This year’s mild autumn has urged us to look for some places in Bucharest where one can enjoy the beauty of the season, but which also give us a time of respite and prayer.
The Darvari Skete is located in the centre of Bucharest, near Gradina Icoanei (Icon’s Garden) Park. Protected by the Holy Archangels Michael and Gabriel, the small monastic settlement is distinguished by the contrast between the quietness within its walls and the bustle of the streets of Bucharest.
The Darvari Skete attracts through the beauty of its garden, the cells with flower-decorated porches, the benches placed in the shadow of a tall quince tree and it calms the soul coming to venerate the holy relics and the icon of the Prodromitissa Mother of God kept in the church.
Father Nicolae Steinhardt said about the Darvari Skete:
It’s impossible not to attract you through its hidden grace, smallness and tranquility.
‘Dimitrie Gusti’ National Village Museum
The Village Museum in Bucharest has been the most visited museum in Romania in recent years and attracts Bucharesters in search of peace, simplicity and beauty every week.
In autumn, the ‘village in the heart of the city’ acquires a special charm due to the rich and colorful vegetation, the contrast between the yellow of the trees and the blue of several houses, the alleys loaded with leaves.
The museum, whose patron saint is the Great Martyr Demetrios the Myrrh-Gusher, preserves elements of Orthodox spirituality: four churches from Maramureș, Gorj, Neamț and Cluj and two memorial crosses from Valcea and Sibiu.
In the church brought from Turea (Cluj) there are occasional services and the fair of St. Demetrios is organized annually as an event with tradition in the history of the museum.
The Church of Stravropoleos Monastery is located in Bucharest’s Old Town and is one of the best preserved monuments of Brancovenesque architecture in Romania.
In 1724, Archimandrite Ioannikios Stratonikeas built the place of worship and an inn. At present, only the old church is preserved, the rest of the monastery complex was built in the 19th century.
The monastery attracts by its architectural style, by the antiquity of the icons in the church, but also by the beauty and tranquility of the inner courtyard.
Silver Knife Church and Carol Park
The Carol Park, opened in 1906 to celebrate 40 years of the reign of Romania’s King Carol I, is home to several monuments and historical buildings such as the Vlad Țepeș Castle, the Cantacuzino Fountain or the Roman Arenas.
On the western side of the park there is the Silver Knife Church (Parish of Bărbătescu Nou) with access from the homonymous street.
The beautiful place of worship was built on the Hill of Filaret in 1906 by King Carol I, following the model of the princely church of St. Nicholas in Iași, in order to strengthen the links between the Romanian Principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia.
The church, which is a historical monument, was saved from demolition during the communist regime, but the original painting of the artist Costin Petrescu was destroyed.
St Nicholas – Tabacu Church and Nicolae Iorga Park
You can take a break from the bustle on Calea Victoriei in the Church of St. Nicholas Tabacu, located across the road from the Romanian Academy.
Built in 1864 on the site of an old wooden church, the place of worship dedicated to St. Nicholas the Wonderworker draws believers by the fact that here is a particle of the relics of St. Seraphim of Sarov, donated by the Patriarch of Moscow in 2017.
Also, right next to the church is the Nicolae Iorga Park, one of the few green spaces in this crowded area of the capital.
Photography courtesy of Basilica.ro / Raluca Ene