Today’s photographs show Bucharest’s Anglican Church of the Resurrection, located near Icoanei Park, at the intersection of three streets. Like many other churches in Bucharest, it has an interesting past. It was built in 1913-1914 on land given to the British Crown by the city of Bucharest. It was opened in 1920 and dedicated in 1922 by the Bishop of Gibraltar. In the early days the church was regularly attended by the Queen Marie of Romania, granddaughter of Queen Victoria, and it was due to her help that the building was completed. The church was closed during WWII from 1940 to Christmas Day 1944, a period when it was under the care of a church guardian and cleaner, also named Maria, who continued to work at the church until 1983 when at the age of 78 was forced to retire. She was later presented with the bronze cross of the Order of St. Augustine of Canterbury by the Archbishop of Canterbury. After the communists took power the church had no permanent chaplain, being served monthly by visiting priests. This situation lasted until 1966. The church’s official webpage describes the harsh conditions of the late 1980s when the church was under constant surveillance and how “the few Romanians who dared to step inside risked losing their job, their home, even their freedom”. These days the church offers English language services every Sunday. The building’s red brick facade is reminiscent of British architecture, and is the work of architect Victor Gh. Ştephănescu.
Who would have guessed that there’s a Michael Jackson memorial in Bucharest? (of all places 🙂 ) I had no idea before running into it in Herăstrău park three weeks ago.
Gheorghe Lazăr High School is Bucharest’s second oldest high school, being opened in 1860. It is named after Gheorghe Lazăr, a Transylvanian-born Romanian scholar who founded the first Romanian language school in Bucharest in 1818 and whose statue was featured on this blog last January. The high school is one of the most famous in Bucharest and its location at the southeast corner of Cişmigiu park is unbeatable: what better place to go to when you’re skipping classes? 🙂
Despite its classical look, the theater building featured in today’s photo is actually not that old. Its former name should give away its approximate age. Until 20 years ago it was called “The Unity Among People Cultural House”. Does that ring a bell? 🙂 It was build in 1953, during the first years of the communism regime, by architect Nicolae Porumbescu. These were the first years of communism in Romania and the style condoned by the regime was called “socialist realism“, the official artistic movement of the Soviet Union. The socialist realism required an artificial return to the classical theme, away from the modernist tendencies of the day. After the 1989 revolution the theater housed “The Mask” theater company (Teatrul Masca in Romanian) which later moved to another venue while this one is awaiting renovation (for quite some time now, but than I guess it’s not easy to gather the money to renovate it).
The pavements too 🙂 cause I’ve seen this stencil graffiti on the sidewalks as well. The eyes are all over the city center.