(Metropolis of Moldavia and Bukovina in Lasi, Romania)
postmarked in 2011 with a Romania Christmas stamp
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
The Metropolitan Cathedral, Iaşi is the seat of the Romanian Orthodox Archbishop of Iaşi and is the largest Orthodox church in Romania. It is listed in the National Register of Historic Monuments.
Two churches previously stood on the site: the White Church (15th century) and the Presentation Church (17th century). On 8 August 1826, prince Ioan Sturdza signed a decree ordering construction of the cathedral; Metropolitan Veniamin Costachi laid the cornerstone on 3 July 1833 and guided construction in its early years. Work began in 1833, and continued at a rapid pace until 1839. In 1840, after serious cracks had appeared on the large central arch, the brick ceiling was replaced with wood. On 23 May 1857, the central vault collapsed taking the interior columns with it, and the church remained unused for the next 25 years.
With some encouragement, the newly-independent Romanian state decided to resume work on the cathedral. A new cornerstone was laid on 15 April 1880. Alexandru Orăscu, rector of the University of Bucharest, designed new plans that added two rows of massive pilasters to the interior, creating a rectangular basilica shape. The four detached side spires were kept, but the large central dome was eliminated and replaced with a system of four semicircular sections, separated by arches.
The cathedral was completed in 1887 and consecrated on 23 April that year in the presence of King Carol I and Queen Elisabeth, who had donated large sums for the project. In 1889, the relics of Saint Paraschiva, patron saint of Moldavia, were brought from Trei Ierarhi Monastery.
Romania stamp 2010
Craciun 2010 Natale
(Craciun is Christmas in Romanian and Natale is Christmas in Italian)