Stavropoleos Church (Biserica Stravrapoleos)

#7 in Best Things To Do in Bucharest
Stavropoleos Church (Biserica Stravrapoleos) picture
Klearchos Kapoutsis/Flickr

Key Info

Str. Stavropoleos nr.4

Price & Hours

Free

Details

Churches/Religious Sites, Sightseeing, Free Type
Less than 1 hour Time to Spend
4.2scorecard
  • 5.0Value
  • 3.5Facilities
  • 4.5Atmosphere

Built in 1724, the Stavropoleos Church is the only surviving portion of the original monastery by the same name. The adjacent 18th-century buildings were intentionally demolished or razed by earthquakes over the past two centuries. Squeezed into the center of Bucharest, Stavropoleos retains its connection to Byzantine traditions through its choral style and collection of Byzantine music books. At this Eastern Orthodox church, nuns restore ancient texts and sacred objects that the monastery discovers and collects.

As this is a functioning house of worship, be particularly attentive to observed customs, and remember to dress conservatively. When inside, note the intricate ornamentation and frescoes characteristic of 18th-century ecclesiastical architecture in Eastern Europe. One Virtual Tourist user says: "Although tiny, every little detail is worth looking at: the richly adorned columns of the porch, the exterior paintings and carvings, the wooden door. I think it's impossible to visit churches like Stavropoleos and not be moved in some way."

You can enter the Stavropoleos Church for free, though donations are appreciated. It's open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., but closed to visitors for religious services and occasional renovations. The worship schedule is posted on the official website.

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#1 Calea Victoriei

Walk up and down the Calea Victoriei, or "Victory Avenue," and you could very well fill up an entire memory card of photos. That's because this boulevard is Bucharest's most fashionable and historic thoroughfare. You'll pass the Old Princely Court (a historic city center with an ancient bust of Vlad Tepes); the Cantacuzino Palace (the sumptuous home of Bucharest's wealthy former Prime Minister Grigore Cantacuzino); Revolution Square (the dramatic setting of Ceausescu's final moments in power) and the National Art Museum among others. Along the way, you should stop and photograph the Military Club, a building that one Virtual Tourist says, "you can't fail to notice." Conclude your stroll at one of the area's traditional Romanian restaurants, bars or clubs.

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