Arbanasi Bulgaria

Arbanasi is a village in Veliko Tarnovo Municipality, central northern Bulgaria, set on a high plateau between the larger towns of Veliko Tarnovo and Gorna Oryahovitsa.

Hotel Winpalace Arbanasi Bulgaria, I took a late lunch at the hotel’s terrace.

After lunch, I decided to explore the village of Arbanasi. It a tiny village with a population of 331 inhabitants in 2010. However, the village is known for the rich history and large number of historical monuments.

Arbanasi Map

Scenery of the Arbanasi.

Walking to the village center, traditional houses in Arbanasi.

Village Centre of Arbanas

Decided to go to the Hadjiiliev House Museum first. I am walking a peaceful and unpopular country road.

The Hadjiiliev House was built in the second half of the 17th century and is a wonderful example of the Renaissance architecture of the period.

Arrived at the Hadjiiliev House (Architectural) Museum Arbanasi

Unfortunately, the door of the museum was closed and there was no one in the vicinity so I could not go into the museum. Then, I was going to the local museum of Konstanzaliev House.

Walking to Konstanzaliev House Museum.

Arrived at the museum Konstanzaliev House. “Let’s get in the museum.”

The Konstantsaliev house was originally built in the 17th century. It has been beautifully restored in National Revival style. It reflects not only the wealth of the owners but also the attention to detail and the quality craftsmanship of that time.

Courtyard of Konstanzaliev House

Entrance of Konstantsaliev House

Floor plan of Konstantsaliev Konstanzaliev House Museum

Originally it was owned by the Tafrili family, and was later bought by the wealthy merchant Atanas Konstantsaliata. It is an ethnographic museum in nowadays.

Inside of the museum

Livung room, Jewelry box, Room with fireplace and Kichen

Kitchen pots jars and traditional textile fabrics

The diverse museum exhibition of the Konstantsaliev’s house represents the way of life of the wealthy merchants in the period of the zenith of the village in 16-17 century.

Left the museum of Konstanzaliev House, I’m walking to the Church of Nativity.

Arrive at in front of Church of the Nativity in Arbanasi.

The church yard

Church of the Nativity in Arbanassi: Pay the entrance fee and enter the church.

Church of the Nativity is the earliest and the most richly decorated church in the village of Arbanasi. It was originally built during the 15th century the simple low level building. The oldest layer of wall-paintings is from the end of 16 century.

It consists of a naos, a narthex, a gallery and a chapel dedicated to St. John the Baptist.

Inside of the Church of the Nativity

One of the most interesting scenes is the genealogical tree of Jesus Christ with the twelve ancient philosophers. It is in the narthex.

Iconostasis, Church of the Nativity in Arbanas

Amazing mural painting of the Church of the Nativity

The Wheel of Life

“The wheel of life” is the most impressive wall-painting in the gallery of the church. This is the earliest presentation of the scene on the walls of Bulgarian churches.

Leave the Church of the Nativity,

Souvenir stands are there.

After the Church of the Nativity, take a walk around the village.

Flowers from Arbanasi

It’s time to leave for the next place of destination, Veliko Tarnovo.

Distant view of Veliko Tarnovo, from Arbanasi.


Village of Madara Bulgaria

Next morning, I went for a walk around the hotel with the cameras after breakfast.

Balcony of my hotel room, “Primorski” citizen swimming pool, the street to the pool in front of the hotel and the statue of “The Dragons in Love.”

Created in the 2010 the statue of “Lovers dragons” is located in the Sea Garden of Varna, near the swimming complex “Primorski”. Now It’s one of the symbols of city of Varna.

Left the Panorama hotel in Varna, I’m going to the next destination of a little village called Madara in the morning. It is 80km to the village of Madara and will take about an hour.

On the way to the village of Madara, I stopped by a strange place called “Stone Forest.”

Stone Forest (Pobiti Kamani)

The Stone Forest (Stone Desert, Bulgarian Pobiti Kamani) is a widely scattered group of rock formations. It is a natural phenomenon, rocky desert located on the north west of the Varna Province border.

Stone Desert, Bulgaria

They say that it is a natural phenomenon, but some rock pillars are looked like as artificial for me. I think that it is a trace of an ancient temple or palace.

Left the Stone Forest, I am going to the destination, village of Madara.

Scenery on the way to the village of Madara Bulgaria.

