Buchovina Journals

Bukovina - a delight to the eyes, and tranquility

Best of IgoUgo

A September 1997 trip to Buchovina by Amanda

Church Photo, Buchovina, Romania More Photos
Quote: Bukovina is the district in Romania that houses the famous painted monastries. There are many of them , all delightfully frescoed, inside and out, with wonderful paintings and images. Go! I promise you won't regret it! The area has been designated a World Heritge Site.

Bukovina - a delight to the eyes, and tranquility

Overview

Church Photo, Buchovina, Romania
Quote:
The monasteries and churches are the reason to go here. There are 7 main sites, called Moldovita, Putna, Voronet, Radauti, Sucevita, Suceava, and Humor. I cannot describe to you how wonderful these places are, although I'll have a go later! I intend to upload a couple of slides of the churched in the next few days, so you can see for yourselves.

Quick Tips:

Take your camera, but forget the tripod, as you aren't allowed to use it at many of the sites.

Best Way To Get Around:

It's a bit tricky and slow to get at all of the churches via public transport - this is, after all, a rural area. Consider hiring a car - more details in the transport section of this journal.

Humor

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Humor Photo, Buchovina, Romania
Quote:
Humor is not as impressive as some of the others on the outside, but the inside is well preserved and interesting. The low, arched ceiling in one part of the church is the heavens, with the Trinity at the top looking down, and it is beautiful. Below the Trinity are archangels, with St. Peter guarding the gate into heaven, and other saints wafting about looking saintly. There is a group of angels gliding down one wall, towards the floor, apparently to show all us sinners the path to eternal life. There is apparently a painting of the fall of Constantinople on the outside, but it's a bit difficult to make out. The nuns here are particularly anti-tripod, so you'll have to leave it with them if you h...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 31, 2000

Humor
near Guru Humorlui
Buchovina, Romania

Putna

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Putna Photo, Buchovina, Romania
Quote:
The frescos here are not the best in the area, but by any other standards are extremely fine. This site still has a monastery in it, which adds to the atmosphere. The gardens surrounding the monastery are beautiful and peaceful, and there's a very interesting museum, closed Mondays, of medieval religious items, fresco preparations, and tapestries. There’s a good section on candle making, which the monastery still does itself, from the hives just inside the north wall – and it’s interesting then to go and see the candles burning away in the church after watching the process by which they are made. There is little information in English, but as it’s a very visual museum, that doesn’t matter. Inside ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 31, 2000

Putna
near Suceava town
Buchovina, Romania

Moldovita Monastery

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Moldovita"

Moldovita Monastery Photo, Moldova, Europe
Quote:
This church was originally a defensive site, as well as a religious foundation. When you enter the grounds, you walk past the impressive walls and gates, built to keep invaders out. The walls are so thick you can walk along them for a great view - be polite to the monk in charge and he'll let you do just that. This compound has an entrance fee, but it's a very small amount in western terms, about 50p. If you’ve been haring around the churches all day, this is a great place to sit in the lovely gardens, chill out for a bit, and examine the scenery and architecture. The 16th century frescos include a Day of Judgement Scene, but to be honest it isn't as impressive as the one at Voronet. The f...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 31, 2000

Moldovita Monastery
Commune of Vatra Moldovitei, Suceava County
Moldavia, Romania

Sucevita

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Sucevita Photo, Buchovina, Romania
Quote:
This is the largest and grandest of the churches. The most stunning part of the painting is the ladder to Heaven, which shows the stages of progression and angels showing the way. It takes up a whole long wall of the outside of the building, and is just spectacular. Painted in the deepest, most stunning shade of blue, it's hardly faded at all, and a delight to see. It’s worth looking at different parts of it close up, as the detail is fascinating. Many of the angels are subtlety different, with varying robes, musical instruments, or physical features. The humans ascending the ladder vary much more in dress, and facial expression – some looking very startled indeed! The church is set back from the road...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 31, 2000

Sucevita
Sucevita village
Buchovina, Romania

Voronet

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Voronet Photo, Buchovina, Romania
Quote:
Perhaps the second grandest of all the churches in Bukovina, this is my favourite. One whole side of the church has a fresco of the Day of Judgment. There are things going on in every area of it, and examining it all takes at least an hour, if you want to see it properly. On the right-hand side are the dead climbing out of their coffins, dressed in their burial shrouds, and waiting to be judged, with animals bringing back arms, legs and other bits of the dead they've previously made off with. Many of those climbing out of coffins look very confused, as well they might! Ship wrecks are coming up from the bottom of the sea, to return the dead for judgement, and the waves are being calmed by an angel. T...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 31, 2000

Voronet
near Gura Humourlui village
Buchovina, Romania

Transport round Bukovina

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

A monastary church Photo, Buchovina, Romania
Quote:
This is a small, rather undeveloped rural area, and transport between the monasteries can be tricky. It would take you several days by combinations of bus and train to get to see all the monasteries and churches, and it would be a shame to miss any. The best thing to do is hire a car for a day, and you can comfortably see the lot in a day. We hired a car at Suceava, and I was very glad we did. We hired it from Bucovina Estur, for a cost of about £35. I would recommend you do this.

When you are driving, be careful. The roads are packed with slow moving transport, often horse drawn, and the road surface is bumpy. Drive slowly, if you want to arrive!