As a child, I was fascinated by the ecclesiastical buildings and what attracted me the most were the little details that made these buildings even more appealing. And there is no style I love more than the Baroque architectural style. In Cluj-Napoca, they recently found a way to make the first Catholic church in Transylvania, and the first Baroque edifice in Transylvania, even more interesting. Currently, it hosts a replica of seven meters long moon that was installed in the church under the title “The Museum of Moon”. By doing so, the Piarist Church has become the newest exhibition venue in Cluj-Napoca, and if I may add, one very interesting aggregate.
The Piarist Church, also known as the Jesuit Church or the University Church, is dedicated, as it was common in the early Baroque, to the Holy Trinity. One can be impressed by the discrepancy between the sober and moderate exterior and the stylish interior. The construction of this church, after the plans of Christian Tausch, started in March 1718 when the first foundation stone was placed, and it lasted until 1724. From the monastic ensemble once built, only the church is still standing. The plan of this church resembles the one of the "Il Gesù Church" in Rome: the central nave is delimited by a series of chapels. For its construction, the local stone from the ruins of the old Jesuits convent was reused. The church itself is also a testimony of the Habsburg plan to integrate Transylvania in the Habsburg Empire.
The facade is delimited by the church two towers, each 45 meters long and decorated with simple elements and by three large windows in the central part. There are also three entrances, the main and two sides ones.
The interior is wealthy decorated. The church main nave, 45 meters long and 24 meters wide, hosts the central altar with the painting of the Holy Mary, that allegedly cried for two weeks in the year 1699 when it was placed in its original location.
Created by the British artist Luke Jerram, the artwork “The Museum of Moon” was realized after the images of the moon captured by NASA. The artist called this artwork - “a traveling art piece”. The exhibition is also accompanied by a sound installation composed by Dan Jones. Each visitor has free access to this newest exhibition, except during the Holy Mass. "The Museum of Moon” is actually an installation that is traveling all around the world, and you now have the chance to see it in an incredible setting of the Piarist Church in Cluj-Napoca.
Cluj-Napoca is one of my favorite cities in Romania because the city itself is a place of hidden gems and a place that often surprises one. With its newest exhibition venue in the Piarist Church, it has definitely become even more delightful.
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