Going to the mountain road into the village of Madara.

Madara is a village in Shumen Province, northeastern Bulgaria, part of Shumen municipality. It is a tiny village with a population of 1146 (2015 census) and the main industries are animal husbandry and dairy farming.

As entering the village of Madara, the Orthodox Church of “St. George and St. Triveli” is coming into view first.

The church of St. George the Victorious and St. Triveli and its interior, Madara Bulgaria

The Orthodox Church of St. George the Victorious and St. Triveli in the village of Madara was consecrated and opened on April 27, 2011. The church was new and beautiful.

The village centre of Madara.

Madara is famous for the Madara National Historical and Archaeological Reserve, located 1.5 km east of the village centre. Most importantly, Madara is the location of the famous Madara Rider, an 8th-century large rock relief carved by the Bulgars (Turkic semi-nomadic warrior tribes). So I’m going to there soon.

Arrived at the parking lot of the Historical Archeology Reserve of Madara.

The opposite of the parking lot is the Historical Museum of Madara.

The entrance of the National Historical Archaeological Reserve, Madara.

Roman ruins of there,

Madara Mountains, the relief of Madara Rider is on this steep cliff.

I’m going to walk up the stone stairs from now on to this steep cliff. I think that as I am old, it will be hard.

The stone steps to the Madara Rider, a Kaval seller was perfoming the end-blown flute on the way.

The kaval is a chromatic end-blown flute traditionally played throughout Bulgaria Romania and Armenia. The kaval is primarily associated with mountain shepherds.

Kavals, unique flutes.

The kaval is fully open at both ends, and is played by blowing on the sharpened edge of one end.

Arrived at the terrace in front of Madara horseman.

The Madara Raider (or Madara Horseman) is an early medieval large rock relief carved on the Madara Plateau east of Shumen Province in northeastern Bulgaria, near the village of Madara.

The relief of Madara Rider (or Horseman) Bulgaria.

The Madara Rider, representing the figure of a knight triumphing over a lion, is carved into a 100-m-high of the cliff.

From the terrace of Madara Rider, I returned to the foot through the mountain path.

Cave church and dwelling of monks.

The Historical and Archaeological Reserve has Christian churches and monasteries from the First Bulgarian Empire.

I am walking down the mountain pass to the village Madara.


Ancient City Nesebar Bulgaria

Excursion to the old town of Nesebar: I will leave the hotel in Varna for the historical city of Nesebar Bulgaria. Approximately 100 km to Nesebar, it takes about 2 hours. It is also fine today, thank God. “Let’s get out now!”

Scenery on the way to Nesebar, the photos were taken through the car window.

As I was getting into the town of Nesebar, an old jet fighter appeared in a small park.

Monument for the Bulgarian aviators

An old jet fighter, Mig 21 plane, is displayed in a small park on the Han Krum Street, celebrating for 100 years of the Bulgarian air-force.

Nesebar is an ancient city and one of the major seaside resorts on the Bulgarian Black Sea Coast, located in Burgas Province. The city is located on the north side of the Bay of Burgas on a small rocky peninsula and is the center of the municipality Nesebar. The town of Nesebar has a population of 13,347 inhabitants.

Arrived in the old town of Nesebar at 11AM, I am going to roam the historicl area.

Windmill, South Nesebar Bay, St. Nicolas Statue, and Church of Christ Pantokrator

Windmill: The old wooden windmill on the passageway from the new town to the historical area of Nesebar is a lovely symbol of Nesebarthe and very intact Black Sea style. The details about old windmill has not been well known. It’s a fair guess that it’s from the Bulgarian revival period from the 17th to the 19th century.

Statue of St. Nicolas

Statue of St. Nicolas:  The St. Nicolas statue is standing at the harbor of South Nesebar Bay. It is identified as St. Nicolas is patron saint of sailors. However, the statue depict a new “Noah” holding a dove, looking for a new land.

Church of Christ Pantocrator, Nesebar

Church of Christ Pantocrator: The Church is a medieval Eastern Orthodox Church. It was constructed in the 13th–14th century and is best known for its lavish exterior decoration. The church is dedicated to Christ Pantocrator, a name of God which hails him as the “Ruler of All” in Greek. (The word of  Pantocrator is from Hellenistic Ancient Greek. The ruler of everything, especially as an epithet for Jesus Christ; an artistic depiction of Jesus in this aspect.)

