This is the interior of the church of the birth of Mary which is reflected in the glass of the building.

The chanting lead me back to the chapel that once was part of a medieval palace complex of Vlad Tepes who is often portrayed outside of Romania as Dracula. In Romania Vlad Tepes is a symbol of freedom in that despite his monaker the Impaler he defended Romania against the Islamic aggression of the Ottoman empire. The myth of Vlad Dracula and vampires has nothing to do with this man who led his people to resist aggression.

Buch-032155Here are the recently excavated ruins of his citadel that dates to mid 15th century.


As I walked I became even more attentive to the beauty of some wonderful architecture which stands in such stark contrast to the Soviet style which is out of proportion and just plain ugly.

I continued my walk to Unirii Square which testifies to the Communist dictator Ceaușescu’s plan for urban development. He destroyed much of old Bucharest in the process. I became intent on discovering a few churches that survived the demolition. This church survived and is hidden behind huge apartment complexes.

My next quest was to find vestiges of the old Jewish community in Bucharest which prior to the second world was thriving and strong in the city.

A Jewish synagogue, hidden, like the churches, by Ceaușescu block apartments.


Buch-042348And I found another church unexpectedly hidden by Communist block apartments. Saint Nicholas Church: what a find!

This is the Parliament which is another Ceausescu creation that amount to a multi million project undertaken in 1984.

Once again, the beautiful walled Saint Antim monastery of 1715 is hidden by Communist block housing.

This is a hidden work of beauty.
Buch-050305Stunningly beautiful

In the evening I attended an evening piano recital at the Athenaeum given by Vassilis Varvaresos.

Buch-125043 Buch-124641