Voroneț Monastery is considered to be the “Sistine Chapel of the East”. The small church, impressive for the beauty of its exterior and interior frescoes, was founded by Stephen the Great in 1488 on the place of an old wooden hermitage built there by Daniil the Hermit.
The frescoes in Voroneț are considered of a high artistic level and the most successful set of Moldavian feudal art. Visitors are overwhelmed by the monumentality of the religious murals, painted in a predominantly intense blue hue, unique in the world. The origins of “Voroneț blue” have not yet been fully elucidated.
Throughout history, the church has been altered on numerous occasions, most extensively in 1547, during the reign of Petru Rareș, when it was added the closed porch and exterior frescoes. The exterior frescoes include depictions of religious scenes. The most important and well-preserved frescoes are the Tree of Jesse, which contains the portraits of philosophers such as Plato or Socrates, the Passion of St John the New of Suceava and the famous Last Judgement, which occupies the entire west wall.
Of the interior murals, preserved from the time of Stephen the Great, particularly worthy of note is the votive painting in the nave, which depicts the great Moldavian ruler. The frescoes draw the viewer’s attention through scenes of great theological depth, such as the Last Supper.
Inside the church lie the tomb of Daniil the Hermit, as well as pews and armchairs from the 16th century.
Because of its cultural value, this pearl of the Romanian orthodoxy and one of the few religious monuments preserving its original shape, has been included on the UNESCO World Heritage list.
How to get there:
Voroneț Monastery is situated 42km west of Suceava. Take DN17 to Gura Humorului and then turn left to Voroneț Monastery.