Interior and outer walls of the Church of Christ Pantocrator Nesebar.

After the Church of Christ Pantocrator, I am going to the Church of St. John the Baptist.

Mitropolitska Street Nesebar

Walking the Mitropolitska Street 100 meters, it is the Church of St. John the Baptist.

Arrived at the Church of St. John the Baptist.

The Church of St. John the Baptist is a domed cruciform church, built with undressed stone. It is really small, 12 meters long and 10 meters wide. The masonry is crushed stone and pebbles and the facades were probably smoothly plastered. It was built in the 11th century and one of the best preserved churches in Nesebar.

The interior of the Church St. John the Baptist: the mural paintings are discolored with age.

Then I walked the Mitropolitska Street about 200 m east and reached at the ruin of the Church of Saint Sophia Nesebar.

Walking the Mitropolitska Street to the Church of Saint Sophia

Hagia Sophia Church, Nesebar

The Church of Saint Sofia is an Eastern Orthodox church in Nesebar and situated in the old quarter of the town. It is a three-nave basilica with a semi-circular apse, a narthex and an atrium, 25.5 m length and 13 m width. The basilica was constructed in the late 5th and early 6th century. Its present appearance was dated from the beginning of the 9th century when it was reconstructed.

The ruined apse of the Hagia Sofia Church Nesebar.

Left the ruined Hagia Sophia Church, I’m going to the next destination of the church of St. Stephan.

Souvenir shops and traditional houses on the way to the church of St. Stefan Nesebar.

The Church of Saint Stefan Nesebar

The Church of Saint Stefan (St. Stephen) is a former Orthodox Church in Nesebar, which is now turned into a museum. The building is a Byzantine style basilica with three-nave, built in the 11th – 13th century.

The interior of the Church of Saint Stefan Nesebar. View from the west entrance.

Beautiful vault of St. Stephen’s Church, well-preserved Mural painting.

Saint Stefan (St. Stephen) is a Jewish Christian (died in 35 or 36 A. D.). He is traditionally venerated as the Proto-martyr (first martyr) of Christianity.

Mural paintings of St. Stephen’s church in Nesebar, part of the southern wall.

Mural paintings of St. Stephen’s church were well preserved and enjoyable a lot. Left the St. Stephen’s church, I had lunch at a nearby restaurant.

I roamed about the old town of Nesebar after lunch.

Coffee break at an open cafe.

At an opposite souvenir shop, I bought some gifts for my granddaughter in Switzerland. It would be time to leave this anciento city of Nesebar.

New houses on the old substructures, here is a bus stop.

I took the car here and went back to the hotel in Varna. As I like smaller towns and villages than big cities, so it was a lot of fun. Thanks for the Nesebar locals and the guid.

I got to the hotel in Varna at dusk. After taking a short rest in the hotel room
I went out for a walk in the city of Varna.

Walk in the evening, Preslav Street and Nezavisimost Square Varna

About 9 pm the Bulgarian guide took me to an old restaurant for supper.

The restaurant with the Gypsy music performance.

The guide side that the restaurant is famous for the gypsy music performance, the  locals of Varna are really love gypsy music, foreign tourists rarely come to this restaurant.

Inside the restaurant. Their playing skills are wonderful.

I love Gypsy music such as the Hungarian Rhapsodies by Franz Liszt and the Hungarian Dances by Johannes Brahms, so it was really happy night. Unfortunately I can not recall the name of the restaurant.

It was very busy but fun today.

Varna Bulgaria

I left the Delta Hotel in the city of Tulcea for the city of  Varna in the neighboring country, Bulgaria. It is 280 km from Tulcea to Varna, takes about 4 hours.

Scenery on the way to the border with Bulgaria.

I am going to the south along the Route DN38 in Rumania. Shortly passed by the small villages and enter the border town of Negru Voda. Wild poppy on the roadside crossing the border.

Upon reaching the Bulgaria border, a Bulgarian guide took over after the Rumanian guide. I said farewell to the Rumanian guide and driver, they were really nice. I was grateful.

Bulgarian driver, Romanian guide Bulgarian guide and Romanian driver.

After having said hello to the Bulgarian guide, I asked that her  “I do not know anything about Bulgaria, please tell me a lot.” She replaied “We will leave soon” with a stern face. She plovervly has heard about me from the Romanian.

