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The Romanian Orthodox Metropolitan Cathedral

catedrala mitropolitana ortodoxa romana small

The Romanian Orthodox Cathedral, called also the Metropolitan Romanian Orthodox Cathedral is situated in the Victoria square, on Regele Ferdinand I Bd.

It got the building permit in June 22, 1936, and the construction was finished in 1946.

The Architectural style is the Moldavian style with eclectic elements.

Because of the traditional Moldavian style (“the Moldavian synthesis”, as some researchers called it) which creatively restyled different influences, but was strongly influenced by the Gothic style, buildings belonging to this style have an elongated figure, completely different from that of the Orthodox failures of buildings which emerged in Timisoara in the interwar period.

int catedrala-smallThe Church is a felicitous “prospect head” in front of the Victoria Square. The building’s style is not completely foreign to the early 1900s architecture in the square, also characterized by ample roof play. It successfully contrasts with the theater triumphal arch, creating a plastic tension that provides new scenery values to the urban space.

The interior space also has an elegant elongation. The interior painting and sculpture elements are, unfortunately, less successful.

The architectural project was made following a national contest won by Prof. architect Ion D. Trajanescu, and builder entrepreneur Eng. Tiberiu Eremia.

Uniqueness aspects

Due to difficult foundation terrain, the foundations are built on 1,000 pillars of reinforced concrete.

With a height of 83.7 m it is one of the tallest buildings in Timisoara.

It hosts an icon gallery and a religious art museum in the basement.

Legends, stories

After August 23, 1944, on October 30-31, 1944, the German air force bombed Timişoara. Six bombs fell on the Cathedral. Of the six bombs, only one exploded, causing important, but limited damage. The fact that the other five bombs, therefore most of them, did not explode is considered “a true divine miracle”: God’s hand has defended His House!

Other aspects

1. The religious art gallery in the basement is accessible from inside the church – going next to the wall on the right towards the altar, through what would correspond to a “side-ship” of the church, we arrive at a door; one enters and goes down the stairs. The collection contains items collected from various old churches in the Banat. The eighteenth century altar fragments are interesting, who speak about Baroque entering the Banat Orthodox art. This interesting phenomenon – the entering of a typically Catholic artistic movement (i.e.: of the Counter-Reformation) in Orthodox religious art is one of the typical cultural interference (and so frequent) in the Banat.

2. The cathedral bells, with a total weight of 7,000 kg, were made from a metal alloy made in Indonesia (the islands of Java and Borneo). The putting into tune of the bells was made by the famous composer Sabin Drăgoi.

3. The history of the land on which the Cathedral was built is also interesting. The railway used to pass through here, because at the time of its construction (1858) the military administration claimed to have control of the city’s rail traffic – basically they wanted to bring the railway “in the guns’ range”. The railway was still here in the interwar period, giving rise to some very picturesque aspects: when the train passed not only cars, but also trams waited at the barrier (“the older brother” had priority). Also in the today park there was a large cemetery: “the Cemetery in front of the Petrovaradin Gate”. (Petrovaradin was the great fortress built by the Habsburgs near Novi Sad).



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For information about the other programmes financed by the European Union in Romania, as well as for detailed information regarding the membership of Romania in the European Union, please visit the website of the Representation of the European Commission in Romania.
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