One of the best-known establishment of Stephan the Great and also the best-known monument of the medieval religious art in Bucovina is a few kilometers from downtown Gura Humorului. It lies under afforested mountains, full of freshness and peace.
Built in 1488, the building was destined by the ruler to his most faithful adviser, Daniel the Hermit. His tomb is in the monastery and his well-known shelter carved in stone is at Putna.
It is a quite small church with a three-conic plan. Architecturally it is characteristic to the Moldavian style of this time: a tower suspended on vaults with diagonal arches. The altar and the naos had preserved the original interior painting since the church was built. Impressive in many respects, this painting is as important as the exterior fresco and impress, among others, due to its extraordinary votive picture, newly cleaned.
In 1547 the closed porch was added to the church and the exterior wall was painted at the request of Bishop Grigore Rosca. The exterior wall becomes famous for its “Voronet blue”. The herald Marcus seems to be the creator of this fresco. It projects its colour harmony and the rigor of composition on the well-known intense blue background.
The monastery’s fortified precincts preserve the remains of some buildings and the belfry. Furthermore, the Voronet exterior decoration ends the great epoch of mural painting supported by Petru Rares (1527 – 1538 and 1541-1546).
The present monastery is the establishment of the chancellor Teodor Bubuiog, who built it in 1530. It replaced an older building and its ruins can still be seen in the village. The church is a masterpiece of the old Moldavian art due the harmony of its proportions and its interior and exterior wall painting.
This dates back to 1535 and was achieved by the request of the ruler Petru Rares by an important artist of the time: Toma from Suceava. The frescos are predominantly red. The church has nor steeples, but shows the oldest open porch, the first of this kind in the Moldavian church architecture. The belfry was built by the ruler Vasile Lupu in 1641.
The land slides destroyed the oldest monastery in Moldovita. The present monastery has its precinct strengthen by high walls and towers. It dates to 1532 when the ruler Petru Rares ordered it. It is an old art monument wich impresses due to both its steeple on top of the naos, supported by ranged arches ant its wall painting.
It dates to 1537 and covers both interior and the exterior. “Jesse’s Tree” and “The Defense of Constantinople” are very well preserved there.In 1612 Bishop Efrem remade the fortified precinct, built a worshipping room (which shelters today a valuable old Moldavian art collection) and the tower near the gate.
Situated in the village with the homonymous name, on the Sucevita river’s valley, at a distance of 18 km southwest from Radauti, Sucevita monastery was built in the last decades of the sixteenth century, on the expense of the Movila family.
Its exterior painting is the best preserved from the entire group of Bucovina monasteries. being also the only one which still has the northern side, with the scene "The Ladder of Virtues", the most impressive scene, the scale and the contrast between order and chaos angels hell.
Located 30 km from Suceava, Arbore Monastery was built between the 2nd of April and the 29th of August 1503, by Luca Arbore, which was one of the important boyars of Stephen the Great, being since 1486 the gatekeeper of Suceava.
The monastery, with it's rectangular shape, was built of brick and stone extracted from the quarries in the region. It is smaller than other painted churches and, probably, less spectacular. There is no steeple, as it was built by a landowner, and not by a ruling prince. A semicircular arcade which doubles the outside west wall of the prenave was designed to house the bells. These now have a separate bell tower above the entrance to the church-yard.
It has remarkable fresco paintings against a predominant green background, unlike Voronet, where blue is the predominant color. The green is in five shadows and 47 hues combined with red, blue, yellow, pink and ochre. Unfortunately the secret of combining colors held by the painters of Arbore is now lost. The interior paintings were seriously damaged in the 17th-18th centuries when the church remained without its roof.
Patrauti Monastery is located in the northeastern part of Romania, in Suceava county. The church in Patrauti was erected in 1487. It is the smallest among the monasteries in Bucovina, and the only one meant to be a nun monastery.
Built in 1487 and dedicated to the Holy Cross, the monastery at Patrauti is the oldest surviving religious site founded by Stephen the Great. It is small but well proportioned, consisting only of a pronaos, a naos and a chancel. Mural paintings, dating from around 1550, can still be admired on the west façade. In 1775, soon after Bucovina was annexed to the Habsburg Empire, the monastery was turned into a parish church. Today, only the church and a wooden bell tower are still standing from the original monastic complex. The inside painting has a high artistic value; the outside painting is at present limited to fragments of the “Last Judgment”, effected after 1550.
The Patrauti church was placed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1993.
Located in Probota, in Suceava County, Probota Monastery was built at the order of Petru Rares Prince of Moldova, the son of Stephen the Great. The name of this monastery is of Slavic origin and means "brotherhood".
Petru Rares decided to break princely family tradition and foreordained the monastery as future necropolis for him and his successors. Thus, his future tomb was endowed with jewels. This decision has apparently angered the monks at the time, therefore they left the monastery.
The interior of the monastery draws the attention of the specialists and impresses by an exceptional artistic realization. The sometimes strange compositions treat in a very original way canonical topics. Recent work of restoration confirmed extraordinary quality of original interior painting. The exterior fresco was partially destroyed. The monastery of Probota has also an impressive collection of tombs with carved epitaphs of a remarkable documentary and artistic value.