Romania’s Next Monster Building: People’s Salvation Cathedral

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Ceausescu has left behind, among many other horrors, the Palace of the Parliament / House of the People / Casa Poporului, a mammoth of megalomania stretching over 3,700,000 Square Feet and going 86 meters up. For some reason, the Orthodox Church decided that they should leave their mark on the country as well and started another similarly hideous project, called Catedrala Mantuirii Neamului (People’s Salvation Cathedral).

And you can take that name literally if you think that the zombie apocalypse is coming, because the new cathedral will be horribly humongous. Apart from that, it’s nothing that a huge pile of megalomania, bad taste and poor choices. And, as if one wasn’t enough – it’s being built right bear the Palace of the Parliament.

Building started back in 2010, and it’s estimated to be ready in 2020. It will be the tallest Orthodox Christian church in the world when completed, a mammoth that will have place for 6,000 worshipers, but also a restaurant with 1,000 places, two hotels and parking for 500 cars. Because, well, maybe you will want to stay in the Church’s rooms…

The People’s Salvation Cathedral, once built, if fully populated, is said to be able to hold 125,000 people. That’s way more than the entire population of my city! And completely disgusting at the same time.

It is pretty obvious that the building has the potential to draw in some visitors to the country, but I always believe that it’s best to be smart and attract people with beautiful, impressive things – not just size. Apparently, the Church and Romanian Government didn’t agree and decided to invest 300 million Euros in this project, probably because the country has too much money invested in all areas anyway… (sarcasm off).

Here’s a video showing the mammoth cathedral in its current state: it’s 27 stories high right now (And what you can see in the back is the House of the People):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u_EaViqSMs8

When completed, the People’s Salvation Cathedral will be 123 meters long and 125 meters high.

The Church still has an extremely important role in Romania, with most people living in the villages (and many living in the cities) considering priests and the Church itself as the people/places to go to when they need advice. The Church itself is heavily involved in politics, there are special tax rules (no tax, actually) for the Church and so far no politician wants to break the bonds and help the people evolve because it’s pretty simple: the Church can easily manipulate the people and the politicians need that.

However, it’s pretty obvious that the People’s Salvation Cathedral will become soon just like Ceausescu’s House of the People: a bad memory of some not so great times when people could not or were not allowed to think for themselves. And yes, the fact that they’re so close one to each other makes absolutely no sense… but that’s how things sometimes happen in Romania.

What do you think about the People’s Salvation Cathedral? Is it something you’d like to see once ready?

8 COMMENTS

  1. I get the feeling you don’t really like this project !!! Hah hah hah C! I love this rant :-). I was laughing all the way through. It totally sounds like another megalomaniacal move by religious zealots!!!! I think everyone is so focused on building the next big thing that will draw people, and you know religion is the biggest bullshit ever. Full of thieves… and no taxes either, these false prophets are doing the same thing in Nigeria :-(. There is this one “church” whose weekly service draws over 2.5 million people, and people are stuck on the roads for hours on end. My sister once got caught up in the traffic. The 2.5 hr journey took over 15 and people just slept in the cars overnight , she got home the next day..this looks gigantic !!!!

    • I hope it will help the country and draw in more tourists, but on the other hand, I don’t want tourists to be drawn to see freaks and monsters… It saddens me to see that the Churches still have such a massive influence over the people in the 21st century and that people still consider God/faith and the Church the same thing….

  2. Hello Calin:
    It does appear as if the same architect designed the palace and this over-the-top structure. I bet Ceausescu would give it a real “thumbs-up,” from beyond the grave;-() It reminds me of something out of a 19th C. bad fairy tale drawing. Personally, some of the Mormon tabernacles throughout the world are some of the most beautiful religious edifices. (I am not a Mormon;-)
    It seems the city leaders’ priorities are “bass-ackward.” Now, if I lived in Bucharest, I’d rather see more areas renovated, and the slums be cleared. There are so many crumbling buildings which should be rehabilitated. I would spend the money on generally cleaning up the city and making it more green. Eliminate cars as much as possible (sorry Dacia;-), provide more pedestrian friendly promenades, build museums, parks, clear the dogs (not kill–just round up and spay or neuter and relocate to a dog-friendly zone), finish connecting the river to the Danube, beautify the river walk, etc., etc.
    FWiW, I am all for religion which uplifts and improves a person’s well-being. A religion which doesn’t denigrate the beliefs of others; which elevates a person to his full potential, and unselfishly promotes charity and goodness to all is one of great value. (Does such a religion now exist?) Here in the USA, there are a lot of religious “venues” which encourage the parishioners to give, give, give! Usually the $$$ line the pockets of the leaders (e.g. Creflo Dollar–what a name!, Jimmy Swaggart, the Bakkers, etc.). Multimillion dollar mansions, private jets, fast cars, etc., seem the norm for these so-called leaders of the faith (yes–faith in the $$$). It’s all so blatantly crass, yet people still fall for this brainwashing.
    Unfortunately, religion is now responsible for so much of the bad news of the world. Radical Islam is totally destroying the Middle East with Shiite vs. Sunni; Judaism vs. Muslim, Christian vs. Muslim, etc, etc. Any religion which preaches and practices hatred and encourages killing is not a religion–it’s a sickness of the mind and of the soul. Who knows where it all will lead and end? (Note: I really am impressed with the current Pope and the Dali Lhama. They are both very wise and truly speak to and for the people.)
    As is your norm, this is another very interesting entry. Thanks again for sharing this!
    ~Teil

    • Teil, I guess that even those who give 100% to the Romanian church would still love to see the improvements you mentioned, and not a huge building being built next to a bad memory in the heart of the city… and to be honest, I had no idea it was in such an advanced state, I was shocked to actually see it 🙂

      Most of our priests here drive some really fancy cars too and I am sure that the money they have puts them well above most of the Romanians…

      I am not against religion, nor against the idea of God, but I do believe that most of today’s interpretations of the faith lean towards personal gains of certain people. Faith is about being true to yourself, loving the people around you and giving, rather than taking.

    • Ceausescu wood bring that crap down with TNT . and then he would have a big smile…he was smart enough not to believe in this thing they call religion

  3. I really can’t add much to what has already been said (but I will anyway) . In such a poor country with crumbling infrastructure, weak economy and its young emigrating to other parts of the world, Romania couldn’t think of a better way to spend 300 million Euros? According to http://www.europa.eu, Romania gets a net 4.2 billion Euros from the European Union. I think this is a scandal and the EU should deduct it from their spending in Romania. But no, religion is a sacred cow in most nations and no one will do any such thing. As an atheist, I just shake my head at the thought that grown men and women still believe in supernatural beings. I’m sorry, there is simply no excuse for it. It is a mental illness if there ever was one. Well, I hope the restaurant at least serves good food for a low price…

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