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Plumbuita Monastery

  • it lies in Plumbuita park in Colentina district
  • the monastic complex was founded by Petru Voda cel Tanar (Prince Peter the Young), 16th c. (1559-1568)
  • Founded by Petru Voda ( Mihnea and Lady Chiajna’s son), consecrated to St. John the Baptist, on the 1st of July 1564, Plumbuita Monastery has an agitated history, with ups and downs.
  • The monastery was subordinated by Mihnea Turcitul to Xiropotamu Monastery from the Holy Land, being gradually changed into a Greek monastery, and its third founder, Matei Basarab, defeating Radu Voda’s army, restored the monastery and built a princely house,1647
  • at the beginning it had the role of a fortress to defend the capital, being encircled by walls and a moat
  • In 1821, Tudor Vladimirescu established his camp here, and in 1848 the authorities of the time put into prison the leaders of the Revolution
  • In 1940, Marshal Antonescu began its restoration, wishing Plumbuita to become the National Pantheon of the heroes who died during the war of the nation reunion, as well as to be his burial place among the soldiers whom he dearly loved. The hostility of those times and the consequences of World War II did not allow his dreams to be fulfilled…
  • Alexandru II, his Lady Ecaterina and their son Mihnea Voda Turcitul (1577-1583) contributed to the monastery's endowment and adornment
  • "Pr. Dr. Corneliu Zavoianu says, in his Monography of Plumbuita Monastery, published in 2001, that there are three versions as far as its name is concerned:
  • One says that it was called "Plumbuita" because Matei Basarab covered it with lead.
  • The second version says that during 1632 battle the roof of the church was melted and turned into projectiles
  • The last hypothesis says that the battle between Matei Basarab and Radu Ilias, that took place under the walls of the monastery was so fierce, as the great number of the cannon balls that fell on the church roof melted by a miracle giving the cover a leaden glitter, whereas the name.
  • However it is certain that the roof of the church was once covered with lead. According to a lost tradition, some of our princes covered their foundations with lead to resist the vicissitudes of the time, and also to give them a richer aspect. Curtea de Arges Monastery, Neagoe Basarab’s foundation had the roof covered with lead, too." ( fragment from Florian Bichir’s article from Lumea credintei)


  • the church has a triangular plan, with facades separated by a belt in two registers
  • The apsis of the altar was separated from the nave by a built iconostasis in the 19th c.
  • the two apses are differently disposed against the axis of the church
  • the pronaos is separated from the nave by 3 arches propped by 3 built pillars
  • the porch opens through arches and a wall with the consecration icon "Beheading of St. John, the Baptist" on it
  • the entrance in the porch is through a portal with baguettes and rosettes
  • it took different stages to paint the church:
  • Alexandru II – the frescoes of the nave apses and on the side walls of the pronaos
  • 1806-1834 – the spherical calotte of the nave and the 2 low registers
  • 1956-1958 – the other parts were repainted
  • the entrance is at the base of the belfry, a 3 level construction
  • the monastic complex consists of more constructions of artistic interest
  • the kitchen (cuhnia) is the oldest sample of this kind in Wallachia
  • the kitchen is square shaped, with trumpets superposed by pendentives supporting an octagon with small windows and the chimney
  • on the southern side of the precincts there are the cell refectory and the princely house raised by Matei Basarab
  • the buildings built in the precincts form an irregular polygon
  • The first printing press in Bucharest was opened at Plumbuita Monastery in 1573, where three books were printed: two Four Gospels and a Psalter
  • Inside the Princely House were arranged a museum of religious art from the 16th-19th-c. and a sculpture in stone exhibition, representing the holy history of the Romanian people from the beginning to the present day


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