Romanian Patriarchate commemorates church architect on 50th death anniversary: A lay-missionary devoted to the Church

The architect of the Romanian Patriarchate Dimitrie Ionescu-Berechet was honoured at the opening of a photo exhibition at the Patriarchal Palace in Bucharest marking the architect’s 50th death anniversary.

‘An esteemed graduate of the Superior School of Architecture in Bucharest, devoted familyist and active participant on the front during the First World War, architect Dimitrie Ionescu-Berechet proved himself to be a deeply religious man and a lay-missionary devoted to the Romanian Orthodox Church throughout his life,’ the Patriarch of Romania stressed on Tuesday, Oct. 8.

Addressing those present, His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel pointed to the architect’s vast culture, his pictorial and theological view, who excelled not only in church and civil architectural design, but also in painting and sculpture.

Dimitrie Ionescu-Berechet was one of the closest collaborators of the first three Patriarchs of Romania.

He designed over 100 new churches and many other buildings that became ‘true monuments with the value of landmarks in the history of contemporary Romanian art.’

His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel noted that the architect Ionescu-Berechet was a pioneer in introducing mosaic art as church decoration in Romania.

The event included the launch of an album published by the Basilica Publishing House with the help of the Library of the Holy Synod. The book was presented by the architect’s grandson, Stefan Ionescu-Berechet.

‘Architect Berechet returns home after more than half of a century. He comes back to the Romanian Patriarchate, which he served with his all love, devotedness and creative abnegation,’ Stefan Berechet said about his grandfather.

‘He does not come back today with a new project, but in the photos displayed and in the pages of the monograph,’ he added.

Stefan Ionescu-Berechet said that ‘this event was crystallized after seven years of research, during which I had the opportunity to get to know the one who was the architect of the Romanian Patriarchate for more than three decades and about whom I can say without fear that he was the greatest church architect in Romania of the last century.’

Photography courtesy of Basilica.ro / Raluca Ene

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