Places of interest02 September 2023

Sinaia Monastery, or the Cathedral of the Carpathians - a historical monument, a cultural and spiritual landmark, one of the most beautiful Orthodox monasteries in Romania

Located in a magnificent landscape of the Bucegi Mountains, the monastery has been standing guard over Sinaia city for more than 300 years, with elegance and aristocratic distinction

Sinaia Monastery

Sinaia Monastery

The tourists headed to Sinaia have three major objectives to follow: Bucegi Mountains, Peles Castle and Sinaia Monastery. The cornerstone of the future monastery was set by the Chancellor Mihail Cantacuzino, in 1690, inspired by “Saint Catherine’s Monastery” on Mount Sinai – hence the name of the place of worship. Between 1842 and1846, the monastery was expanded by building a larger church and adding new monk cells.

The monastic complex of Sinaia is a true historical monument of Romanian art and spirituality. The Old Church, dedicated to „Mother Mary”, was built in a Baroque-influence Brancovenesc style, with stone carved columns, decorated with flower and vegetal motifs. It is made up of a pronaos, naos and the altar, to which the Brancovenesc style porch is added.

The church portal has to its right side the face of Moses with the Tables and to its left side the face of his brother, Aaron, with his budding rod. The dome of the porch is painted with scenes from the life of several saints, including Saint Catherine - the protector of the monastery on Mount Sinai. The pronaos is dominated by the votive painting representing the founder of the Monastery, Mihai Cantacuzino. The bell tower is supported by stone columns, and the coating is of copper, while under the cornice of the roof there are 16 icons in golden mosaic, signed by a Viennese master.

The chapel, dating back to 1695, still preserves the original painting, blackened over time. Near the chapel, there is Tache Ionescu's vault, prime minister of Romania during the First World War The Big Church, dedicated to the “Holy Trinity”, was built between1842 and 1846, of stone and bricks. There is a splendid embroidered epitaph, with threads of gold and colored silk, on cotton canvas, registered in the U.N.E.S.C.O. catalogue. Ana Roth worked for three years (1897-1900) for this masterpiece. In the naos there are the chairs reserved to the royal family, one with the royal crest and the emblem “Nihil sine Deo” and the one of Queen Elisabeth, with the initials E.D engraved. (Queen Elisabeth).


Elena Radu




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