Church Buna Vestire Belu

 29A Giurgiului Street, Bucharest

After 1877, the first houses in Belu neighborhood appeared as a result of the allotment of the soldiers who had fought against Turkish army. About that time, from ecclesiastical point of view, the people in this neighborhood belonged to Satul Nou parish, today known as Progresu’ parish.

Between 1900 and 1910, a new independent ecclesiastical structure appeared due to the increasing number of people in the neighborhood named Cătunul Belu.

The first Committee for building the church in Belu neighborhood was organized on 27th of February 1911.

The church having the Feast of Annunciation and Saints Apostles Peter and Paul as patrons is situated in sector 4, 29A Giurgiului Street, on the left side, at the cross road with Cornetului Street. It was built due to the parishioners’ effort, the main founder being Petre Mihail and his wife, Anastasia, a Romanian merchant, native of Macedonia and settled in Romania, who, before his death in 1899, left an important amount for the construction of a church in Bucharest. His brother-in-law, Theodor Athanasiu continued the steps taken by Petre Mihail together with his wife – Anastasia.

Only in 1925 the Town Hall approval was obtained for the church construction on the land donated by Nifon, the Bishop of Low Danube and his wife, Steluta, who, in 1922, gave their donation a legal form. On 28th of June 1925, the foundation stone was settled and the place for the new church was blessed. On November 28, 1925 King Ferdinand I awarded Mrs. Anastasia P. Mihail in Bucharest the medal of “Labor Reward for Church”, Class I, for all donations both to our church and to other churches.

The works advanced fast enough, and after 9 years, more precisely on 29th of June 1934, the church was dedicated. With this occasion the Holy Patriarchate offered a valuable bronze chandelier (reconditioned in December 2007). Because the works cost exceeded the amount donated by Petre Mihail and his wife, Anastasia, the parishioners were asked to help the construction, so they contributed with half of the amount spent on the finalization of the church building. Priest D.A. Baleanu, General Ilie Opris, Ghenea Dumitrescu and Tiberiu Dragomirescu distinguish themselves for all efforts they had made in this respect.                                                    

The church was technically designed by engineer Ignat N. Mateescu, according to the plans of architect Ioanid D. Vulcan, under direct control and supervision of the Ministry of Religious Affairs (House of Church). It is the first church in Bucharest made of steel concrete. The initial mural picture, in panels, the work of painter Anastasie Damian, could not resist in time and, between 1969 and 1971, was repainted, under better conditions, by painter Eugen Profeta helped by his brother, Ieremia Profeta. The furniture from interior, the lecterns and the bishop’s chairs, the imperial candlesticks, the altar screen and the wainscot on walls and on pillars are sculpted by sculptor Anghel Dima, as an entity in massive oak-wood in a harmonious assemble of a rare masterliness.

The church Buna Vestire Belu is one of the most beautiful churches of the capital, with an original architectonic style. It is a construction on a plan in the shape of a truncated cone, with nave, pronaos and closed church porch, above which there is the balcony for the choir. On the nave there raises, on a high and square base, the big dodecagonal cupola, whose windows were doubled inside with mat PVC windows. Above the porch there raise two smaller octagonal towers. The cupolas have pyramidal helmets. The pronaos is protected by a semicircular arch beard on cornices with arches at the ground and first floor. The roof, fragmented on volumes (spaces) is covered with sheet zinc and is provided with flared eaves.                          

The front side is remarkable due to the high base in two registers and walls divided in shaped panels, semicircular at the upper part, in which tall and narrow windows are disposed. The main entrance is marked by three arches in the middle of the porch with large painted archivolts on stone massive pillars. In the front side axis, above the porch, there is a recess with the patron icon.

The access in the church is realized on a high platform (veranda), one meter and a half above the ground, under which there is the heating station.

The large yard is surrounded in south and west with a fence with wrought iron floral motifs, on concrete base, with high gates dominated by two portals. In the yard, there is the church house, the church common room and the bell tower, a construction with four steel concrete pillars and with beams on which the two bells are laying.

The church building started and ended under the guidance of Priest Petre Popescu. Starting with 1941, Priest Alexandru Delcea was the vicar of the church, followed by Priest Vasile Ionescu and, since 1966, by Priest Nicolae Grosu, followed in 1968 by Vicar Priest Nicolae Voinescu. Other priests who served this church were: Priest Ion – Popescu – Creanga, (passed away on 21st of May 2004), Priest Tonciu Ion (passed away on 16th of May 2002), as well as deacon Copacianu Dumitru (passed away on 3rd of October 2004). All of them made all possible efforts to maintain and set off the church and to equip it with a heating station, fact which happened in 1970.

The founders of this Holy Church, who passed away, deserve to be forever evoked: Petru and Anastasia Mihail, Bishop Nifon – Bishop of Low Danube, Priest Petre Popescu, Churchwardens Tiberiu Dragomirescu and Ghenea Dumitrescu, as well as the counsellors who made all their efforts to support the church: general Stefan Opris, Ioan Frantescu, Tibreriu Dragomirescu, Nicolae Cenusa and others.

On the 1st of September 1988 Priest Barica Aurel (former Giurgiu Archpriest) was appointed as Vicar of this church, after the retirement of Vicar Priest Voinescu Nicolae. In 1989 capital repairs were made for the Church House. Between 1990 and 1993, in the parochial cemetery, there was built a Chapel with mural painting executed by Simona Tudor and consecrated by Holiness Bishop Teofan Sinaitul, Patriarchal Bishop-Vicar in October 1993.

In 1998, maintenance reparations were made for the Church House: the house was covered with galvanized iron and the heating station was revised. In 1999, the parochial common room was rebuilt, and was equipped with a new library. In 2000, capital repairs were made for the roof of the Church, for the exterior and for the terrace of the Church. In 2003, repairs for consolidation were made for the bell tower, being revised the bells’ positioning. On the 1st of July 2005, Architect-painter Samoila Crisan started to repaint the interior of the Church.

On the 1st of August 1997, a new Priest was appointed in this Church – Liviu-Gabriel Popa, who, starting with 1st of February 2004, was transferred to another parish abroad.

On the 1st of March 2003, Cezar-Gavril Dumitrescu was appointed as priest in this Church.

On the 1st of July 2005, Nicolae Puscas was appointed as priest in this Church.

On the 1st of November 2007, Priest Daniel-Alexandru Barica was appointed as priest in this Church.

Between August 2008 and June 2009 the old roof boarding was replaced with new board and covered with sheet zinc.

All priests make efforts for the progress of the parish and for the accomplishment of church rehabilitation works.                    

The Parish Council members have had a special contribution for the execution of all these works.

“God, please bless the ones who love your House! “

Priest Daniel Alexandru Barica