The bishop Neofit built this church in 1744 during the reign of Prince Mihai Racovita (1741-1744). Most of the donations were given by Constantine, son of Maxim Cupetul (cupet = merchant). The church, of small dimensions, is beautiful and well proportioned. It consists of altar, nave, narthex and an open porch with arches specific for the 18th century. The entrance door is framed by a stone line carved in the Brancoveanu style while the facades are covered by two registers of blind arches.
In 1838 the church was seriously damaged by an earthquake. It was repaired and painted by the artist Constantin Maxim in 1867 but unfortunately the church was again affected by the great earthquake from 1977 when the steeple fell off like a domino piece.
Today looking at the church, located right in the middle of an important street from Bucharest, it would be quite hard to imagine that 200 years ago, according to the Austrian Sulzer, Lady Ecaterina, wife of Prince Alexandru Ipsilanti, was coming here to enjoy the beauty of the forest and the lake surrounding the church. It is to be mentioned that in 1871 the magistrate Filipescu organized here a ball and the first fireworks in Bucharest.
The Saint Eleutherius (Elefterie in Romanian), the patron saint of the church, was born in the citadel of Rome, his mother Antiha being already Christianized. Eleutherius became priest on he was just 18 years old and bishop of Illyricum when he was just 20 years old. Because he Christianized many people he was imprisoned together with his mother. They were judged and sentenced to death by the Emperor Hadrian in AD121. According to the tradition Eleutherius was clubbed to death while his mother Antiha was beheaded.
The Schedule of the Saint Elefterie Church – Old:
Open just for special occasions.
Address: 20 Elefterie Street.