Few places in Europe gather together so many natural beauties and religious medieval art masterpieces as in Bucovina.
Only few places in Europe gather together so many natural beautiful places and religious medieval art masterpieces as Bucovina. This land with hills and mountains lays in the northern part of Romania, neighboring the wooden churches from Maramures. This is where the first Romanian rulers, who established the Moldavian Principality, came. The Byzantine culture flourished in the 15th and 16th centuries, after the fall of Constantinopol.
It was Stephen the Great and Petru Rareș rulers’ time, a period of a permanent Turks’ threat, of the Tartars’ incursions and of the battles with Hungarians. After winning a great battle, Stephan used to build a church or a monastery, establishments painted in the exterior a few decades later.
An Occident and Orient summary of Gothic and Byzantine styles, the eight exterior painted churches from Bucovina are registered in UNESCO World Heritage: Arbore, Humor, Moldovița, Pătrăuți, Probota, Voroneț , "Saint George" from Suceava and Sucevița. The architecture belongs to the western, gothic inspiration- lithe, single spire churches, with strong counter forces - and the painting is of Byzantine inspiration.
Christians took revenge for the Constantinopol siege on the greatly painted walls; rivers of fire take down the sinners to hell while the right ones are conducted on the virtue stairs towards Heaven. At the exterior, the paintings are an illustrated catechesis for Christians; inside – it seems they participate to a liturgy in committing the Holly Sacraments.
A little more to the south, in Moldavia's heart, you will be impressed by the intense spiritual life of the great Romanian monasteries. Few moments are more uplifting, for instance, rather than their participation to a ceremony at one of Orthodox monasteries from the base of the legendary Ceahlău mountain – Neamț, Secu, Sihăstria, Bistrița or Pângărați, Agapia or Văratec. The large number of monasteries and the reputation of the father confessors brought its fame to the Balkans and to the Orthodox world, being considered, just as Athos Mountain, a real "Virgin Mary’s Garden”.
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