The Stavropoleos Assembly belongs to the style of the Brâncovenesc era, it being the unitary expression of this period of the Romanian art’s history for its stone decorations, its furniture, its interior and exterior murals. The name Stavropoleos is the Romanian form of the Greek word (Stauropolis), which stands for ”The City of the Cross”.
Currently, the church is the only one left of the old monastery and it is an architectural area specific to the Byzantine tradition. Its sculpted décor and its palm-leaf express a baroque sensitivity and an oriental feel as well. The interior art is impressive by the magnitude and at the same time by the concentration of the iconographic programme. The exterior art and the tower have been refurbished at the beginning of the XXth century and tone with the stone décor that has replaced the old ornamental elements.
The church was built in 1724 during the second ruling of Nicolae Mavrocordat of the Romanian Lands (Țara Românească) by archimandrite Iordache Stratonikeas out of the income of an inn built right in the monastery’s yard, which was a common situation of that era.
As of 1991, the church has been pastored by Father Iustin Marchiș, the first hieromonk of the church within the last century. The community of nuns and fathers living here are in charge of old book, icon and sacerdotal clothing restauration in addition to the daily tasks.
Another aspect that is also unusual, especially for a Bucharest church, is the church choir, the one playing Neo-Byzantine Chant, meaning a single vocal accompanied by a long sound entitled ison (accompaniment), which is a rare habit even when relating to churches in the entire country.
The extension, which was restored at the beginning of the XXth century according to architect Ion Mincu’s plans, currently houses a library, a conference room, a collection of old icons (dated at the beginning of the XVIIIth century) and cult objects, as well as fragments of mural recovered from the churches that had been demolished during the communist regime.
The Stavropoleos church can be visited in the Old Town of Bucharest; it is an architectural symbol of the area that cannot be missed. The Stavropoleos church is a fresco of the past centuries’ life in Bucharest, a resemblance of the good and the beautiful, immortalized over time by communion.