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“Saint George” Church in Roman

18 July 2022 No Comment

Included among the tourist objectives of “Camino of Romania – Neamt County” Pilgrimage Route, “Saint George” Orthodox Church in Roman is a brilliant testimony of local history, a living image of the ancestral faith, and an indisputable proof of artistic sensitivity. The history of this sacred building dates back to the 17th century, when famous travelers, Peter Bogdan Bakšic (Bulgarian Catholic) and Paul of Aleppo (Archdeacon, son of His Eminence Patriarch Macarius of Antioch), recorded, in the chronicles of the time, the existence of several beautiful churches in Roman, next to the Episcopal Cathedral.

Located in the lower part of the city, on 7 Soldier Porojan Street, “Saint George” Church in Roman creates the impression of monumentality. Its main body has an impressive volume and is symmetrically structured, build in Russian neoclassical style. The church has the shape of a ship, with four towers. The architectural plans were brought from Odessa by the founder of the church, Grigore Done, originating from Hotin County.

The present church was built on the site of an older, smaller church. Although the priest received approval to build the new church from H.E. Bishop Clipa Barbovschi since 1816, the construction works of the current church only began in 1842 and the edifice was completed in 1847. The motivation behind the construction of the new church was the increasing number of inhabitants in the lower part of Roman, which required a more spacious place of worship. The church was consecrated on the 12th of September 1847, by H.E. Veniamin Roset, Bishop of Roman.

A fire, produced in 1876, destroyed parts of the iconostasis and produces smoke damage off ceilings and walls of the church. With great sacrifices, “Saint George” Church began to be reborn. The shingle roof was replaced with a tin one, the whole church was repainted, the iconostasis was cleaned and moved to allow the extension of the altar. Also, the icon representing the second dedication patron – “All Saints’ Sunday” was repainted, while the Holy Table, made from wood, was replaced with a Constantinople marble one.

Inside the church, the oil paintings were made in 1877 by Nicolae Dimitriu, painter originating from Roman city. The paintings reveal the influence of the Renaissance style, shades of Prussian blue, turquoise, emerald green highlighting the originality and harmony of the pictorial ensemble, while the abundant use of golden foil (schlag-metal) suggests the theme of the Light of Christ.

The hard work and sacrifices of both priests and parishioners were fully rewarded when, on the 23th of April 1884, at the consecration service conducted by H.E. Bishop Melchizedek Ştefănescu, King Carol I himself took part at the ceremony.

The church went through a rehabilitation and consolidation process, due to the implementation of a project funded under the 2014-2020 Regional Operational Programme (ROP 2014-2020), Priority axis 5: Sustainable development and promotion of tourism, 5.1. Key area of intervention: Sustainable restoration and valuing of the cultural heritage, as well as establishing/modernizing the related infrastructures. The project aimed mainly to sustainably value and promote the cultural patrimony, as well as to increase the attractiveness of the region, and the development of local economy. The authority responsible for the project management was the North-East Regional Development Agency in Piatra-Neamț. In 2018, the renovation and rehabilitation works began, and on the 12th of September 2021, the church was reconsecrated by H.E. Joachim, Archbishop of Roman and Bacău.

Due to its antiquity and artistic value “Saint George” Church is included in the main tourist routes in Neamț County, and also in Group B Historic monuments that make up the national cultural heritage of our country (Law No.422/2001 on the protection of historic monuments in Romania).

Altar and school, a strong symbol of culture, faith and ecclesiastical art, “Saint George” Church in Roman city stands as a living image of the ancestral faith and worthiness of many generations of this parish. Since 2019, the beautiful church is included among the tourist objectives along the Pilgrimage Route “Camino of Romania – Neamt County”, a segment of the famous El Camino European Pilgrimage Route, which annually attracts thousands of pilgrims.

Camino de România – Neamț County” Pilgrimage Route crosses nine administrative-territorial units from the Eastern part of Neamț County, starting from the border with Iași County, from Gherăești, and continuing towards Bacău County, to Izvoare Village in Bahna Commune. The total distance of Camino de România – Neamț County” is 63 kilometers and can be completed in 2-3 days, by foot. The route crosses 18 settlements.

 

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