Bucovina

The land of painted monasteries and the place where traditions and spiritual heritage is kept alive through out history.

Moldova rivals Transylvania when it comes to rich folklore, natural beauty and astonishing history and it is among the most attractive and frequented touristic area on Romania’s map.

Not by chance, the area which is now 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. One of the main reason the region achieved these prestigious prize was  the ancient architectural monuments with inside and outside frescoes,  a group of Orthodox monasteries with their exterior mural paintings, which have became part of UNESCO’s World Heritage for their rarity and beauty.

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, the pigments used in the frescoes here beingunique in the world. The simplicity of these paintings, 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.

Religious heritage:

The monasteries and churches with painted exterior frescos of Bucovina:

  • Voronet (‘the Sistine Chapel of the East’) – is one of the many medieval monuments from Bucovina that was built in 1488 by Prince Stephen the Great in only three months and three weeks. It  is considered by many to be the “Sixtine Chapel of the East”, due to its magnificent frescoes placed on the West wall. These feature an intense shade of blue known in Romania as , “Voronet Blue”, a colors obtained from lapis lazuli, which has been added to the lexicon of art alongside colors such as the “Titian Red” and “Veronese Green”, being unique in the world.
  • Moldovita – The Monastery was built by the Prince Petru Rares, and in its honour inside the church can be found a 16th century furniture: Prince Petru Rares’ chair, as large as a throne showing its statue of a ruler.
  • Sucevita -the Monastary complex is set in a beautiful green valley, fortified like a citadel with watch towers at its four corners.
  • Humor founded in 1530, is a quite small monastary. Its paintings include illustration of a poem on the “The Siege of Constantinople”, which shows the feelings of the Romanians towards the Turks.
  • ArboreQuite small, and without the high cupola that distinguishes most monastery churches. The reason is that Arbore is the only monastery from Bucovina that was not built by a price.

Traditional and spiritual heritage: 

Bucovina is known for its folk costumes, furniture, pottery, tapestry and carpets. Every detail of these trades reflects the history and cultural heritage of the region, while being unique occupations that can be transmitted from one generation to generation. In addition, complex works of art such as painted Easter eggs, bread braided, popular masks and traditional costumes are made to celebrate certain religious holidays.

 

Traditional crafts: 

  • wood-1452655Woodworking – In Bukovina –  woodworking craft emerged from ancient times. Today we can speak of a true civilization of wood in Bukovina, as the variety of techniques used in processing, but also different motives for decorations of the objects, different geometric shapes or floral.
  • bucovina-202193Egg decoration – A true treasure of folk culture in Bukovina, craft decorating eggs is closely related to embroidery art and decor that are on the national costumes. Egg is the philosophy of human existence and ancient history, a testament to the customs, beliefs and customs of Easter.
  • painter-1454217Icon painting – Occupying an important place in our popular creation, the creators of the area have imposed a way of painting on glass and local wood, taking scenes from Bucovina monasteries frescoes and old engravings, replicas of traditional icons and images of local customs and occupations.
  • hands-1283149Pottery – One of the oldest crafts, pottery appeared as a necessity for people to prepare and preserve food. Now this trade is continued by master potters of the vessels Marginea.
  • Popular masks – this tradition of crafting masks is linked to special holiday season of winter. In the villages of Bucovina, the mask has an important rol, representing a transposition of the human spirit in animals like goats, horses, bears or other mythologic folklore animals.

Spiritual Values:

  • Hospitality like in no other place –  If you want to truly experience the hospitality for which Romanians are so famous, you can spend a few memorable days, surrounded by traditions and habits, in the home of a Bucovina family. This way, you will have the chance to taste 100% natural dishes and traditional beverages, some of them unique in the world, and you will also discover handicrafts and local traditions.

Therefore, if you looking for a place where secular traditions and serene, unspoiled nature blend perfectly, search no more because this place exists and a number of people are lucky enough to enjoy it and to say “welcome to Bucovina” every single day!

Source: Bucovina, land of painted monasteries