Gura Humorului is a beautiful city, known as an important touristic center of Suceava district, Bucovina region. It is a significant wood center of exploitation and industrialization.

Its name comes from the Humor Creek which flows in Moldavia River. Gura Humorului is for the first time mention in a document in the 15th century in an act sent by Stephen the Great’s chancellery. Officially becomes a city in 1904.Travellers can start the trip with the Church Saint Emperor Constantine and Elena from the 19th century. This church is destroyed in the Second World War but is rebuilt with the help of the people. In this church exists an icon and people from Romania believe that can make miracles.

From here tourist can go and see the monument Olga Kobyleanska’s bust. This monument is dedicated to Ukrainian writer Olga Kobyleanska. The bust monument was made in Ukraine and contains information about life and writer’s work.

For those who want to find more about old traditions and culture of this city, Folk Customs Museum in Bucovina has all the answers. Inside of the museum, visitors can experience a journey in spiritual universe of the village from the 19th century.

Here people can found information about old calendar holidays, holidays explicit practices and an interesting gallery of Georges Cotos. “Georges Cotos” gallery contains 200 painting that use bursts of colors.

Humor Monastery is situated just six kilometers away of Gura Humorului. This beautiful and unique painted monastery is part of the UNESCO heritage and its predominant color is red. Just like other pained monasteries, Humor Monastery uses the fresco technique for the inside and outside paintings.

Close to the Gura Humorului is located another important religious edifice – Voronet Monastery. Tourists are going to be delighted by the exterior frescoes, intense and luminous colors and the unique painting figures on azure. The legend of this place of worship says that Stephen the Great come at the Voronet to seek advice to the Archimandrite Daniel. He wins the battle against Turks and kept his promise – he build a new church dedicate to Saint George, patron of his victory.

Gura Humorului provides beautiful natural reservations such as Piatra Pinului Geological Reservation on which is preserves traces of life for the old ocean that existed on the region, Piatra Soimului with its scenic cliff and Birch Forest from where tourists can see panorama  of the city.

Plan your trip to Bucovina this summer!

Humor Monastery is an edifice situated in Bucovina region, Humor Monastery village. Built by Toader Bubuiog and his wife, Anastasia, is tranquility of souls and attraction for all tourists.

The region of Bucovina is blessed to have the most interesting pictured monasteries from entire Romania. Humor Monastery is part of this region and is well known for its frescos.

In 1993, UNESCO included the church Humor Monastery, on the World Heritage list together with other seven churches located in northern Moldavia (Arbore, Patrauti, Moldova, Probota,”St. John” Suceava, Sucevita and Voronet), known worldwide as the painted monasteries of Bucovina.

Humor Monastery is an orthodox one and is dedicated to “Assumption of the Virgin Mary” and “Saint George”. With a height of 300 meters, it is close to ruins of another old church built in the 15th century by Alexander the Good. In this region appeared for the first time the open porch and the vault.

Humor Monastery was founded in 1530 and closed later by Habsburgs. This edifice opened again its gates in 1991. Since its opening, this gorgeous monastery was an important cultural center of Moldavia. As a confirmation, it has a Bible dating from 1474 which can be seen in the Museum of Putna Monastery.

The Humor Monastery’s big treasure is the exterior paintings, were predominates the red color. This painting were made by Master Toma Painter in 1535. Walking along the monastery tourists can discover one of the most valuable frescoes on the southern side – the Akathystos Hymn. The Fall of Constantinople is a well-preserved picture that it can be see here. In each side of the monastery people can find religious themes such as: Tree of Jesse, Eternal Judgment, the procession of angels, prophets, apostles, bishops, martyrs, pious and others that wait to be unraveled. Since 2015 Humor Monastery is proud to be part of the Historical Monuments from Suceava with its four sights:

  • Church “Assumption of the Virgin Mary ” and “St. George” that was built in the 16th century;
  • The remains of the monastery houses from the 14th-18th century;
  • Belfry Tower made in the 19th century;
  • Tower of Vasile Lupu constructed in the 17th century.

In any part they look, tourists can see the nature that surrounds this magnificent place and feel the religion in any corner. The fairy landscape makes visitors leave their worries at home and enjoy what eyes can see. Here divinity has done its job. Humor Monastery is perfect for those who what to find himself and love religious tourism as much as cultural trips.

 

The city of Suceava is one of the most wonderful and oldest cities from the historical region of Moldavia. A vacation in this place will delight traveler’s eyes with many tourist spots such as fortresses, churches, museums, memorials and many more. Suceava city is situated in Suceava Plateau (Romanian: Podisul Sucevei), on the river with the same name, at 21 km from the confluence with Siret River.

History

The first information about Suceava was found in 1388 when Petru Musat II (1375-1391), the ruler of Moldavia moved the capital from Siret to Suceava. This city was capital of Moldavia for about two centuries, since 1565. The most known voivodes of Moldavia were Alexandru the Good (ruler of Moldavia between1400-1432), Stephen the Great (ruler of Moldavia between1457-1504) and Petru Rares(two times rules of Moldavia, 1527-1538 and 1541-1546); Petru Rares was an illegitimate child of Stephan the Great. From 1774 to 1918, Suceava was the city of the Austrian Empire, Part of the Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria and the Duchy of Bukovina. During this period, it has served as the Austro-Hungarian border town with The Kingdom of Romania. In the 20th century, the city expanded by incorporating the surrounding localities Burdujeni and Itcani (in Romanian “Ițcani”); today this localities are neighborhoods of this beautiful city.

