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The Metropolitan Cathedral of Iasi - short history

The Metropolitan Cathedral of Iasi is a famous building erected in the XIXth century (1833-1886). Its foundations were laid on the same place were two older churches had once stood:  the "White Church" (XVth century) and the church of the Presentation of the Lord (XVIIth century).

The decision to start the construction of the new Cathedral was signed in 1826 by Prince Ioan Sandu Sturdza. Due to several predicaments that occurred afterwards in the city of Iasi (fire, pestilence) the beginning of the construction was postponed. The construction works started in 1833 by the endevour of Metropolitan Veniamin Costache. Johann and Gustav Freiwald designed the plans of the church in the neoclassical and renaissance style. This same style has been used for many great chruches in West European countries.

The works were carried out intently until 1841, but they were stoped in 1842 when Metropolitan Veniamin Costache retired to the Slatina Monastery.

At the same time appeared big fissures in the walls because of the overweight of the central cupola and for about 40 years the Cathedral remained unfinished. Later, in 1880, Metropolitan Iosif  Naniescu persuated civil authorities to finish the Cathedral.

The architect Alexandru Orăscu, Dean of the Faculty of Architecture – Bucuresti, modified the plans of the church including solid pillars inside the church for sustaining the four vaults which replaced the cupola. In this way it has got three naves - a large central one and two narrower ones on both sides.

The church was painted by Gheorghe Tattarascu, a famous painter in the XIXth century.  He adopted the renaissance style but he maintained the Orthodox tradition in arranging the paintings.

The Cathedral was consecrated on the 23rd April 1887. Carol I, the first king of Romania, granted many gifts to the Cathdral, and so he and his wife Elisabeta are portrayed inside the church on the west wall, the left hand side. On the other side are depicted the two great Metropolitans of Moldavia Veniamin Costache and Iosif Naniescu, who strove to build the church.

The relics of St. Parascheve were brought from the Three Hierarchs Church – Iasi in 1889 and they are a real spring of healing and hope for uncountable crowds that flow to her baldaquin.

After 1990 the Metropolitanate of Moldavia and Bucovina has known a spiritual renewal so that in 1996 the relics of St. Apostle Andrew were brought to the Cathedral of Iasi from Patras –Greece, for ten days. In 2000 the relics of St. Martyr George were brought from Livadhia-Greece and in 2001 the girdle of the Holy Virgin Mary was brought from Volos-Greece.

Through all these saints' prayers all pilgrims receive blessing and comfort when they are in distress.

Nowadays the Cathedral is being restored with great efforts so that the faithful from the city of Iasi and the pilgrims from every quarter to worship God and to venerate St. Paraskeve here in Iasi.

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