Church of Saint Michael
|Attraction Name(s)||Location||Attraction Type||Visitation Info|
|Church of Saint Michael|
Biserica Sfântul Mihailin
|Piața Unirii, Cluj-Napoca 400015, Romania||Historical Monument|
Phone: +40 264 592 089
The Church of Saint Michael (Biserica Sfântul Mihailin in Romanian) is a 14th and 15th century Gothic architectural style Roman Catholic Church located in the city of Cluj-Napoca, Romania. The church sits on the site that once belonged to a cemetery and the Saint Jacob Chapel. Stretching 70 meters in length, the Church of Saint Michael’s comes in as the second largest church in Romania (The Black Church of Brașov being 1st). Funding for the church was provided by the citizens and indulgences of the city who were told their sins would be forgiven if they contributed financially to its development.
Construction of the church was done in two separate phases. The first phase lasted an outstanding 74 years, from 1316 to 1390. The second finalizing phase took 5 years for completion, from 1442 to 1447. The oldest known section of the church is its alter, which was inaugurated in 1390. The building has also contained two different towers. The initial tower was raised in 1545 and was subsequently damaged by a fire, and then later destroyed by an earth quake. Its present standing, Gothic Revival style, 80 meter high, clock tower was erected in 1862. The present clock tower is also the church’s newest constructed section.
The main gate of the church contains decorations of the three coat of arms from the reign of king Zsigmond. The decorations, which date back to 1419, are of the coats of the Roman-German Empire, the Hungarian Empire, and the Czech Empire. The chapel, which is dedicated to Archangel Michael and is located beneath the churches clock tower, contains a stunning crucifix that was created by the talented sculptor Fadrusz Janos. The chapel also contains the best preserved, and very artful frescoes, as the many others throughout the building have warn away with time and from lack of care.
The church walls are aligned with alluring stained glass windows that illuminate the inside with many vibrant colors. The church’s alter was made in Gothic style by the carpenter Lajos Back, it contains detailed carvings of the Virgin Mary, St. Ladislau, and St. Stephen. The grand door frame to the sacristy was marvelously sculpted from stone in 1528 at the commission of the then parish priest Johannes Klein. There are various statues and reliefs spread throughout the church, their semblance represent the religion (which has changed periodically) of the church during the time they were erected.
The Church of Saint Michael is located right in the center of the city on Union Square. Throughout its history it has played the role of being the foundational church for various different sects. From 1545-1558 it was a Lutheran church, from 1558-1566 Calvinist, from 1566 to 1706 Unitarian, and then from 1707, until present day, it became, and remains, a Roman Catholic Church. The Union square where the church is located is host to various different festivals, concerts, and events that take place right in front of the church. Many citizens however are demanding that these events cease to be held there as loud music from the festivals has been damaging and crumbling different parts of the historical church.