Voroneţ Monastery

Voroneţ Monastery

Voroneţ is a monastery in Romania, located in the town of Gura Humorului, Moldavia. It is one of the famous painted monasteries from southern Bukovina, now in Suceava County. Between May and September 1488, Stephen III of Moldavia (known as "Stephen the Great") built the Voroneţ Monastery to commemorate the victory at Battle of Vaslui. Often known as the "Sistine Chapel of the East", the frescoes at Voroneţ feature an intense shade of blue known in Romania as "Voroneţ blue". " [T] he exterior walls — including a representation of the Last Judgment on the west wall — were painted in 1547 with a background of vivid cerulean blue. This blue is so vibrant that art historians refer to Voroneţ blue the same way they do Titian red." [Erik Sandberg-Diment, [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9803E6DD153DF932A15755C0A96E958260&sec=travel&spon=&pagewanted=2 "Artistic Route Through Romania"] , "The New York Times", June 21, 1998]


The katholikon (main church) of Saint George at Voroneţ Monastery is possibly the most famous church in Romania. It is known throughout the world for its exterior frescoes of bright and intense colours, and for the hundreds of well-preserved figures placed against the renowned azurite background. The age of the monastic site is not known. A legend tells us that Stephen the Great, in a moment of crisis during a war against the Ottoman Turks, came to Daniel the Hermit at his skete in Voroneţ and asked for advice. After he won the battle against the Turks, keeping his promise to the monk, the Prince built a new church, dedicated to Saint George, the "bringer of victory in battle". The commemorative inscription placed above the original entrance of the Church of Saint George, now in the exonarthex, shows that the church was built in 1488 in less than four months. It was built on a triconch plan (with three apses), with a chancel, a naos with its tower, and a pronaos. In 1547, the Metropolitan Bishop of Moldavia, Grigorie Roşca, added the exonarthex to the west end of the church. The small windows, their rectangular frames of crossed rods and the receding pointed or shouldered arches of the interior doorframes are Gothic. The south and north doors of the exonarthex of 1547 have rectangular frames, which indicate a transition period from Gothic to Renaissance. But, above them, on each wall is a tall window with a flamboyant Gothic arch. The whole west façade is without any openings, which indicates that the intention of the Metropolitan Roşca was from the beginning to reserve it for frescoes.

On the north façade is still visible the original decoration of the church, the rows of ceramic enamelled discs in yellow, brown and green, decorated in relief. These include heraldic motifs, such as the rampant lion and the aurochs' head of the Moldavian coat of arms, and creatures inspired by Western European mediaeval literature, such as two-tailed mermaids. The tower is decorated with sixteen tall niches, in four of which are windows. A row of small niches encircles the tower above them. The fragmented roof probably follows the shape of the original roof, which doubtless was made with shingles.

The tomb of the monastery's first abbot, Saint Daniil the Hermit, is found at the monastery.

The church is one of the Painted churches of northern Moldavia listed in UNESCO's list of World Heritage sites.


ee also

* Tourism in Romania
* Byzantium after Byzantium



**Sandberg-Diment, Erik. [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9803E6DD153DF932A15755C0A96E958260&sec=travel&spon=&pagewanted=2 "Artistic Route Through Romania"] , New York Times, The. 1998

External links

* [http://www.csvd.ro/panoblog/360-romania/monasteries-of-moldavia/sixtine-chapel-of-the-east-voronet-monastery/ 360° panoramic images from Voroneţ Monastery]
* [http://www.romanianmonasteries.org/images/voronet/voronet.html Voroneţ]
* [http://www.ici.ro/romania/en/turism/m_voronet.html The Holy Monastery of Voroneţ] Romania's National Institute for Research and Development in Informatics
* [http://www.enzia.com/Pages/Sv2.html Bucovina - Treasures and Tranquillity ]
* [http://www.agrotour.ro/manastirea_voronet.htm The Voroneţ Monastery] Rural Tourism in Romania
* [http://romania-travelguide.info/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=36&Itemid=49 Voroneţ Monastery]

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