“Saint Spiridon” Church

The Saint Spiridon Church was built between 1747-1752 with the support of boyar Ștefan Bosie and other philanthropists. The location was chosen due to a miracle worker icon of St. Spiridon, protector of the poor and father of orphans, which was placed in a small private chapel in this area.

The founders also built the hospital near the church, the first in Moldavia, in 1767, under the rule of Constantin Cehan Racoviță. This ensemble was organized as a guardianship (religious administration), and the guardian was either the prince, either someone chosen from the boyars, tradesmen or rich people who were financing the settlement. Initially it was called an infirmary or Spiridonie, and the hospital’s philosophy was that the bodily care should be made alongside the care of the soul. From only 30 places initially, the hospital later received the role of university hospital and is the biggest one in Moldavia, with over 1100 beds.

In the main influence on the church’s architecture, was the Russian Neoclassic style. The painting of the iconostasis is also Neoclassic, a novelty for that time. The wall painting on the dome’s pendants represents the four evangelists; the nave dome is painted with the face of Jesus Christ and the altar, with the image of the Holy Trinity.

The steeple was built in 1757 and is remarkable due to the fact that is was built in many stages and styles. The oldest is the ground floor of the entrance vault of unfinished stone, to which two twin drinking fountains were added in 1765. These have a Baroque shape and adornment of Ottoman origin, with inscriptions in Turkish, Greek and Romanian which attest that Prince Grigore Ghica III brought water to the city through burnt clay gutter tiles from the Botanical Garden area in Copou. The body of the Prince of Moldavia was buried in this church, but his head was taken to Constantinople, after being beheaded in 1777 because he protested against the passing of Bukovina under the administration of the Habsburg Empire. In 1786 the first floor was added, made of brick, representing the vault. The tower and the church were deeply damaged by the great earthquake in 1802 and were rebuilt. The bell chamber dates from that time, which initially had a small roof with a globe and a Crescent on top. It is said that the usage of this sign helped the monastery avoid the often robberies of the Turks. In 1830 a Parisian clock was also installed. In 1862, the tower roof took the shape of a cowl, that small straw basket that St. Spiridon used to wear on his head. Until the arrival of communists in 1948, the St. Spiridon monastery and hospital also had the spa resort of Slănic Moldova (Bacău County) in their administration.

Bulevardul Independenței nr. 1, Iași 700111

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