About the cemetery
The Cemetery, also called “Bellu’s Garden of Souls” was founded on the domain of an orchard with oranges donated to the state by a rich minister called Bellu and on the territory of the Vacaresti monastery which had three windmills.
The necessity of its existence came with the European politics of urbanism and hygiene, adapted also by the Romanian administration, during the Turkish occupation. From May 1850 starts the delimitation of the new cemeteries area for the Ortodoxs, Catholics, Armenians, Protestants, Jewishs, Turkishs.
Bellu Cemetery was concived as an Orthodox Cemetery, but have also some exception like the occult monument dedicated to the genius child of a Romanian writer Bogdan Petriceicu Hasdeu, who died at 17th years old in Paris.
The first “inhabitants” of the “Souls Garden” were brought from other cemeteries situated around the churches. Bucharest developed as a city of neighborhoods, called “mahalale” which had as civic center the church, and so also the cemetery was a public space. With the dislocation of the cemeteries, outside the limits of the urban area, the public activity around them was reduced.
Today, the cemetery occupies 220,000 sqm and become the most important gallery of the Romanian historical personalities. Here lies the most famous Romanian poet: Mihai Eminescu, the Romanian folkloric singer: Maria Tanase, important ministers, writers, actors, architects, bankers, etc.
The Romantic sculptures gave the impressions of a very vivid sculptural patrimony, because of their very realistic execution and details. The architectural patrimony consists in decorated sepulchers in Neogothic, Art Deco style in the chapel made by the architect Orascu also buried in this cemetery, in the three mausoleums made by the architect Ion Mincu, the promoter of the Neo Romanian style, whose name was borrowed by to the University of Architecture of Bucharest.
The solemnity and the beauty of the funeral monuments become a part of a unique atmosphere, becoming part of a universe where the green vegetation hosts the eternal mourning, transforming it into bird song. Today visiting Bellu is an escape in a green island, a hospitable “garden of souls”, in the middle of a crowded city.
Calea Șerban Vodă 249, sector 4, Intrarea Serelor nr.1, sector 4,