Skip to content
catedrala ad

The Orthodox Metropolitan Cathedral “Assumption of Virgin Mary”

The year 1918 marks the achievement of the Romanian unitary state through the political-administrative union of the Romanian territories under the jurisdiction of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the Tsarist Empire with Romania Kingdom. Right after the Great Union, an Orthodox episcopal see with the title of Episcopacy of Vadu, Feleac and Cluj was re-established in Cluj.

As early as the following year, Bishop Nicolae Ivan proposed the construction of an Orthodox cathedral in the park in front of the Cluj-Napoca National Theater “Lucian Blaga”, in Avram Iancu Square. Thus, between 1923-1933, at the initiative of the bishop and with the support of the Royal House of Romania, the Episcopal Cathedral was built, one of the most important monumental buildings in Romanian style made after the Great Union of December 1, 1918. It is made in Byzantine style with defining elements of the Brancoveanu style, according to the project of the architects George Cristinel and Constantin Pomponiu.

The consecration of the cathedral took place in a festive setting in 1933, the service being officiated by the Patriarch of Romania (Miron Cristea), the Metropolitan of Transylvania (Nicolae Bălan) and the Bishop of Cluj (Nicolae Ivan). The festivity was attended by King Carol II and Crown Prince Michael, as well as members of the Romanian government.

Between 1997 and 2000, at the initiative of Archbishop Bartholomeu Anania, began an extensive process of renovation of the cathedral, a process in which it was possible to add elements from the initial project that in the ’30s could not be completed. The 4 towers that frame the central tower were added, the sculpture of the 18 huge columns from the roundabout of the big tower was made, the eight medallions carved in stone and the stone arches on the side facades were made. In 2001, His Eminence Father Bartholomeu, together with the Diocesan Council, decided to endow the cathedral with a monumental iconography in mosaic technique.

 In the cathedral there is an icon of the Virgin Mary with the Baby painted in 1673 by the priest Luca de Iclod, an icon that is part, along with the icon from Nicula Monastery and the icon from the Piarists Church in Cluj, from the category of famous Transylvanian icons painted by the same priest. In the basement of the cathedral there is a museum that presents the history of the Orthodox dioceses in the Cluj area, the iconographic art starting with the 14th century and the crypt of the hierarchs.