Suceava is a small town in northern Romania, not far from the Ukraine border. For almost 200 years, it was the capital of the Principality of Moldavia and important because it was on the Lviv-Istanbul trade route.
Suceava is now unique to Europe and throughout the world for being surrounded by eight churches/monasteries that are on the UNESCO's World Cultural Heritage List. These churches are known for their well preserved exterior frescos dating from the late 15th century to the late 16th century and are masterpieces of Byzantine art.
Most of these churches were built by Stephen the Great or Petru Rares after victorious battles with the Ottoman Turks.
The painting of the churches began on the interior then extended to the exterior, representing complete cycles of religious themes. The purpose of the exterior frescos was to promote Orthodoxy and to educate the illiterate. The painters, mostly unknown but in their own style, followed the canonical iconographic program.
Some of the churches are known for, and have made famous, their predominate color such as the Voronet Monastery and blue, or the Moldovita Monastery and yellow, or the Sucevita Monastery and green.
Each one also has certain panels that have became famous.
The churches themselves are a style that I had not seen before. They are narrow but high with a low sloping roof that extends far over the wall. I found this to be a very pleasing style and unique to this area of Romania. The cathedral in Timisoara was also in this style.
Photos and story courtesy of Bob & Wilma.