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The Greek Church Metamorphosis, ConstanțaCod 1086

THE GREEK CHURCH “METAMORPHOSIS”  is a place for worship, of small sizes, located in the historic area near the Modern beach. The story of the beautiful church, started with a century and a half ago, when Dobrogea was part of the Ottoman Empire and marked the “birth” of the first Christian place of worship in Constanta.

The church construction has started in 1862 by sultan’s Abdul Aziz Bin Mehmet Han consent, who positively answered  the request of the Greek community to built a place of worship in the area.

The church building was designed by Greek architect Iani Teoharidi, who complied with the requirements of the sultan, namely that the church should not be higher than any other mosque in the city and be built further away from the Turkish neighborhood.

The works were completed in 1867, even though the facade is inscribed as completion year the 1868. Church “Metamorphosis” has a height of only 10 meters, length 25 meters and width of 12.5 meters and originally was not provided with towers (the tower that stands today on the right side of the church was added only in 1947). For church construction were used bricks and natural stones, pillars were made of cedar wood, and the floor was covered with white marble brought from Greece. Inarched doors and windows are protected with beautifully crafted wrought iron bars. Inside of the church looks like a hall, with equal height and the architecture reminds us about the typical Greek buildings.

Many of the objects, which today adorns the Church “Metamorphosis” are very precious and were brought from abroad by ethnic Greeks shortly before the works of the house could be started. Remarkable are the four crystal chandeliers in Murano donated in 1862, six silver candlesticks brought from Constantinople, a gospel with silver cover and many icons crafted in the period 1812-1870.  One of the most important icons of the Greek Church “Metamorphosis” is that which embodies the Holy Fanurie, a very loved Greek Orthodox saint. The original painting inside the church was made by a painter in oil came from the Mount Athos, but due to the smoke from candles it was damaged and replaced with a new one between 1988-1989.

Until 1948 the religious services were officiated by Greek priests, but  once with the departure of the last Greek priest from Constanta, this sacred duty came to Roman priests.

Another significant event in the history of the place happened in 1974. Then, the Greek Committee, who managed the church has requested, due to financial reasons, its transfer under the jurisdiction of the Romanian Orthodox Church.

The application was approved and, the place for worship joined the Archdiocese heritage of the Lower Danube and Tomis. Although the name “Metamorphosis” keeps today only the specifics of Greek place of worship, there is a celebration, the church marks it, which gathers together Greek ethnics from the city. It is the feast of St. Fanurie, celebrated on August 27. Currently, the Greek Church “Metamorphosis” arouses the curiosity of passers-by only by its small size and unique architecture.  Its  beauty and importance for the city, as a place for worship, made it to be officially declared a historical and cultural monument of Constanta.

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