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.

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