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