The painted Churches of Bucovina – Moldavian religious legacies

Bucovina is well-known for its respected traditions, hospitality and amazing landscapes, but what draws tourists’ attention the unique places are of worship located all over Northern Moldavia. The numerous painted churches are the tour travel’s highlights and would be a pity to miss them.

With a specific architecture, fine exterior and interior frescoes, these medieval gems have been well preserved during many centuries. Because of their uniqueness and artistic value they were added in the UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 1993.

Initially, built approximately between 1487 and 1583, as family burial places for nobles and rich princes and boyars, they were surrounded by high walls in order to defend them in the troubled medieval times.

Thereby, the churches in Moldavia are very special because the painters interpreted the scenes from the Bible in their own personal way, giving different styles in the ways of painting and showing the scenes in the Holy books.

These important 8 churches are part of the UNESCO’s Heritage and represent some of Bucovina’s legacies:

• Arbore Monastery (Beheading of St. John the Baptist Church)
• Humor Monastery (Dormition of the Mother of God Church)
• Vatra Moldovitei Monastery (Annunciation Church)
• Patrauti Monastery (Exaltation of the Holy Cross Church)
• Probota Monastery (St. Nicholas Church)
• Suceava Monastery (St. George Church)
• Voronet Monastery (St. George Church)
• Sucevita Monastery (Ressurection Church)

Each church has its characteristic colors and shades, so we can talk not only about the famous Voronet blue, but of the red of Humor, green of Arbore, yellow of Moldovita or the green-red of Sucevita. The paintings describe Biblical scenes of heaven and earth and of the life of Jesus Christ, Virgin Mary and numerous saints.

The interior walls were first painted and then the scenes continued on the exterior. These vast pictures represent the religious world medieval people lived in and they promote the Orthodoxism of these parts. Although of Byzantine inspiration, the paintings on the exterior and interior walls of these worship constructions are authentic. In an era where very few people could read or write, the suggestive images served as explications for the parish to understand Biblical writings.

Architectural monuments, they serve as testimony of faith and beliefs of Christians passed through generations, in time. While the composition of some shades is unknown, it is remarkable the fact that the harmony of the colors that give life to the walls blend with the rural surroundings. The churches merge with the nature creating a beautiful scenery that visitors get to see in this tour travel.

Founded by great figures in Romanian history, princes and rulers of Moldavia, such as Stephen the Great, his son Petru Rares, Georghe Movila or Bogdan III, these churches are evidence of a complex and rich history.

Discover Romania in a land of myth, religious cults and powerful beliefs, visiting the most important medieval constructions in Northern Moldavia, the painted Churches of Bucovina.

About Author

Miruna Zaharescu
My passion for traveling must come from the fact that I want to learn more about the world we live in, explore new things and places and discover myself. Through writing, I feel that I get the chance to express myself and that I am allowed to create something of my own making. You let your thoughts and opinions out there for the world to see them and you get to improve your creativity with every article you write.


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