The Metropolitan Cathedral in Iași is the headquarters of the Mitropoly of Moldavia and Bucovina, one of the six Orthodox metropolitan cathedrals in Romania and the biggest Orthodox church in the country.
Works at the cathedral began in 1833, but stopped six years later. In 1857, due to serious deteriorations, the central dome crashed, leaving the church unused for the next two decades. In 1880 works were revived and the cathedral was finished in 1887. The inauguration of the church took place on April 23rd 1887 and the ceremony, considered a national event, was attended by King Carol I and Queen Elisabeta.
The cathedral, built in the late Italian Renaissance style, is a monumental and grandiose building. The decorative elements, both interior and exterior, are dominated by the Baroque style. The eastern façade comprises six impressive column placed on a high stone plinth. The church’s interior paintings are the work of the renowned Romanian pioneer of neoclassicism, Gheorghe Tattarescu. He decorated the church with icons and ornamental elements of Italian Neo-classicist influence that impress through their diversity and sensitivity. The visitors can also enjoy two very valuable 16th century icons: “Christ Pantocrator” and “The Virgin and Child”.
Inside the church you can find the relics of Saint Parascheva, the patron saint of Moldova. They were brought in 1889 from the Church of the Three Hierarchs. It is said that Prince Vasile Lupu spent the country’s entire budget for one year and a half to buy the relics. They attract thousands of pilgrims, especially on October 14th, the Saint’s feast day. This religious holiday coincides with Iași Days, so don’t miss the celebration, but beware of the crowd!
The old cathedral, the metropolitan palace, the building housing the offices of the archiepiscopal chancellery, the archives, the sumptuous festive hall, as well as the other annexes form an architectural complex of a great artistic importance.
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How to get there:
The Metropolitan Cathedral is situated in the centre of Iași, right across the street from the City Hall.