Man’s connection to the divine has taken many forms throughout time, from small altars and statues dedicated to the gods, to majestic cathedrals and to pyramids built in the heart of the jungle. The limits of creativity have been pushed ever further in the attempt to surpass everything that had been built before – taller, more ornate, more awe-inspiring.
At a time when Western European Christians were erecting cathedrals that overtook in size and beauty everything that had been built until then, the Bukovina region followed a different direction. The painted monasteries of Romania impress through their perfect blend of nature, man, and artistic creativity. The seven monasteries in Bukovina are the proof that the beauty and harmony of color can be found in the most unexpected of places. The Voronet Monastery has become famous worldwide for the blue coloring used in its exterior frescoes – a color known as “Voronet blue“ – and charms the visitors with its 500-year history, its legends, and especially with its artistic value.
Voronet Monastery was built in 1488 in record time – three months, three weeks and three days –, today being part of the UNESCO heritage as one of the Painted churches of Moldavia. The exterior murals have preserved their hues despite centuries of inclement weather, but the ingredients used in preparing the paints are still a mystery. The scenes in the murals depict, like a movie, the history of Christianity, presented in an original manner, very much influenced by folk beliefs, by the Eastern culture, but also by the Orthodox thought.
The Legend about Voronet Monastery
A beautiful legend wraps Voronet monastery in a mysterious atmosphere. According to this, Stephen the Great was in a critical moment of his reign. The Ottoman Turks defeated him in a fierce battle and his army was strongly demoralized. For the first time in his life, he wanted to give up and to bestow, at last, the country to the Sultan. But only the thought of that was too unbearable for a true Christian ruler like himself. So, with his last strengths, he went to the thick forests of Bucovina Mountains, to seek advice from the wise hermit Daniil. Daniil told the mighty ruler that he must never give up and the victory will be his but only, if he promises that, after winning, he will erect a monastery dedicated to Saint George. And, as Saint George defeated the dragon, the same Stephan the Great defeated the Ottomans.
From dawn till dusk.
Adults: 5 lei.
Filming fee (outside only): 10 lei.
Filming is not permitted inside Voronet Monastery.