The Art Nouveau Style of Amzei Church

Romania was the scene of a very particular Art Nouveau style variety architecture in which traditional Byzantine, Ottoman and Romanian peasant vernacular – ethnographic motifs were brought together with wonderful results. Amzei Church in Bucharest is one such iconic example of Romanian Art Nouveau style. It was designed by the architect Alexandru Savulescu and inaugurated in 1901. The Neo-Romanian architectural style is also often expressed in an Art Nouveau matrix, especially in examples of buildings dating from 1900s – 1910s period and Amzei church design shows that evolution in its incipient stages.

Art Nouveau - Byzantine style votive painting by Marchetti Umberto (1901), Amzei church, Bucharest (©Valentin Mandache)
The Western entrance of Amzei church, building designed by architect Alexandru Savulescu in the Art Nouveau - Byzantine style, Bucharest (©Valentin Mandache)


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3 thoughts on “The Art Nouveau Style of Amzei Church

  • Interesting your observation about the possible likeness between the personage from the votive painting (St Nicholas) and King Carol I. I think is just a possibility, one has to check the design concept and political aims of the people/ patrons involved in designing and financing the building works and its decorative scheme, especially to research what the painter, the Italian professor Marchetti Umberto, had in mind when designing the painting scheme (look through his diaries, etc.)- quite a difficult endeavour. However, King Carol I features prominently on the church, being mentioned on the dedicatory inscription above the main doorway. His name was chiselled out during the 1950s, in the Stalinist period of the communist regime in Romania, and can be read with difficulty now. I am preparing a new blog article about chiselled out names and symbols of past political regimes and personalities from the building façades in Romania and hope to post it within the next few days.


  • Much enjoyed this video. Another place to visit one day! I was particularly struck by the central figure of the votive painting — he looks rather like King Carol I. I assume this tied in with what I undestand the Orthodox idea to be, of the King being appointed/anointed by God and the Church to hold a special situation of power and responsibility on Earth… Religion and politics can mix in the architecture and decoration of church buildings, and in all countries.



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