Scenery on the way to Varna Bulgaria from the border of Romania. The phots were taken thwough the cae window.

Arrived at the city center of Varna. Seaside Garden main gate in front the Hotlel Odessos.

City map of Varna Bulgaria

Varna is the third largest city in Bulgaria and seaside resort on the Black Sea Coast. With a population of 335,177 the city is an important centre for business, transportation, education, tourism, entertainment. The city of Varna is referred to as the maritime capital of Bulgaria and headquarters the Bulgarian Navy and merchant marine.

I am going to the Archaeological Museum through the Slivnitsa Street from the Seaside Garden on foot.

Slivnitsa Street and the Boris Georgiev City Art Gallery on the street, Varna.

The City Art Gallery of Varna was opened in 1944, was named after the famous artist Boris Georgiev. In 1999, the City Art Gallery received a valuable donation from 13 works by the artist Boris Georgiev, made by his daughter Virginia Giacometti.

Inside the Art Gallery of Varna and works by Boris Georgiev.

I arrived at the Archaeological Museum Varna, that occupies an ornate 19th-century former girls’ school. It is situsted on the main street called Princess Maria Luisa Boulevard Varna.

The front garden and Archaeological Museum Varna.

The Archaeological Museum Varna was founded in 1887 by the brothers Hermann and Karel Škorpil (Czech-Bulgarian archaeologists).

The inside of the Archaeological Museum Varna.

(The display room.  Varna necropolis, the buried composition with the oldest gold treasure. The head-shaped anthropomorphic cover early Paleolithic Age (about 100 000 BC). Varna Gold from the necropolis, oldest gold treasure in the world.)

Nike, goddess of victory in the Greek mythology, the treasures excavated from the necropolis of Varna. Amazing !

Left the Archaeological Museum, I am walking to the cathedral of Varna. It is on the Princess Maria Luisa street, three blocks away from the museum.

Walking to the Cathedral from the Archaeological Museum of Varna, King Kaloyan Monument is on the way.

Statue of King Kaloyan Bulgaria

Kaloyan (c. 1170–1207) was emperor (or tsar) of Bulgaria from 1196 to 1207. His elder brothers, Theodor and Asen led the uprising of the Bulgarians and Vlachs against the Eastern Roman Empire in 1185. The uprising ended with the restoration of the independence of Bulgaria. Crowned emperor, Theodor (Peter II) made Kaloyan his co-ruler after Asen was murdered in 1196. A year later, Theodor-Peter was also assassinated, and Kaloyan became the sole ruler of Bulgaria.

Arrived at the “Dormition of the Mother of God” Cathedral Varna

(Dormition :Celebration in the Eastern Orthodox Church of the Virgin Mary’s being taken up into heaven when her earthly life ended.)

The Mother of God Cathedral is the largest and most famous Bulgarian Orthodox cathedral in the city of Varna. Officially opened in 1886, it is the residence of the bishopric of Varna and Preslav and one of the symbols of Varna.

Alter of the Cathedral of the Holy Assumption

Mural painting on the ceiling of the Cathedral Varna.

Mother of God Cathedral is not well known in Japan, but I felt the vibrancy of believers, it was a very fascinating cathedral with decoration.

Left the Cathedral, I’m going to walk the Preslav street  to the ruins of Roman bath. It will take about 20 minutes.

Landscape of Preslav Street

Walking Preslav Street of Varna; Clock Tower, Opera House, Café on the street (I enjoyed a grass of cool white wine.) and District Administration.

Arrived at the Ruins of Roman Baths.

Roman Thermae (Springs or baths of warm or hot water.) Varna are a complex of Ancient Roman baths. Its origin goes back to the second century A.D., when here was a Roman town – Odessos. The baths existed until the end of III century.

Roman Thermae (Baths) Varna

The Odessos Baths have been one of the most impressive and magnificent buildings in the eastern Roman Empire. The arch-like constructions are supposed to have been at least 20 m high. Its thick walls were built on layers of stones and bricks.

Strollling in the ruins.

Today the ancient Roman Baths of Odessos are a major historical landmark of Varna – an evidence of the wealth and importance of the city in the ancient times.

Roman baths complex Varna

Left the ruins of  Roman baths and I walked to the reserved hotel which is situated on the shore of Black Sea. It took only five minutes.

Arrived at the reserved Panorama Hotel Varna.

