The painted monasteries of Bucovina
Among the most picturesque treasures of Romania are the Painted Monasteries of Bucovina.
There is Indeed no other place in the world than Bucovina in Northern Moldavia, where a group of Orthodox monasteries with their exterior mural paintings are to be seen. These Painted Monasteries are part of UNESCO’s World Heritage for their rarity and beauty.
Seven of the churches were placed on UNESCO’s World Heritage list in 1993. The eighth, Sucevita, is awaiting sanction to be added on the list.
The best-preserved are the monasteries in Humor, Moldovita, Patrauti, Probota, Suceava, Sucevita,Voronet, Neamt and Putna,. Another, a small church, is located in the village of Arbore.
Bucovina is among the most attractive and frequented touristic area on Romania’s map. It is not by chance that this area, famous today in the whole world, was honored in 1975 with the international “Pomme d’Or” prize, by the International Federation of Journalists and Writers of Tourism and the ancient architectural monuments with inside and outside frescoes, from this part of the world were appointed by UNESCO in the list of the universal art monuments.
Their painted exterior walls are decorated with elaborate 15th and 16th century frescoes featuring portraits of saints and prophets, scenes from the life of Jesus, images of angels and demons, and heaven and hell. Deemed masterpieces of Byzantine art, these churches are one-of-a-kind architectural sites in Europe. The mural paintings have always produced a strong impression on those who have admired them. Their colours, brilliantly preserved after so many centuries, appear as a phenomenon and represent an exception due to their execution technique. Specialists were always impressed by the exceptional intensity of their colours, moreover since these monuments are located in a very harsh environment. Far from being merely wall decorations, the murals represent complete cycles of religious murals. The purpose of the frescoes was to make the story of the Bible and the lives of the most important Orthodox saints known to villagers by the use of images. Their outstanding composition, elegant outline and harmonious colors blend perfectly with the surrounding landscape.
Foto Credits: Octavian Serban