During the Communist period it takes place a comprehensive process of industrialization of Suceava, whose population increased more than ten times.

The Fortress Chair of Suceava (in Romanian “Cetatea de Scaun a Sucevei”) – a fortifications system built in Moldavia, in the final of the 14th century, because of the Ottoman danger, includes for resistance purpose, fortification of ground and wood, arranged around some settlements. Some fortifications points were positioned in the center of the localities or main roads connections of these. Fortifications of the courts of princes and monasteries and the citadels of strategic importance were located either at the border, on the Nistru’ River line, either inside the nearby Carpathians. Between these strongholds of Suceava Fortress,  known as one of the most popular ones, enjoyed great fame over time. Identified with military glory and the ideal of independence of the entire nation, this fortress had a history rich in events and fights. Frequently was seen as a main element of resistance of the entire Moldavia against those who wanted to obey it. Today, the Complex Architecture Fortress, Princely Residence of Moldova presents to all tourists Suceava’s medieval life.

Royal Court of Suceava – this beautiful place was built between 16th and 17th century in the center of Suceava. Burned in a fire, the Royal Court was built by Stephen the Great (ruler of Moldavia, 1457-1504) and rebuilt during Vasile Lupu time (ruler of Moldavia, 1634-1653). From 2004, the Ensemble “Royal Court” Suceava was included in the list of historical monuments of Suceava and it consists of 4 sights: Royal Palace – dates from the middle 14th  century; Tower housing – dates from 14th  century; Gate Tower – dates from 14th century; Annex – dates from 1486. The archaeological research from these places revealed numerous terracotta tiles, some unglazed and other glazed. The tiles have different interesting ornamentation like the coat of arms of Moldova, armored knights or vegetal and animals motifs.

Historical Museum of Suceava – hosts valuable collection of exhibits,  showing the history of Suceava and especially Bucovina.  Here it is opened an art gallery with works signed by artists from the country and from Bucovina. An important attraction of this museum is the “Throne room” of Stephen the Great who was voivode (or prince) of Moldavia from 1457 to 1504.

Ethnography Museum “Royal Inn” Suceava – this monument from 17th century presents the main ethnographic areas of Suceava. The permanent exhibition on the ground floor reconstructs vintage atmosphere of a century inn, from 18th century accommodation place for important guests, officials, and merchants who were passing through Suceava. It’s composed of: guest lounge, kitchen, inn room, rest room, pantry, and cellar – all constituting a special point of attraction. At the highest level, are displayed important pieces of ethnography and folk art, representative for this part of the country.

Stephen the Great Medieval Festivaldates from June 31, 2006 and aims popularizing and reintegrating into the tourist circuit Bucovinean the medieval monuments of Suceava, namely Fortress Chair, the Royal Court and Church Mirauti. The main activities in this project – Stephen the Great Medieval Festival have the purpose to bring back the community’s memory about the glorious past of Moldova and especially its capital, Suceava.

People traveling with their family and/ or friends are more than welcome to discover the several tourist attractions of the outstanding city of Suceava. We ensure everyone that after this trip they will fill more peaceful and happy to find more fascinating things about this beautiful region of Romania.

The Monastery of Voronet, part of the Painted Churches of Bucovina Tour, is a medieval monastery located near Gura Humorului, Suceava County. Voronet was built in 1488, under Stephen the Great’s rule. The constructions were finished in exactly 3 month and 3 weeks and it represents a tribute to the victory of the Battle of Vaslui.

Voronet is listed as an UNESCO World Heritage site, along with other painted churches in Moldavia. It is often called the “Sistine Chapel of the East”. What makes this monastery stand out from others is its exterior frescoes, painted in an unique shade of blue, today called “Voronet blue”.

Besides the huge personality of the founder, Stephen the Great, Voronet also bears the story of its first abbot, Saint Daniel the Hermit. Legend says that Stephen came to Saint Daniel to ask for advice regarding the war against the Ottomans. Saint Daniel encouraged him not to surrender. After winning the battle, Stephen built the monastery and dedicated it to Saint George.

Voronet is actually built on the foundation of a former wooden church. In 1546, it was extended by Grigore Rosca, a notable nobleman. Inside the monastery, there are the tombstones of Saint Daniel the Hermit, Grigore Rosca and other devotees of the church.

Priests and monks practiced a school of calligraphy here, and it even produced Romanian translations of the Bible.

In 1775 the monastery is deserted due to Habsburg occupation and the religious activities are resumed only in 1991. Ever since, the land of the monastery was enlarged with houses for nuns and pilgrims, a chapel, barns and fountains.

People say that Voronet and the other painted monasteries are “byzantine churches painted by gothic hands”.

The main church of Saint George at Voronet Monastery catches every tourist’s eye with the strong and well-preserved colors used on the outside frescoes. The windows and the doors are arched in a Gothic manner. Part of the untouched decorations of Voronet is still noticeable on the northern part: embossed motifs in bright colors representing the Moldavian coat of arms or creatures of medieval inspiration. The tower is adorned with sixteen niches and the same style of painting above them.

Whether it’s for the entire treasure of the Painted Monasteries of Bucovina or just for the Monastery alone, tourists should definitely visit because pictures cannot depict its true historical beauty and holy atmosphere.

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.