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Stavropoleos Monastery

Bucharest, Romania

Stavropoleos Monastery, also known as Stavropoleos Church during the last century when the monastery was dissolved, is an Eastern Orthodox monastery for nuns in central Bucharest, Romania. The church is built in the Brâncovenesc style. The patrons of the church (the saints to whom the church is dedicated) are St. Archangels Michael and Gabriel. The name Stavropoleos is a Romanian rendition of a Greek word, Stauropolis, meaning “The city of the Cross”. One of the monastery’s constant interests is Byzantine music, expressed through its choir and the largest collection of Byzantine music books in Romania.

This is an architectural jewel, and a nice comparison to the mixture of the Romanian people: Oriental, Italian, Byzantine, translated into the ornate architectural details.

The church was built in 1724, by archimandrite Ioanichie Stratonikeas. In 1726 abbot Ioanichie was elected metropolitan of Stavropole and exarch of Caria. Since then the monastery he built is named Stavropoleos, after the name of the old seat. On February 7, 1742, Ioanichie, aged 61, died and was buried in his church.

All that remains from the original monastery is the church, alongside a building from the beginning of the 20th century which shelters a library, a conference room and a collection of old (early 18th century) icons and ecclesiastical objects, and parts of wall painting recovered from churches demolished during the communist regime. This new building was constructed following the plans of architect Ion Mincu.

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