One year since the consecration of Romania’s National Cathedral we provide you with some figures to help you understand what this national project has meant until today.
110 million euros
Because the number of press materials increased with the cathedral’s building process, and most of the time the deep significance of this national project is overlooked, the amounts spent with the National Cathedral have been intensely discussed.
110 million euros was the total amount spent until the consecration of the shell and core church. However, the Romanian Church’s efforts were not exclusively concentrated on this area. Over the last decade, more than 150 million euros were invested in the philanthropic field, through the more than 700 social institutions managed by the Church.
134 years of waiting
The need to build a National Cathedral in Bucharest was felt especially after the War of Independence of 1877-1878.
Three years after the proclamation of Romania as a Kingdom in 1881, King Carol I of Romania submitted to the Legislative Chamber a draft law on the construction of a Christian-Orthodox Cathedral in Bucharest.
Although it was mentioned repeatedly over time, the project become a reality only 134 years later.
10 years of works
Right after his enthronement as patriarch on September 30, 2007, Patriarch Daniel assumed the mandate of his predecessors and resumed with priority the project of the Romanian People’s Salvation Cathedral.
The foundation stone laying ceremony on the site of the Arsenal Hill was officiated on November 29, 2007, on the eve of the feast of Saint Andrew the First-called, who is also considered the Protector of Romania.
After numerous preparatory steps, the Romanian Patriarchate started the construction at the end of 2010. Currently, the place of worship is not open to the general public and will be under construction for three or four years from now.
Although the Cathedral was consecrated as a base building to mark the Centennial of Romania’s 1918 Great Union, over 150,000 Romanians came to visit the edifice and to venerate the altar table from November 25 to December 2, 2018.
A very special pilgrim to the National Cathedral was Pope Francis who paid a visit to Romania this year at the end of May.
The new Orthodox Cathedral in Bucharest is dedicated to all the martyrs who sacrificed their lives for Romania’s national and spiritual unity.
A list containing the names of 350,000 Romanian heroes of all times was placed at the foot of the altar table.
28 doors ‘guarded’ by Saints
The National Cathedral has 28 bronze doors with iconographic representations. These will be coordinated by a computer system that will command the automatic opening of the doors in case of alarm. Also, the Cathedral has a total of 392 windows.
The 120-meter high cathedral will be equipped with 8 elevators.
8 tons of mosaic
The National Cathedral’s iconostasis, made entirely in mosaic, is unique in the whole Orthodox world by its impressive dimensions: 23m wide and 18m high. On the total area of 408 sqm, 8 tons of mosaic were applied.
The entire place of worship will be decorated inside with mosaic iconography.
25 tons – the largest swinging church bell in the world
All six bells of the National Cathedral weigh 33 tons and are mounted at a height of 60 meters above the ground.
The big bell weighs 25 tons, has a diameter of approx. 3 meters and is the largest swinging church bell in the world. It is dedicated to the heroes of the Romanian nation and will only be heard at important events and holidays.
The bells of the Romanian People’s Salvation Cathedral were made at the Grassmayr bell foundry in Innsbruck, Austria. They have a 15-year warranty and a lifetime of over 400 years.
5 ‘crucified’ churches
The site of the National Cathedral represents a moral repair or ‘a paschal light’ for the five ‘crucified’ churches, which were demolished or moved during communism to make place for the People’s House aka the Palace of the Parliament.
Photography courtesy of catedralaneamului.ro
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