Visiting the painted monasteries in Bucovina – see the most beautiful places

Bucovina, the northern region of Moldova, is famous for its centuries-old traditions and customs, which have managed to be preserved quite well over the years. Many of the churches in this region were built in the Middle Ages, between the end of the 15th century and the middle of the 16th century.
painted monasteries in Bucovina

Are you visiting the Bucovina region and don’t want to miss any important destinations?

We have made a list of the most beautiful painted monasteries in Bucovina that you should see.

1. Putna Monastery

The most popular painted monastery in northern Moldova is certainly the Putna Monastery. It is known due to one of the greatest rulers of Moldova, Stephen the Great (in Romanian: “Ștefan cel Mare”).

The monastery is located between Obcinele Bucovinei, and is 30km from Rădăuți and 66km from Suceava. You can stay right inside the Putna monastery or in the town of Putna, where you will find a lot of affordable guest houses.

Why visit Putna Monastery?

It is a very important tourist attraction for Romanians because Prince Stephen the Great is buried here. In addition, it was built in 1466, more than 550 years ago.

2. Voroneț Monastery

If you want to see the most beautiful painted church, Voroneț is the most suitable representation. Known for its remarkable frescoes painted in the special and only shade of blue similar to that of the sky.

The monastery is always on the list of tourists visiting Bucovina, being only 32km from Suceava and 5km from Gura Humorului. Speaking of accommodation, you will find a lot of hostels and hotels in the Voroneț area or in Suceava, if you want to explore the city as well.

Why visit the Voroneț monastery?

The magical color of blue in which the monastery is painted was called “Voroneț Blue”. In addition, it is a proof of a victory over the Turks, also won by the ruler Stephen the Great (“Ștefan cel Mare”).

3. Moldovița Monastery

A small church surrounded by mountain ridges, where you can feel peace and quiet. This is how the Moldovita monastery can be described.

It is also a painted monastery, which steals your eyes through interior and exterior representations. The paintings even retain the brightness of the original colors. Here you will find Byzantine motifs, intertwined with the Romanian national ones that reproduce biblical and historical scenes.

The monastery is 23km away from Câmpulung Moldovenesc and 47km from Rădăuți. You can find accommodation in nearby cities, at decent prices.

Why visit the Moldovița monastery?

The monastery is a true jewel of Moldovan art and culture that combines on its walls the blue of the sky and the green of the grass.

4. Sucevița Monastery

Sucevița Monastery is not only amazing for its paintings and the surrounding landscape. Even the road to it winds through forests and valleys of great beauty.

The monastery is considered to be the last place of worship in Moldova with painted facades of the church, a characteristic manifestation of the reigns of Ștefan cel Mare (Stephen the Great) and Petru Rareș.

The monastery is located 35 km from Suceava. Even in Sucevița you can find boarding houses where you can stay if you plan to stay longer in the area.

Why visit the Sucevița Monastery?

Exterior painting is innovative but also traditional, with strong shades of emerald green applied to the paintings. A standout representation is the popular “Ladder of Virtues”. In addition, Old and New Testament narratives are painted on the interior and exterior walls.

5. Humor Monastery

A monastery surrounded by a beautiful landscape, with hills and valleys, on the river of the same name. The building resembles a miniature citadel and even has its own tower.

It is a nunnery, but can also be visited by tourists. An unusual thing is that the monastery was built by a nobleman and not by a ruler, as in most cases. The monastery is located in the same area as the other monasteries, 35km from Câmpulung Moldovenesc and 39km from Suceava.

Also around the monastery you will find many guesthouses with various accommodation offers.

Why visit Humor Monastery?

The church was decorated both inside and outside with frescoes, as well as the churches Voroneț, Moldovița and Sucevița.

Why are these monasteries so famous, and why you shouldn’t miss them?

An important proof of the fact that these are cultural monuments of the Romanians is their inscription in the cultural heritage of UNESCO in 1993.

You don’t necessarily have to be a religious person to appreciate the art of churches and monasteries. The colors and patterns painted on them have been preserved for hundreds of years and are a testament to the mastery of painting techniques of those centuries.

Many frescoes on the outside walls of these monasteries were painted during the 15th and 16th centuries and depict scenes from the Bible, the lives of the saints, and various other religious themes. The vibrant colors and intricate details of the frescoes are still remarkably well-preserved today, despite being exposed to rain, sun and wind for centuries.

We hope that our recommendations helped you and you will decide to visit the famous painted monasteries in Bucovina.

Picture of Iulia Serban

Iulia Serban

Travel guide and advisor

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