The Orthodox Cathedral from Drobeta Turnu Severin cames to crown millenial faith of the inhabitants of these lands. Moreover, in a city where were found Christian evidence of the first centuries of Christianity, the existing of a representative place of worship comes to witness these lands for centuries of spirituality and faith of the people from this place. From the Christian history remain fixed in our minds Traian’s bridge at Drobeta (built by the famous Apollodorus of Damascus) as throw here entered the Christianity in Dacia, bringing roman’s veterans and the Metropolitan Church of Severin in 1370.
After 1833, when the new city was drawed by Kiseleff General, because the old one was burned by the turkish, a family of faithful people, we are talking about Ion and Ioana Grecescu boyars, wanted to build in the city not only a cathedral, but even a Archdiocesan Center. At that time, they requested land but did not receive it, but the boyard Ion Grecescu insisted at king Carol who stopped at Severin at its entry into the country (1866) and recieved a piece of land on the outskirts of the city, where he built the Grecescu Church and a hospital.
Behold, after nearly a century and a half, the tears of these faithful people- Ion and Ioana Grecescu- have turned into joy. Thus, after 1990, a time of freedom, good people, both clergy and laity, have openly stated the desire to ascend a lofty Cathedral in Drobeta Turnu Severin. The priest Constantin Inescu from Severin, worthy to remember was the firs person who raised the issue of building a Cathedral in Drobeta Turnu Severin. His Holiness recall at the time that Severin is the city with the fewest churches in the country, reported to the number of inhabitants. At that time, the city had only four churches for a population close to 120,000 inhabitants.
It was set up an action committee that contacted the Local Council to obtain land for building this great edifice. This committee included: priest Vasile Nuhaiu ( alderman at that time), priest Constantin Chilim, Aca. Dr. Gheorghe Neagoe, prof. Nicolae Roșca, priest Nicolae Verdeș, Mr. Ioța Rogobete (secretary hall of the city), Mr. Constantin Cântar and Vasile Ion parishioners of the Cathedral.
Ioța Rogobete, city hall secretary, reminded in an interview at a local television, that the begining was quite difficult because there were some people who wanted to stop this project. But the desire of good men was very big, so good had to overcome and Severin the only capital county without a cathedral was to enrich a priceless treasure.
The construction of Orthodox Cathedral of Drobeta Turnu Severin started in 1992, when the Archdiocese Council of Craiova decided that priest Ioan Tobă, servant of the Maioreasa Church should be appointed parish priest of the new established parish ”Birth of our Jesus Christ” and to handle future construction of Orthodox Cathedral. The parish priest was to be supported by Grigore Petrescu, the Episcopal Vicar of Severin and Strehaia Episopate – who was at that time dean of the place and the committee action.
It is appropriate to remember the contribution of Oltenia hierachs at that time. Î.P.S. Nestor Vornicescu Mitropolit who travelled repeatedly to Drobeta Turnu Severin, even taking part in meetings of the Local Council and Bishop Damaschin Coravu ( named Severineanul at that time) traveled many times to Severin for solving the land problem.
Local councilors have proposed at that time several loactions: one near Hotel Park, another at the intersection of boulevard Smârdan with Tudor Vladimirescu, one near Mircea Square bus station and another near The House of Youth. The last one was considered the best, so Î.P.S. Bishop Nestor Vornicescu even put the cornerstone. But the fact that the site was unsuitable for such a construction, as the geotechnical studies indicated and the public opinion held very much that the Cathedral site to be in the center, near the City Hall, County Council and Prefecture, by Decision 38 of 21.07.1993, the City Council then decided that this cathedral to stand in the center, where today we seen it raised.
After the above mentioned decision on March 25,1994 His Eminence Nestor Vornicescu- Metropolitan of Oltenia- has laind the foundation stone for the new cathedral.
Then, the decision no. 72 of 18 august 1994 has leased the land for free for building Orthodox Cathedral in Drobeta Turnu Severin.
On April 21, 2002, His Eminence Metropolitan Teofan consecrated the chapel dedicated to ”Birth of our Jesus Christ”, in the basement of the building, and the future cathedral will be dedicated to the “Resurrection of the Lord” and “St. Great Martyr Gheorghe – the bearer of victory – the protector of Severin.
After a period in which construction work was interrupted due to the lack of funds, with the re-estalishment of Severin and Strehaia Diocese and installation of His Grace Nicodim (25th of April 2004) the construction of the cathedral at the rate 5,4 m has re-started, with the support of the public, sponsors and believers. And ever since the chapel located in the basement of the Cathedral officiating jobs daily Vespers, Akathist, Matins and Divine Liturgy, submitted (from 23rd of April 2005) live on the radio ”Lumina” of the Severin and Strehaia Diocese.
Since 2005, when priest Ioan Tobă retired was appointed parish priest George Daniel Achim, advisor to the Research and Development sector in the Strehaia and Severin Diocese, taking over the task of contiuning the work of building the Episcopla Cathedral.
The bells were brought from Innsbruck (Austria), crosses were placed on the towers of the Cathedral, the porch was built and currently the works reached the last stage of finishing inside and outside and the paintings.
With God’s help and involvement of clergy and believers from all over the place the Cathedral will be consecrated as soon as possible.
Priest Daniel Achim