ROMANIAN NATIONAL STYLE IN ORTHODOX ARCHITECTURE - STRUCTURAL AND AESTHETIC INNOVATION
References: 5th International Multidisciplinary Scientific Conference on Social Sciences and Arts SGEM 2018, www.sgemvienna.org, SGEM2018 Vienna ART Conference Proceedings, ISBN 978-619-7408-33-1 / ISSN 2367-5659, 19 - 21 March, 2018, Vol. 5, Issue 5.1; 291-298 pp, DOI: 10.5593/sgemsocial2018H/51/S17.034
Towards the end of the 19th century, the international affirmation of Romania as a unitary state by acquiring its independence from the Ottoman Empire and the establishment of the constitutional monarchy, coincided with the proclamation of the autocephaly of the Romanian Orthodox Church. Within all Romanian countries, each of them with different architectural expressions and traditions, a "central" manifest, a spiritual connection between all Romanians, a unitary architectural style was required. Contrary to the European medieval world, where the religious affiliation was far more important than nationality and spoken language, in Romania, at the end of the 19th century and especially at the beginning of the 20th century, the Orthodox Church became the main promoter of the new sense of national identity, which is certified by the abundance and magnitude of the built worship places.
The general modernization of Romanian society is marked by specific signs of a rapid change from the old agrarian order to the new capitalist one and by those of a wider opening to the Western civilization. In the Romanian territories, Modernism is early announced by Classicism architecture by importing formal and morphological at the beginning, and then syntactical elements, originating from Russia or Central Europe, of influences of European Classicism and/or European Neoclassicism.
From a stylistic point of view, the period up to the First World War is marked by the synchronization with the European world, through the simultaneous takeover of European stylistic models, from Classicism to Eclecticism and echoes of 1900’s Art Styles, with their different local varieties, to which are added, starting with the last decade of the nineteenth century, the search of a national style.
Neo-Romanian, the result of the process of identity redefinition, the architectural phenomenon of the late nineteenth century and beginning of the twentieth century defined by the programmatic revaluation of the national traditions, is the equivalent of formal searches of the same significance, manifested not only in Europe, but throughout the entire contemporary world of that period. Ideologically and formally, the architecture of the interwar period is under the sign of this contradiction, which will sharply heighten in the years preceding the Second World War.
This paper aims to outline a critical perspective on Romanian Orthodox architecture from the late 19th century to the first half of the 20th century. It also seeks to identify, define and analyze some typologies of Orthodox Worship Space, which can be used to outline a possible guideline for the architecture of future Orthodox churches. It establishes some general criteria, and according to them, performs a critical analysis involving significant examples of the studied period and differentiates these according to various characteristics.
Keywords: Sacred Architecture, Orthodox Church, National Identity, Neo-Romanian style, Orthodox Worship Space
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