Located in the central area of Bucharest, the Church of the Holy Cross and Saint Basil the Great is an important monument, known among locals and tourists for its religious and cultural value. Considered a place of meditation and prayer in the heart of Romania’s capital city, the church stands out both through its spectacular architectural component and its unique history.
The last restoration works for the church were carried out between 2019-2020. The BrownStone team also proudly took part in the process. Our contribution consisted in the assembly and polishing of the natural stone floor. Also, our team assembled marble medallions – symbolic decorative elements that give the interior of the church a splendid aesthetic and spiritual significance.
A first mention of the church in the city’s inventory was made in 1804, on January 9th. The first testimonies about the monument point to the existence of a possible monk schist on the outskirts of Bucharest, having potential links with the Holy Mount Athos.
The year 1815 marks an important event in the history of the church, when it was dedicated to the Marcuța Monastery. In 1838, the old church was destroyed by the earthquake, and after 9 years it was restored during the reign of Gheorghe Dimitrie Bibescu and Neofit the second. The process was aided by Toma Balta, who paid most of the expenses necessary for the reconstruction. Among other contributors of the church was Elena Filipescu. She also left in her will an annual donation for maintenance and repair.
In order to reach its present form, the church of the Holy Cross and of Saint Basil the Great carried a complex history, becoming a parish church with 171 families and 600 souls around the year 1909.
To date, the building has undergone multiple reconstruction works, in the years 1889, 1911, 1922, 1959, 1960 and more recently, since 2000, when numerous improvements were made, such as: washing of the painting, restoring the iconostasis and building a new belfry.
The Church of the Holy Cross and of Saint Basil the Great houses many valuable religious objects, the most important one being “Sfânta Raclă”, which was made around the year 1770. It is carved in painted wood and clothed in golden silver, decorated with many precious stones, among which: sapphire, emerald, garnet, ruby, topaz, pearls.
In it, there is a fragment of the “Holy Wood of the Saint and life giving Cross of Christ”, as well as the relics of several Saint Parents: Saints Trifon, Haralambie, Teodor, John the Baptist.
Another element that gives the Church great importance is the painting on the inside, created in a manner of painting which is characteristic to that time. This painting belongs to Anton Serafim, a former monk at the Căldărușani Monastery. In this holy place there can also be found a number of icons of heritage belonging to the 19th century.
To this day, the church still preserves some valuable traditions, where a large number of Christians participate. Annually, on September 13, after the prayer service for the Ascension of the Holy Cross, with the blessing of Father Patriarch Daniel, the Church of the Holy Cross and Saint Basil the Great organizes a pilgrimage procession from Calea Victoriei ( Victory Avenue ) to Nicolae Iorga Park. The pilgrimage is made with Sfânta Raclă.
Another tradition, started in 2011, is the Carol Concert “Angels and Shepherds sing carols to the Earth!”, organized on December the 5th. The priests and the choir sing songs full of meaning for all the parishioners to hear.