Stavropoleos Monastery

The Stavropoleos Church can truly be considered a marvelous achievement of ecclesiastical brâncovenian architecture. It is known that the church was built through the efforts of the Greek monk Ioanikie Stratonikeas, born in the village Ostaniţa in Epir. He had settled, poor and humble, in the Greek quarter around 1700, in order to raise donations for the endowment of Pogoniana Monastery’s Archbishopric, whose metoc (subsidiary monastery) was Ghiorma Banu’s church. Ioanikie soon became a confessor here, befriending the parishioners, from which he had the skill to gather enough gold to buy a piece of land from Lady Despa, completed with another one owned by Grigorie Greceanu. On the newly acquired piece of land he decided to build an inn (which he achieved during 1722-1724) and inside the compound he erected a church completed in the summer of 1729 which he dedicated to the Monastery of Goura in Epir. It was a monastery for monks which later Phanariote rulers endowed with rich donations. Shattered by earthquakes, consumed by fires the inn ended up in ruins and finally disappeared towards 1871. According to an official report dated 1888 the monastery’s church was also in bad condition facing “almost complete dismantling”. The restoration works started only in 1904 under the supervision of talented Romanian architect Ion Mincu who built according to the church’s style the intricately decorated buildings that frame the inner courtyard as we can still admire today. Along the open corridors encompassing the central stone-paved square a lapidarium was organized to exhibit various stone carvings such as tombstones, crosses and even fragments of the old stone consoles of the Colţea tower (today disappeared). Today the compound regained its original destination and functions as a nunnery.

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