Bellu Cemetery – A cultural treasure trove

By now you should have realized that Bucharest is an eclectic city. It is mixing east and west, old and new, history and modern life. As a result, it has many interesting places to explore, discover and enjoy, and Bellu cemetery is one of them.

Quick Facts about Bellu Cemetery

What to know if you want to visit: 

  • The official name is Serban Voda Cemetery!
  • This is Bucharest’s most historic cemetery. To visit it all it might take up to half a day! Of course, a normal tour would normally last about 1h 30- 2h.
  • There is a map inside the gate, that points out important graves!
  • Especially relevant: most of the graves are grouped by profession – artists in one part, writers in another etc.
  • Consequently, a good place to start is the Alley of Artists!
  • Photography wise, you need an acceptance (permit) you can get at the entrance.
  • Visiting hours: 10 a.m – 8 p.m
  • Phone: 021 332 5744

Why visit a cemetery?

Today cemeteries are the outcasts in a culture obsessed with perpetual youth. Except perhaps for places such as Arlington National Cemetery (In U.S), or Pere Lachaise (in France),  or Romania’s own  Merry Cemetery from Sapinta, Maramures.

Except perhaps for places such as Arlington National Cemetery (In U.S), or Pere Lachaise (in France),  or Romania’s own  Merry Cemetery from Sapinta, Maramures.

Yet, as a Bucharest enthusiast, I would invite tourist of all ages to take some time and visit this hidden cultural trove- the Bellu cemetery.

By walking through this cemetery, you can tell that Bucharest has been quite a sophisticated place.

The central chapel (which keeps the same hours as the cemetery itself), was built in the 1880s.  Its style is similar to one of the cathedrals at Karlsbad (Karlovy Vary). While it is no Sistine chapel, it is still boasting stunning interior paintings.

In conclusion,  visiting a cemetery is not necessarily all about paying respects and reflecting about future. You could learn a lot about a country’s culture, and history at the same time.

About Bellu Cemetery

The place is better known by its popular name “Bellu Cemetery” (rather than the official “Serban Voda Cemetery”). This is because this cemetery is situated on a land a plot of land donated by Baron Barbu Bellu in 1858.

Many artists and important politicians are buried here. Of course , this means that great funeral monuments and beautiful sculptures with quite a lot of stories are scattered all over the alleys.

Part of this cemetery resembles an outdoor museum.

In conclusion, if you have the time, then we believe you should visit it. ( Do this preferably on a weekday when you’re not rushed because on weekends there are lots of ceremonies in all Romanian cemeteries and they can become anything but quiet places).
RO B Bellu cemetery Georgiev chapel

Why visit Bellu cemetery in Bucharest?

Here are some reasons why visiting Bellu cemetery is a thing to do in Bucharest:

  • This is the Bucharest’s most prestigious burial ground.  It is often called “outdoor museum”, one of Romania’s history pages”.
  • Furthermore, it houses the tombs of many notable Romanian personalities.  From writers, poets, songwriters, and artists to politicians and diplomats of Romania, and also, inventors,  mathematicians, flight pioneers and so on and so forth.
  • It has 54 acres of one of the most authentic cultural attractions in Bucharest.  Thus visiting it is one of the recommended things to do in Bucharest, especially if you are passionate about culture and history.
  • The unique opportunity of seeing a snapshot of time, complete with all the trappings of historical and social customs, before it disappears through neglect or destruction.

How to get to Bellu Cemetery

Adress: Calea Şerban Vodă, nr.249, sector 4

Public transportation:

  • Bus number 116, 141, 232, 323;
  • Tramway : 4, 11,7,19, 25
  • Subway station:  Eroii Revoluţiei

Landmarks near Bellu cemetery

The Bellu cemetery is within walking distance from several other places:

  • Cimitirul Eroilor – the Heroes Cemetery , where 281 martyrs from the 1989 revolution are buried.
  • The “Parcul Tineretului” park (the name translates literally  as “the Youth park”)
  • The carol Park
  • The Jewish Cemetery
  • The Vacaresti Delta / “Vacaresti National park”.

bellu cemetery

Bellu Cemetery – Notable Graves

2 Comments

  1. Darkage December 2, 2016
    • calator December 4, 2016

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