Largest Orthodox iconostasis: Romania’s National Cathedral sets world record

Basilica News Agency – Aurelian Iftimiu – 8/5/21

The Romanian People’s Salvation Cathedral, also known as the National Cathedral, an Orthodox cathedral under construction in Bucharest, Romania, to serve as the patriarchal cathedral of the Romanian Orthodox Church, has a giant Orthodox iconostasis (23.8 meters length and 17.1 meters height and an area of 407 square meters), which sets the new world record for the Largest Orthodox Iconostasis, according to the World Record Academy.

The National Cathedral’s iconostasis was realized in 2018 by artist and mosaicist Daniel Codrescu and his team with Orsoni Venezia 1888 enamels and golds.

The World’s Largest Orthodox Iconostasis is made entirely of mosaic and fresco in Byzantine style. The iconostasis has 45 icons placed on four registers. It will be covered with mosaic on both sides, having over 800 square metres of mosaics.

When completed, the cathedral will also have the largest mosaic collection (interior decoration) in the world (~25,000 sqm), the World Record Academy notes.

The dome of the altar includes the largest depiction of the Platytera Mother of God in Romania, having 16 metres from the base to the top of the halo.

The National Cathedral was consecrated 100 years after Romania’s Great Union and is dedicated to the Ascension of the Lord – Heroes’ Day and to Saint Andrew the Apostle, Protector of Romania.

In figures

The 120-meter-high cathedral will be equipped with 8 lifts. The bells of the cathedral have a total weight of 33 tons and are placed at a height of 60 meters.

The National Cathedral has 28 bronze doors with iconographic representations. These will be coordinated by a computerized system that will command the automatic opening of the doors in case of alarm. The Cathedral also has a total of 392 windows.

In the altar, at the foot of the Holy Table is placed a list with over 350,000 names of the known Romanian heroes, but also fragments of the relics of the Holy Brâncoveanu Martyrs and Niculițel Martyrs.

More than 110 million euros have been invested in part finished building. Currently, iconography works are being done inside, plastering and stone cladding on the outside. Work is being done at the basements and exterior spaces of the cathedral.

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