The Panorama Hotel Varna is a mere three stares hotel, but has nice views of Black Sea Coast.

The scenery of the Black Sea, the view from my hotel room.

Arrived at the hotel at 17:30, I had the dinner at the hotel restaurant at 19:30, and then enjoyed some plum tuica and wine in my room. It was really happy days.

Danube Delta Rumania

The Danube Delta is the second largest river delta in Europe, after the Volga Delta, and is the best preserved on the continent.

I am going to make cruising to the Danube Delta at that morning.

Through a park in front of the Delta hotel.

I reached the platform of the Danube Delta cruising.

Let’s go to Danube Delt

The modern Danube Delta began to form after 4000 BCE in a bay of the Black Sea, when the sea rose to its present level. A sandy barrier blocked the Danube bay where the river initially built its delta.

Going into a narrow waterway

A flock of wild birds in the sky.

A flock of pelicans in the sky.

We landed the little island to have lunch at the table in front of a fisherman’s house.

Landing on a small island. Bird watching tower on the island.

Dishes of fisherman’s wife, all fish dishes. Everything is delicious as long as you are hungry.

The Danube Delta is perhaps the least inhabited region of temperate Europe, on the Romanian side live about 20,000 people. The almost population is scattered among 27 villages.

After lunch, I am going into a narrow waterway.

You can see a great number of wild birds. Unfortunately I do not know about birds well, so I can’t explain about them.

In the Danube Delta 274 bird species have been identified of which 176 were brooding (sedentary and migratory) and 98 non-brooding (winter, passage, erratic, and accidental birds). 

Boats are more convenient than cars.

Scenery of Danube Marsh

It’s 4:10 pm now, the time to return to the port.

Romanian navy fleet

My ship came back to the port.

Landed at dusk.

Danube Delta Port Square in the evening.

The cruise of the Danube Delta was over. I had lots of fun. After this, I will return to the hotel, take a short break, have dinner, then  shop at a local gift shop.

Good night!

Going to Tulcea Rumania

It is 420 km from Suceava to the city of Tulcea in Dobrogea, it will take about 6 hours 30 minutes. On the way to Tulcea I took a rest at a town called Adjud.

Going into the town, Church of St. Parascheva, and Central Parke of Adjud. (Saint Paraskeva of the Balkans was an ascetic female saint of the 10th century.)

Adjud is a city in Vrancea County Moldavia, situated north of the point where the Trotuş River enters the Siret River. It has a population of 14,670 inhabitants (2011). Taken a rest for a while, I left for the next destination, Galati.

On the way to Galati, I dropped in a small village of Movileni and took some photos.

Lake Movileni is a reservoir: The Movileni Dam is a dam on the Siret River near Movileni in Galati County.

From Adjud I was running to the north for about two hours and arrived in a city of Galati .

Arrived at Hotel Faleza in the city of Galati, I have lunch in the hotel restaurant. Danube is beautiful from the restaurant.

Galati is the capital city of Galati County,in the historical region of Moldavia, eastern Romania. Galați is a port town on the Danube River. With almost 250,000 inhabitants, Galati was the country’s eighth largest city in 2011. Galati is major economic centre based around the port of Galati, the naval shipyard, the ArcelorMittal Galati steel plant and mineral exports.

There is an old church next to the Faleza hotel. Precista (Virgin) fortified church.

This oldest building in Galati was consecrated as a place of worship in 1647. The church was dedicated to “Assumption”. The historical Church is a symbol of the city of Galati.

After lunch, I went to ferry port. I am going to take a ferry, cross the Danube River to the opposite shore.

Walking to the ferry terminal of Galati

Ferry Terminal of Galati

Danube River Ferry, from the city of Galati to a village of I.C. Bratianu.

The Danube River around here is about 1 km wide. There is no bridge near here.

Crossing the Danube River and arrived at the ferry terminal on the village of I.C. Bratianu.

The ferry terminal and the parish church dedicated to St. Nicolas of the village of I.C. Bratianu: Landed on the village and heading to Tulcea.

The I. C. Brătianu is a commune in Tulcea County, Romania. It is composed of a single village and it has a population of 1,187 inhabitants in 2011.

The main street of the village of I. C. Bratianu.

The villager of I.C.Bratianu makes living by cultivation of vegetables and fruit and stock raising. This village has no particular characteristics.

