The Old Court Church (Biserica Domneasca din Curtea Veche)

Construction

The Old Court Church is located in Romania’s capital city, Bucharest, and it is the oldest house of worship located in this town. The church was erected by the ruler Mircea Ciobanul (Mircea the Shepard) and Ms. Chiajna in 1559. After the death of Mircea Ciobanu, the task of looking after the church (meaning undertaking the painting and decoration work) was conducted by his son, Petru the Young.

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The dedication day of the church is the Feast of the Annunciation, but a second dedication day was instituted after a fire which occurred in 1847 – the patron of the church was St. Antonie the Great. In fact, this shift can be considered as a way to commemorate St. Anton Church which was destroyed in that fire.

Architecture

The Old Court Church is a true architectural gem from the feudal era as it contains an impressive number of vestiges, of immense value. Some of the most important treasures of the church are the iconographic representation of the Holy Trinity at the Mamvri Oaktree dating from the reign of Stephan Cantacuzino, from 1715, which is part of the church altar, and a vessel meant to hold the Eucharist bread which had been donated by St. Constantin Brancoveanu.

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But other objects dating from the end of the 18th century and from the entire 19th century are contained within the walls of the church. There are also frescos dating from the time of Stephan Cantacuzino, which have been preserved in their original state, with a few exceptions. However, the frescoes which were altered as a result of the passage of time have been renovated.

Additions to the church were conducted in the subsequent years, as follows: the entrance door made out of stone in 1715 and the interior painting between 1847 and 1853. The artists behind the interior decoration were C. Lecca and Misu Popp.

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Tourist attractions

The Old Court Church, now declared a national monument, had been constructed so as to serve the religious purposes of the Old Court. This court was the first of its kind on the territory of Bucharest and consisted of a palace, a church, houses with ballrooms, stables and gardens.

Two major calamities, the 1718 fire and the 1787 earthquake, have effectively ruined the royal court. At present the ruins of the palace has been transformed into a protected architectural site.

In its perimeter, there is also a museum, where tourists can admire the remnants of past times. So if you ever visit the Old Court Church, make sure you check the other attractions that are found in close proximity of this edifice.