Chiajna Monastery - Atlas Obscura

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Chiajna Monastery

Locals believe this abandoned ruin on the outskirts of Bucharest is haunted. 


The construction of the Chiajna Monastery began during the reign of Alexander Ypsilanti from 1772 to 1782 and was completed in 1790 in the Neoclassical style. At 43 meters long and 18 meters high, with walls two meters thick, it was considered colossal in size at the time and intended to be a significant place of worship.

Unfortunately, the Ottoman Turks monitored the construction of Chiajna closely, convinced that it would become a military fort. They consequentially burnt down the monastery, leaving it in a state of disrepair. This, together with the arrival of the plague, is why the monastery did not end up becoming as great as it was intended.

Today, various legends exist about Chiajna Monastery that have made it known as one of the most haunted places in Bucharest. Stories state that the monastery is cursed such that, during the nighttime, some locals have noticed a shadow lurking on the walls of the ruins.

Several theories suggest that the former abbot had died of the plague leading to the church missing its consecration. Others say that a boyar woman by the name of Lady Chiajna murdered her own daughter because she decided to marry her loved one instead of an arranged spouse.

Finally, there is a story that tells of locals taking down the church bell and throwing it into the Dâmbovița River. This was an attempt to hide the building from Turkish invaders, thus, it is now said that the bell can be heard clanging on moonless nights. While no one is sure of the credibility of such tales, the Chiajna Monastery is a beautiful site and makes for a fascinating visit.

Know Before You Go

The ruin of the monastery lies abandoned and is free to visit. 

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December 6, 2023

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