It is 80km from the village of I.C. Bratianu to the Delta Hotel in the city of Tulcea. It takes about an hour and 30 minutes.

Reached the Delta Hotel on the bank of the Danube river in the city of Tulcea.

Tulcea is a city in the historical region Dobruja, Romania. It is the administrative center of Tulcea County, and had a population of 73,707 as of 2011. Tulcea is the entrance to the famous Danube Delta.

After taking a short rest in the hotel room, I got a town map at the hotel reception  and explored the neighborhood.

Town map of Tulcea

Brochure of Tulcea City

The Art Museum on Republic Square and the unique springs.

Apartment house on Street Păciiof Tulcea

Apartment houses on Street D.Gherea fringed with roses.

St. Nicholas Cathedral with its beautiful garden

I am going to the Danube Delta tomorrow.

Monasteries of Bukovina Romania

Bukovina is a historical region in Central Europe. The northern half belongs to Ukraine and the southern half belongs to Romania. Here are the Moldavian monasteries, which the World Heritage Site of UNESCO. Bukovina was a part of the historical principality of Moldova, from 1775 to 1918, the area with its multiethnic population belonged to the Habsburg monarchy. In the north-west lies East Galicia, in the south-west of Transylvania.

Mural painting churches in northern Moldavia

Arbore Monastery : Arbore is a commune located in Suceava County. It is composed of three villages, Arbore, Bodnăreni and Clit. The commune has a population of 6,719 in the 2011 census.

Scenery of Arbore village

The main industry of the village is animal husbandry and dairy farming. The village is located 35 km west of Suceava, it takes about 40 minutes by car.

Arrived at the church of Arbore

Church of Arbore was dedicated to Saint John the Baptist. The church was the first painted church to be included on the UNESCO World Heritage List of the Churches of Moldavia.

The painted church of Arbore

Mural painting of the outer wall of the church

Mural painting of the inner wall of the church.

The monastery and the commune are named after the boyar Luca Arbore who built the church in 1503. (Boyar is a ruling class that existed in medieval Russia and Slavic countries.)

Churchyard of Arbore Monastery

Left the village of Arbore I am going to the next monastery in a village of Sucevita. On the way to Sucevita village, I decided to drop in a village of Marginea which is famous for ceramics.

Going into the Marginea village.

Village center of Marginea

Marginea is located in a picturesque area in Suceava County, 20 kilometers northwest from Arbore, along Sucevita Creek. It has a population of 8,552 inhabitants (2011 census).

The studio of the Black Ceramics of Marginea.

The black pottery produced at the Marginea is known internationally, mainly due to its black color obtained following an ancient burning technique. Marginea became a pottery center in the 16th century. The ceramic was mainly crafted for food storage or other purposes. 

Potter’s studio of Marginea : They mold the clay in a few minutes. I enjoyed seeing their works,and they are proud of thier working.

Marginea had about 60 families of potters and now there are only two to three families left. Only elders still know how to spin the wheel and burn the clay vessels in the furnace, just as their ancestors. During the communist era, owning a pottery wheel was considered a crime and many craftsmen had to give up or do it secretly.

Shop of the potter’s studio. Lovely pottery for easter egg.

Marginea is the only place in the world where the black color is obtained without adding anything to the clay paste.

After the Black Ceramics of Marginea, I am going to the neighboring village of Sucevița (Sucevita).

Sucevita Monastery : Sucevita (Sucevița) is a small settlement, located in the valley of Sucevita valley in northern Moldavia, lies on the Rout 17A. It has a population of 2762 ( 2011 ). Sucevita Monastery is an Eastern Orthodox convent, situated near the Suceviţa River, in the village Sucevița. It was built in Byzantine and Gothic in 1585 by Moldavian rulers.

Scenery of Sucevita Bukovina

Sucevita Monastery is located in the southern part of the historical region of Bukovina (northwestern Moldavia).

Arrived at the Sucevita Monastery Bukovina.

Bird’s eye view of the whole monastery of Sucevita.

Sucevita Monastery Bukovina, with the famous frescoes “angel ladder”

“Ladder of Angels”

St. George Church of Sucevita Monastery; good shaped painted church.

Both interior and exterior walls are covered by mural paintings, which are of great artistic value and depict biblical episodes from the Old and New Testament.

