Last Sunday I was invited to a baptizing at this charming church that goes by the name of Saint Dumitru Church, also called “of Oath Taking” because in the 17th century the parts involved in a trial would come here and take an oath to tell the truth while wearing the Holy Belt of the Virgin Mary. It is also called “Saint Dumitru at the Post Office”, because of its location, and in the past it used to be called “Saint Dumitru of Badea Bălăceanu”, after the name of one of the first patrons of the church. Although it is located in Bucharest’s Old Town, this church is far less popular than its close neighbour Stavropoleous Church.
This peaceful looking church has quite a stormy history. You can skip this part if you’re not interested. I won’t tell 🙂 There was a wooden church on these grounds as early as the 15th century but it was destroyed in 1595. Rebuilt in the beginning of the 17th century, it was left to ruin after its patron Bălăceanu fell from grace with the Prince of Wallachia Constantin Brăncoveanu. Rebuilt again between the years 1741-1746 and again left to ruin at the end of the 18th century. The church is then damaged in the earthquake of 1802 and what was left of it is burned in a fire in 1804. Then the cycle restarts. Rebuilt in 1843, the building burns down in Great Fire of 1847. The current building dates from 1852 but since then it was again damaged by earthquake and reinforced and renovated many times. After the First World War the church has been abandoned and proposed for demolition but thanks to a media campaign funds were obtained to renovated it. I think it looks pretty nice now.