Saturday, August 8, 2009

Day 62, Painted Monasteries in Romania

We are now off to the Moldavia area of Romania.....yes, Sita, we are going to see visit the spectacular Painted Monasteries of Bucovina.

Nopi wants to know "What are the Painted Monasteries?"

Well, when the Ottoman Turks invaded in the 14th and 15th centuries the monasteries became a gathering place for the armies and the local peasants.

Being illiterate and unable to understand the Slavic liturgy of the church, the beautiful monasteries were decorated on the inside and out with paintings of Biblical events intended to educate the people.

It is still undetermined how some of the dyes were created and, even with modern science, and no one has been able to duplicate them.

Hmm, we have travelled quite extensively in the last 62 days, but we have not seen anything quite like this.

The impressive number of churches to be found in Bucovina, R
omania, with their fine exterior and interior frescoes, have been preserved and handed down from medieval times, and because of their uniqueness and artistic value, were added to UNESCO's World Cultural Heritage List in 1993, and are among the most important artistic sites in Europe!

It seems like the churches were founded, in most cases, as family burial places of princes and high nobles.

The scenes were first painted on the interior walls, and then extended to the exterior ones.

As we walked around.....we marvelled at this site....each painter, although following the canonical iconographic programme, interpreted the scenes in a slightly different way.

The painters (most of them unknown) described the biblical stories of earth and heaven, scenes from the lives of the Holy Virgin and Jesus Christ, stories of man's beginnings and of his life after death.

Just look at the use of the famous Voronet blue, the green-red of Sucevita, the yellow of Moldovita, the red of Humor and the green of Arbore!!

The Painted Monasteries of Bucovina remain a mystery, however, as the extraordinary colors remain to this day despite being exposed to the harsh Moldavian weather conditions.

the frescoes in these 7 churches are certainly masterpieces of Byzantine art. Do you agree that their outstanding composition, elegant outline and harmonious colours blend so perfectly with the surrounding landscape?

Oh, I must really thank Nelu, for recommending this visit. It was so worthwhile.

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