Painted Monasteries – most picturesque treasures in Romania

Spread throughout in the northern region of Romania, the Painted Monasteries, dating back to the 15th century, are quite a sight to behold. Some of them have been granted World Heritage status by UNESCO and it is easy to see why.

Most of these monasteries are positioned in rather isolated places, usually near to tiny villages or towns after which the monastery may well be named.

Photo by Alex Bucevschi

Painted Monasteries in Romania

Due to the spread out nature of the monasteries, a sensible decision would be to rent a car, the use of which will allow you to explore several monasteries easily in one day, taking in the gorgeous mountainous surrounds as you go.

If you have a keen artistic eye, you will find these monasteries quite astonishing. Even to the layman, they are extremely impressive.

There are 48 monasteries in total, some of which were built with fortified walls to protect against invasion.

The incredible exterior frescoes of these buildings are so incredibly detailed that you can stare for hours and still find something new the next time you look.

There are also frescoes on the exterior of these monasteries. Each of the monasteries has a well that offers fresh water to parched tourists – they can haul up a bucket from the bottom and scoop out at drink using the communal cup.

The Painted Monasteries in Romania which are also known as Painted churches of northern Moldavia belong to the most picturesque treasures in Romania.

If you can, it is a good idea to hire a guide to take you around the monasteries. You’ll find out so much more this way and benefit from the cultural knowledge too.

UNESCO World Heritage Site includes 8 painted Orthodox churches from the 15th and 16th centuries in the villages Arbore, Humor, Moldoviţa, Pătrăuţi, Probota, Suceava, Voroneţ and Sucevita.

Moldoviţa Monastery photo
Photo by Wayne W G

Moldoviţa Monastery, Painted Monasteries in Romania

On all facades, internal and external, there are frescoes, which serve not only as decoration, but they are the whole cycles of paintings with religious themes.

They are considered masterpieces of Byzantine art, which are very unique in Europe.

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