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500 lei 2006 - 350 Years from the Foundation of the Patriarchal Cathedral
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500 lei 2006 - 350 Years from the Foundation of the Patriarchal Cathedral 500 lei 2006 - 350 Years from the Foundation of the Patriarchal Cathedral
35 mm diameter, 31.103 g, gold 99.9%, flat edge
Obverse: icon of Saint Constantine and Saint Helene, with the inscription "SF-IMP-C-TIN SI ELENA" meaning SAINT EMPERORS CONSTANTINE AND HELENE (from the cathedral iconostasis), face value 500 LEI, Romanian coat of arms, ROMANIA
Reverse: the patriarchal cathedral, the coat of arms of the Patriarchate of the Romanian Orthodox Church, inscription "CATEDRALA PATRIARHALA" meaning "PATRIARCHAL CATHEDRAL", years 1656 and 2006

Issuing date: 4h of September 2006

Mintage: 250 coins


The 500 lei 2006 gold coin (350 Years from the Foundation of the Patriarchal Cathedral) pictures above are present on the site through the kind permission of Mr. Radu Lissner.


About the Patriarchal Cathedral

The construction of the Patriarchal Cathedral started in 1656, founder being Constantin Șerban, ruler of Walachia between 1654 and 1658. The church is located on the "vineyard farmers' hill", having been finished in 1668, under the prince Radu Leon (1664-1669). The patron saints of the church are Saint Constantine and Saint Helene.

The iconostasis or rood screen is a wall that separates the altar and the chancel from the church nave.

The Patriarchal Cathedral is also represented on a 200 lei gold coin issued in 2010.

Patriarchal Cathedral Perspective view of the Patriarchy Hill. We can see the statue of prince Alexandru Ioan Cuza (he was elected in 1859 ruler of both Romanian Principalities), the belfry erected by prince Constantin Brîncoveanu, the Patriarchal Palace and the cathedral.
Patriarchal Cathedral, from the altar side. At left is the Patriarchal Palace. The flag atop the Patriarchal Palace, bearing the coat of arms of the Patriarchy.

About the Romanian Patriarchy. Pictures with the coat of arms of the Patriarchy

After the Great Recomplition War waged between 1916 and 1919 and after the realization of the Great Romania in 1918 the logical unification of the Romanian Church was to follow shortly. In 1925 the Holy Synod decided the creation of the Romanian Patriarchy, the primate metropolitan having been therefore promoted as patriarch. The first patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church was the Transylvanian Miron Cristea. He was followed at the Patriarchal See by Nicodim Munteanu (1939-1948), Iustinian Marina (1948-1977), Iustin Moisescu (1977-1986) and Teoctist Arăpașu (1986-2007) and Daniel Ciobotea (from 2007). The first five patriarchs were represented on a five silver coin set issued in 2010.

Coat of arms of the Romanian patriarchy, from the book L'eglise orthodoxe roumaine, Bucharest, 1987 Coat of arms of the Romanian Patriarchy on a building inside the Patriarchal Complex

About the Roman emperor Constantine the Great (Saint Constantine). His image on a contemporary coin

emperor Constantine the Great on a Roman coin

Constantinus I (Flavius Valerius Constantinus) was the son of Constantius Chlorus and of Flavia Iulia Helena (Saint Helene). He ruled between 306 and 337. In 313 he granted, together with Licinius I (also a Roman emperor, that ruled between 308 and 324) through the Edict of Milan (Mediolanum) the religious tolerance to all religions in the Roman Empire, including the Christian faith. He founded Constantinople and moved there, in 330, the capital of the empire.

The legend on this coin: IMP CONSTANTINUS PF AUG, meaning Imperator Constantinus Pius Felix Augustus

The portret of the emperor is realized in the cubist style. (Style used for representing emperor portraits, often used on coins, especially between 295 and 310. The countenance is marked by hair and beard, bulky neck and widely open eyes. On coins, the effigy is inscribed in a square.)


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