Around Bucharest: Pasarea Monastery

As suggested by more than a couple of people on these pages over the past few weeks, we have decided to take a look at some of the monasteries which surround Bucharest. We began on Sunday with Pasarea Monastery, just east of Bucharest on the old road to Constanta:

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It’s a quiet, gorgeous place, though finding it is not easy. Signposted from the main road, once you head into Branesti you are on your own. You will see it but have no idea how to get there. Do what we did and ask a local.

Pasarea Monastery, Bucharest
Pasarea Monastery, near Bucharest

A genuine self-contained monastery of the old school, the two monastery churches are surrounded by a veritable village of rather nice houses in which the ecclesiastical staff live. This is clearly not one of those monasteries where the nuns live in poverty in order to get closer to God.

Pasarea Monastery, near Bucharest

The monastery was founded in 1813, though the original wooden church was destroyed in an earthquake in 1838. Today there are two churches: the Biserica Mica (Small Church) in the cemetery, built from 1834-1838, and the Biserica Mare (officially the Sfanta Treime – Holy Trinity – church), built from 1846-47.

The interior of the large church is impressive, boasting some outstanding frescoes painted in the 1840s by unknown artists from the collective based at the larger Cernica Monastery not far from here.

The monastery was renovated between 1967 and 1975, and the frescoes fully restored in the early 1980s.

Pasarea Monastery

Pasarea Monastery

The monastery is free to enter on foot, one leu if you come by car. It is open from 06:00-21:00.

  • Parmalat

    Isn’t Gigi Becali depicted on any of the frescoes?

    • Unfortunately no. But a friend of mine found this somewhere in Buzau: http://twitpic.com/6cqkoo

      • Geronimo

        Ooh, that looks brilliant. Who are the penitent sinners?

        • No idea, local politicos I would assume. Magnificent idea though.

        • Parmalat

          If you look closely, on the fresco there’s some kind of a manuscript painted and on that manuscript it writes the names of the founders of that particular church (who are in fact the people which contributed with the most money, benefactors).

          In many churches Gigi Becali is the benefactor and he’s painted on the wall, between saints.

          But in that particular church I never heard of the founders, could be politicians or local businessmen (same thing, you don’t do business outside of Bucharest if you are not politically involved, there are other rules “in the province”).

          • What I like best is that even as a fresco the fellow in front couldn’t be arsed to find a suit jacket which fits properly.

            • Parmalat

              =))

  • ioana

    Craig, i think this is a great idea! let’s see what you’ll write about Comana, in case you consider worth visiting. 🙂

  • Fritz

    jolly good post
    Around Bucharest there’s a ring of late 19th/early20th fortifications. None of them restored. Can only be visited at one’s own risk. Found around the ring road; You can spot them on google maps (some more clearly than others)

  • And – changing the subject completely – we visited Pasarea Monastery near Bucharest at the weekend: http://t.co/PVUBiUE