Saint Anthony Church, the oldest religious building maintained in its original aspect in Bucharest
The church of St. Anton is located in the Romanian capital Bucharest. This is a magnificent building, which is a place of pilgrimage for people from around the world. Patron of the church is St. Anthony, who is patron of children and protects them from diseases. St. Anthony it is also protector of person who have debts, problems with money and poor people.
It is believed that this is the oldest building in Bucharest. It was founded during the reign of Prince Mircea Ciobanul in the fifties of the sixteenth century who was buried in the church.
The church is "the oldest religious building maintained in its original aspect in Bucharest". It was also the church were the rulers were worshiped before starting their reign in Wallachia. The voivodal palace, as it can be seen, is situated just in front of the entrance of the church. This meant that the ruler was in good collaboration with the church.
It is the only place in Romania where every Tuesday people come in pilgrimage from 06:30 to 20:00. The reason of this continuesly pilgrimage has radices in an event that took place in 1848.
In the sixties of the sixteenth century there was a court of chieftains gathered. The church was finished in several decades. It has suffered in 1611 when it was destroyed by fire. Of its recovery has taken care Matei Basarab. Then it was again destroyed by the invading Turks, but was again restored. In 1660 the church was restored by Grigore Ghica and in 1673 it was reconstructed by Gheorghe Duca. The beautiful tower of St. Anton’s Church was erected in the reign of Grigore Ghica. In the nineteenth century, the church was severely damaged by earthquake and fire.
Well…but let’s see why the church is dedicated to Saint Anthony and who was Saint Anthony?
In 1847 took place a huge fire in the city and destroyed a big part of the city center. Near to the church that was a prison and inside the prison was a little church erected for the prisoners. The fire destroyed the prison and the church, but a miracle made that the only object that didn’t burn was the silver icon of Saint Anthony which was transferred in the actual church (actually now it seats next to the chuch, in a small house where pilgrims wait for minutes to pray in front of the icon). The old Patron of the Church was the Annunciation.
In the early twentieth century a number of restorations of the church took place which brought the church nearer to its initial form; the trichonch plan of the church with: pronaos, nave with side apses, the altar apsis. The church has four arched niches in the walls.
Regarding the painting, the church has frescoes in the neoclassical style, painted in 1852. The frescoes of the tower were made in 1935.
St Anthony Church stores objects of great artistic value: the ciborium donated by Constantin Ipsilanti, 1802-1809 with floral motifs and the coat-of-arms of the reunited Wallachia and Moldavia, the silver tray donated by C. Brancoveanu, in 1695, a silver chalice.