Updates, Live

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Biserica Bucur (Church of Bucur the Shepherd)

According to the legend, Bucharest was founded by Bucur, a shepherd who stopped once with his flock in these places; hence the name of Bucuresti. It follows that the Church of Bucur should be the oldest shrine in the city. But a legend is just that, and nobody knows the exact moment when Bucharest was born. And there are older churches in town.

Even if not the oldest, the Church of Bucur has a special aura, due to the legend, and I have always thought at it as being the first shrine here. It is very small (even compared with the other Bucharest churches which mostly are very small in size), it has a fantastic balance of proportions, and it is simply beautiful.

the church viewed from the hill of Radu Voda Monastery

It seems that the Church of Bucur was at the beginnings a chapel of Radu Voda Monastery, and both were on the same hill. But this was in old times: in the 19th century the hill was sectioned to make place to a new street (which was named the Bucur Church Street). So now the two shrines stay on separate hills and look at each other across the street. The river of Dambovitza flows behind the Church of Bucur.

the church viewed from the street

So it's not the oldest church in Bucharest, for sure. But I have always thought at it as the place where all history began here: I always had the feeling that if I come here I would find out the beginning. And the hidden spirit of the city, the spirit that encapsulates all the truth, about past, about present, about destiny.

the bell

I wonder how it copes the old church with the new landscape of the city, with aggressive sky scrappers emerged among other big apartment buildings. It probably knows that each age is passing, and a new one will come some day with a new landscape. But the spirit of the place will remain here unchanged: the spirit of Bucur the Shepherd.

the stairs

the door

close up on the door

Athanasius of Alexandria and Cyril of Jerusalem, the patron saints of the church


(Icon and Orthodoxy)


Post a Comment

<< Home