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The painted monasteries of northern Bucovina are seven stunning Orthodox monasteries situated in Suceava county, Bucovina, Moldova, Romania. They've been admitted as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1993.
All of the seven monasteries were build during the late 15th century and early 16th century.
The seven painted monasteries are:
- Church of Saint George Of The Former Voronet Monastery (or "Voronet Monastery" in short - built in Voronet in 1487;
- Church Of The Holy Rood Of Patrauti - built in Patrauti in 1487;
- Church Of The Beheading Of Saint John The Baptist - built in Arbore in 1503;
- Church Of Saint George - built in Suceava in 1522;
- Church Of The Assumption Of The Virgin Of The Former Humor Monastery - built in Humor in 1530;
- Church Of Saint Nicholas And The Catholicon Of The Probota Monastery (or, shortly, "Probota Monastery") - built in Probota in 1531;
- Church Of The Annunciation Of The Moldovita Monastery (or just "Moldovita Monastery" in short) - built in Moldovita in 1532.
Voronet Monastery is definitely the most impressive of the pack. It is located just 30 km southwest of Suceava, near the town of Gura Humorului.
It is renowned worldwide for its special shade of blue known all over Romania as "albastru de Voronet" ("Voronet blue") used to paint the frescos.
The patron saint of the monastery is Saint George the Martyr. It was built in 1487 but only almost one hundred years later, in 1547 the exterior painting were made.
Voronet serves as a resting place for Saint Pious Daniil the Hermit who was the first abbot of the monastery.
Bucovina, the region in which the monasteries are located, is situated in northern Moldova, Suceava county, Romania. The region is actually split in two parts by the Romanian border with Ukraine.
The main hub for visiting the monasteries is the city of Suceava, host of one of the monastery itself, capital of Suceava county and home to more than 100000 inhabitants. It is situated about 150 km northwest of Iasi, the capital of the Moldova region, and 450 northeast of the Romania's capital, Bucharest. The Suceava River runs through the city.
For detailed locations of each and every monastery, you should install Google Earth (highly, highly, recommended) if you haven't already and then go open this placemark here. The location of the monasteries should be viewable to you once you zoom in to Suceava county, Romania.
Getting to & around
The easiest way to reach Suceava is by train, the city being well connected with any other part of Romania.
One other good way to get there if you're coming from Bucharest is to rent a car and use one of the European or national roads passing through Suceava. A pan-Moldovan highway is a far-away dream for the moment.
Suceava is also home to an international airport, located 10 km east of the city near the town or Salcea and national road 29 (DN29) connecting Suceava with Botosani. TAROM has flights from this airport both to Bacau and Bucharest a couple of times a week. Carpatair is also using it to link the city, through their main hub in Timisoara, with major European destinations, namely Vienna and major German, Italian and Spanish cities.
Getting to the city from the airport is easily done as both taxis and buses are provided at the time of arrival.