People’s Salvation Cathedral

Bucarest, Romania

A Masterpiece of Art and Tradition

The People’s Salvation Cathedral (Catedrala Mântuirii Neamului) in Bucharest, Romania, stands as one of the most ambitious architectural and artistic projects of contemporary Romania. Promoted by the Romanian Orthodox Church, this cathedral is set to become one of the largest Orthodox religious buildings in the world.

Architectural and Artistic Vision

The idea of constructing a monumental cathedral in Bucharest dates back to the 19th century, envisioned as a symbol of national and religious rebirth. However, the project took concrete shape only in the 2000s, with actual construction commencing in 2010. Dedicated to the Salvation of the People, the cathedral reflects strong patriotic and religious sentiments, commemorating the liberation of the Romanian people and symbolizing national unity.

Architecturally, the cathedral reaches a height of approximately 120 meters with a length of 126 meters. Its central dome, soaring to 91 meters, surpasses even the height of St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican. The cathedral can accommodate up to 5,000 people inside, with additional spaces for ecclesiastical offices, conference rooms, and museums. The structure combines traditional Byzantine architectural elements with local Romanian influences, creating a unique blend that represents the country’s cultural and religious identity.

The mosaic project of the cathedral adheres strictly to Orthodox iconographic tradition, incorporating biblical scenes, portraits of saints, and significant religious figures. This choice not only educates the faithful but also provides an immersive visual experience, making sacred narratives an integral part of the architectural space.

The aesthetic approach combines ancient and modern elements, using vibrant colors and intricate details to create a powerful visual effect. This balance between tradition and innovation reflects the ongoing evolution of sacred art within contemporary contexts.

Materials and Techniques

One of the most remarkable aspects of the project is the use of Venetian Smalto and Gold mosaics produced by Orsoni Venezia 1888. These materials ensure the durability of the mosaic works while adding unique chromatic depth and luminosity.

The installation techniques follow traditional methods, with each mosaic piece cut and placed by hand. This artisanal process imparts a tactile and visual quality to the works that modern techniques cannot replicate, further enhancing the authenticity and artistry of the work.

Collaboration and Realization

The project involves highly specialized mosaic artists and craftsmen, both local and international, with profound experience in creating sacred mosaics. The Orsoni furnace in Venice, renowned for its Venetian enamels, is one of the main suppliers of the materials used. The collaboration between these experts ensures that every detail respects the theological and iconographic canons of the Romanian Orthodox Church.

The mosaic decorations are particularly evident in the iconostasis and domes, central elements in Orthodox churches. Here, representations of Christ Pantocrator, the Virgin Mary, and scenes from the life of Christ adorn the spaces, creating a continuous visual narrative. 

The walls of the naves and altars are decorated with scenes from the Old and New Testaments, offering the faithful a visual representation of the Bible. The use of mosaics in these areas not only enriches the cathedral’s aesthetics but also contributes to creating an atmosphere of reverence and contemplation.

The skillful use of both natural and artificial light to illuminate the mosaics is fundamental. Reflective materials like gold create an environment that seems to pulse with spiritual life, making the experience of visitors and the faithful profoundly immersive. The mosaics not only add an element of luxury but also amplify the spiritual connection with the sacred space.

The mosaic decoration project of the People’s Salvation Cathedral in Bucharest is an extraordinary fusion of art, faith, and tradition. Once completed, the cathedral will include a complex of associated buildings, including a cultural center, a museum of the Romanian Orthodox Church, and other support structures. The People’s Salvation Cathedral in Bucharest is a project of great importance both religiously and culturally, destined to become a lasting symbol for Romania.


Mosaic Project

Daniel Codrescu


Daniel Codrescu Team of mosaicists


Courtesy of Orthodox Cathedral of Romania


Universul Credintei – TVR

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Project book Color Choice