The interior court of the monastic ensemble is almost square (100 by 104 meters) and is surrounded by high (6 m), wide (3 m) walls.

In 2010, the Sucevita Monastery has been inscribed by UNESCO on its list of World Heritage Sites, as one of the Painted churches of Moldavia.

Moldovita Monastery : Vatra Moldoviței is a commune located in the west-central part of Suceava County. (Vatra in Romanian means fireplace in English.) It lies on the banks of Moldovița River, and is composed of three villages: Ciumârna, Paltinu and Vatra Moldoviței. The latter village is the site of Moldovita Monastery. The first official record referring to the Vatra Moldoviței area dates to the time of Alexander the Good, who founded the Moldovița Monastery in 1402.

Moldovița River and Alexander the Good (Alexander I of Moldavia) was a Voivode of Moldavia, reigning between 1400 and 1432.

Going into the village of Vatra Moldoviței.

The village has a population of 4,099 inhabitants in 2011 census, and the economy is based mainly on the woodworking product and animal husbandry.

Arrived at Moldovita Monastery

Bird’s eye view of the whole monastery of Vatra Moldovita.

The Annunciation Church of Moldovita Monastery

Mural painting of the outer wall of the church.

Cute choir children : It was Sunday. I took pictures with the children of the choir. I wish for the happiness of these children forever.

Church of Moldovita Monastery, One of them is the Bishop of Rumanian Orthodox Church, This house is cells for nuns. The monastery is also surrounded by walls.

Humor Monastery : The village of Humor Monastery is  a commune in Suceava County, Bucovina. It is situated on the bank of Humor River. It took about 40 minutes (35 km) from Moldovita Monastery to the village of Humor Monastery. The main industries of the village are agriculture and livestock raising, the number of souvenir shops for tourists has increased recently. The village has a population 2.108 inhabitants (in 2011 survey). The locals are hard workers and kind for travelers. 

Scenery of the village of Moldovita Monastery.

The gate and fence of Humor Monastery .

Constructed in 1530, Humor Monastery is for nuns, dedicated to the Dormition of Virgin Mary. The Humor monastery was closed in 1786 and was not reopened until 1990.

Humor Monastery Map

Watch tower, the oversized cross is a historic grave, this house is a well with wheel to pull up water bucket and the church of Humor Monastery.

The church of Humor Monastery is the Dormition of the Mother of God Church (celebration in the Eastern Orthodox Church of the Virgin Mary’s being taken up into heaven when her earthly life ended).

The church of Humor Monastery.

The church has been inscribed by UNESCO on its list of World Heritage Sites, as one of the Painted churches of Moldavia.

Frescos of saints on the east side walls.

Frescos on the western porch wall “The Final Judgment”

Finally I took pictures of the church and left the monastery.

There is a new convent next to the old monastery. It has a beautiful shap.

Voronet Monastery : Voronet is a really small village in Romania, located in the northern part of Moldova, at the foot of the Carpathian Mountains. It takes 20 or 30 minutes from Humor Monastery to Voronet Monastery by car, it is approximately 10 km.

Crossed the Moldova River, I am going into the village center of Voronet.

The village of Voronet has a population of 682 inhabitants. They are making a living through stock raising, producing some fruit and vegetables. As they are religious, kind for travelers.

Arrived in front of Voronet Monastery, I am walking down a path in the church yard to the monastery. Entrance gate of Voronet Monastery, let’s get into the monastery.

Overhead view of the Voronet Monastery.

The Monastery Voronet is a medieval monastery for wemen in the Romanian, village of Voronet. The monastery was constructed by Stephen the Great in 1488 over a period of 3 months and 3 weeks to commemorate the victory at at Battle of Vaslui. (Battle of Vaslui was fought in 1475, between Moldavia and the Ottoman.)

St. George Church of Voronet Monastery

The Ma few kilometers south of Gura HumoruluOften known as the “Sistine Chapel of the East”, the frescoes of St. George Church at Voronet  feature an intense shade of blue known in Romania as “Voronet blue.”

Brilliant “Voronet blue,” the southern wall of the church

Frescos on the southern wall, “Tree of Jesse (Eshai)”

Famous frescos “Last Judgment” on the western wall.

I roamed a little around the St. George church, then I left the monastery.

Gateway of Voronet Monastery

After this, I am going to return to the hotel in Suceava, and will leave the city for the next destination tomorrow.