Friday, July 9, 2010

Transfiguration of our Lord Cathedral in Cluj-Napoca

The present cathedral, on Eroilor Street, was built by the Franciscan Minor Conventual Friors between 1775 and 1779, occupying the Henter House area and other areas bought by them, the monks Ioan Sandor and Balint Heja taking care of all prerequisites for the building process, one of the builders being Francisc Kirtner.

On September 4, 1779, with the church almost entirely built, the tower collapsed, affecting the front side. After long parleys, Queen Therese donated 7000 florins for the reconstruction of the tower and the front side, the mission being entrusted to the famous architect Eberhard Blaumann, who fulfilled the work late 1783.

After 1918, with a serious increase of the number of Greek-Catholics in Cluj, the Holy Marry Reunion in Cluj wrote a memorial to his Grace Vasile Suciu, the Metropolitan Bishop, asking for the purchase of the Franciscan Minor Conventual Church. The memorial was forwarded to Rome, and in 1924, the Franciscan Order, gave the church and all its belongings to Holy Father Pius XI who on April 29, 1926, donates it to the Metropolitan Church of Alba Iulia and Fagaras.

Starting 1948, the Greek Catholic Church was abusively used by the Romanian Orthodox Church, but after the fall of the communist regime, a process started to be taken back and on March 13, 1998, the first Greek Catholic Mess in 50 years is celebrated again.

The church is built in stone and bricks in a simplified baroque style. It is adorned in Byzantine style, with interior frescoes painted by Franscis Lohr in 1934 and restored by Coriolan Munteanu in 1968, with beautiful stained-glass in the widows. The wall in the altar and the windows are still wearing the heraldic of the Franciscan Order.

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