The Painted Monasteries of Bukovina

Bukovina is located in the north-eastern part of Romania, on the border with Ukraine. Historically a part of the old province of Moldavia, the northern corner of the region was occupied in the 18th century by the Austrian Empire and renamed Bukovina.

If you plan to travel to Romania, you probably already know about Bukovina. The region is famous for its Painted Monasteries, a UNESCO-protected World Heritage site. The old Painted Monasteries of Bukovina became famous for it exterior frescoes presenting Biblical scenes. The monasteries were built between 1487 and 1532 and their exterior paintings still look extraordinarily well preserved which is amazing if you think of how harsh the winters are in the region.

If you start your trip to Romania from Romania’s capital, Bucharest, then you can take a train to Suceava, the largest city in Bukovina. The easier way is to fly directly to Moldavia, either to Iasi or Bacau and get there a few hours faster.

The Painted Monasteries became a major destination for the Romanian tourism but if you’re looking for complete solitude, Northern Moldavia is the right place to go. Apart from the Painted Monasteries, there are hundreds of less famous monasteries in the area, so you will certainly find a place you like.

The most important painted monasteries are Arbore, escolhasegura Manastirea Humorului, Vatra Moldovitei, Patrauti, Probota, Gura Humorului, Dragomirna, Slatina, Putna and Sucevita.

Voronet is known all around the world for its unique “Voronet blue”, a special color who’s secrets haven’t yet been discovered. Putna is another essential destination: Stephan the Great, the most important Medieval leader of Moldavia is buried here; the place became very important for Romanian Orthodoxy.

If you visit Romania in the autumn and you are interested to explore Romanian Orthodox Christianity, October 14th is the right time to be in Iasi, Romania – a couple of hours distance from Bukovina – and take part to the largest pilgrimage in Romania.

If you go a couple of hours south, you will arrive to an other area famous for its monasteries: Neamt. The painted monasteries of Bukovina and the monasteries of Neamt are from the same period.

You might want to rent a car in Romania, it will give you more freedom to move around: a couple of days should be enough to enjoy the most important destinations in your Bukovina tour.

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