ASTRO-DUPLEX FOR BRANCOVEANU
COSMIC ROMANIA 44
-text and photos Andrei Dorian Gheorghe
design Florin Alexandru Stancu
special guest astrophotographer Valentin Grigore-
Soon after the astronomical autumn of 2014 began,
I passed again near the official centre of Bucharest.
This is a complex which includes the Saint George Church,
made by Constantin Brancoveanu in the 1700s…
…and a monument made by Constantin Baraschi in 1938
(after an idea by Horia Creanga and Stefan Niculescu, including:
a wind rose, an ecliptic with the signs of the zodiac, and the sun)
which I remarked that was recently renovated.
And I remembered that 2014 was declared in Romania
the Year of Constantin Brancoveanu
for the commemoration of three centuries since
this great “voievod” and “domnitor” refused to change his religion
from Orthodox Christian into Muslim,
preferring to be beheaded together with his four sons and his friend Ianache Vacarescu
by the Ottoman Sultan Ahmed II.
In this respect, the founder president
of the Romanian Society for Meteors and Astronomy (SARM),
made an original commemoration at the Hurezi (or Horezu) Complex
(another creation of Constantin Brancoveanu,
made in the 1690s and included in the UNESCO Heritage),
photographing the cemetery church during the nighttime,
the monastery walls during the daytime,
and the main church under Cassiopeia,
a constellation named just God’s Throne in Romanian astromythology.
BRANCOVEANU’S HUREZI MONASTERY
AND GOD’S THRONE
-astrophotographic poem by Valentin Grigore-
Knowing that the Saint George Church in Bucharest was renovated in 2014, too,
and being stimulated by Valentin’s work,
I also tried to do something in the memory of Constantin Brancoveanu.
For this I chose a First Quarter Moon day (1 October 2014)
and on that afternoon I visited the church,
and its new decoration (based on the older ones)
impressed me more than I can express.
First, the balcony,
with astral paintings, delicate columns, a giant fireball burning sinners,
a few verses by the national poet Mihai Eminescu
(from The Prayer of a Dacian Man,
who praised the unique Creator even before Christianity),
a variant of the Zodiac,
and the astral coat of arms of Wallachia.
Then the interior of the church,
with other astral representations
and an icon with a sunny Saint George killing the dragon.
Finally, returned to the balcony,
I admired again the Sun and the Moon in the Wallachian coat of arms,
this time as pieces sculpted in space.
These directed me to finely end the day,
watching the sunset and the First Quarter Moon
near the Saint George Church and the Kilometre 0 monument
and making a set of photos
which I completed with a sunrise a few weeks later.
But destiny wanted more from me
and a few times it called me again to that square
in the first quarter of the International Year of Light (2015).
And I saw that place
blessed by the brightest stars,
Arcturus (the second one) and Sirius (the first one)…
…by lilac blossoms
and the Full Moon…
…by the brightest planets,
Jupiter (the second one)…
…and Venus (the first one)…
… and especially by royal atmospheric elements
around the Moon and the Sun,
which inspired me to write:
Brancoveanu will remain eternal
Because no diabolic mind
Can really kill the Moon, or the Sun,
Or another body of this kind.
© 2015 SARM
(Romanian Society for Meteors and Astronomy)