At the intersection where Mânăstirea Caşin faces in Bucharest, Romania, the traffic is absolutely chaotic. Najwa and I were crossing the street during a morning saunter in the neighborhood, and either I’m blind or there simply were no traffic lights. There were walk/don’t walk signals, but what’s the point if there was nothing telling the drivers to stop?
There was even a street car that streaks through the intersection without warning. It’s the most amazing thing that there is no traffic jams, no road rage, no accidents. When Nduku’s co-workers in the Bucharest office mentioned the traffic was crazy, they didn’t mention major intersections without traffic signals.
More about Mânăstirea Caşin in the background that witnesses this chaos everyday:
Plans for the church’s construction were made in 1935 by a parish council that included Gheorghe Ionescu-Şişeşti, a professor at the Agronomic Institute, the writer Vasile Militaru and the architect I. Bălănescu. At Father Dumitru I. Manta’s urging, funds for the project were obtained through significant donations from the Ministry of Agriculture and Domains and from monthly subscriptions given by families and institutions. Several donations came from General Ion Antonescu.
Dumitru Ionescu-Berechet, chief architect of the Romanian Patriarchate, won a contest to design the church, to be built on land donated by Bucharest City Hall. The cornerstone was laid in August 1937, and the structure complete in March 1938. Work then stopped but was resumed in 1946-59. The church combines the Brâncovenesc style, with its entrance columns, with Byzantine architecture, as seen in the mosaics, the centred Greek cross plan and the high and spacious interior.
The marble and alabaster iconostasis, with icons in mosaic, was done from 1952-59, following Ionescu-Berechet’s plans and with contributions from artists Ion Dimitriu-Bârlad, Constantin Baraschi and Mihai Wagner. Between 1962-71, the walls and floors were covered in 3 m high white and rose marble plates, a balcony for the choir was installed, and large mosaic icons of Murano glass placed at eye level along the walls. Repairs were done in 2002-03, and the domes, formerly copper green, were painted bright green in 2008.