One of Romania’s “must see” is the Bucovina region, and its richly painted monasteries. Built in the 14th-16th century, these on-of-a-kind monuments were brightly coloured in order to appeal to the simple people. The simple yet attractive graphical representations of biblical scenes were meant to facilitate the commoner’s understanding of the words of the gospel. The majority of these places of worship have endured the attack of time and are still almost completely preserved. Join us on a two day trip and find out more about these unique UNESCO monuments and everything else Bucovina has to offer.
In the early afternoon we will depart from Cluj and drive towards the former German medieval city Bistriţa. It used to be one of the most important commercial centers in Transylvania and a proof of the cities former greatness is the gothic church. From the newly restored tower, we will have a great panorama over the whole city.
Departing from Bistriţa, we will pass across the Carpathian Mountains and arrive in Bucovina. Accommodation and dinner in a traditional pension with home-made, delicious products.
After breakfast, the journey into the world of the Romanian Orthodoxy will begin. The four monasteries included in the tour have been recognized by UNESCO as World Heritage Sites. They were built in the 15th and 16th century and decorated with both indoor and outdoor frescoes. Popular interpretations of the Bible, depicted in the wall paintings, are influenced by a mixture of religion, tradition, local history and regional politics. Although the motifs are similar in all monasteries, each monastery of them has its own points of attraction: in Moldoviţa one can admire a unique representation of the siege in Constantinople, Suceviţa represents the ladder of the virtues, and Voronet, the masterpiece, a unique representation of the Judgement Day … In Moldoviţa we will also get the chance to visit a lady who is an expert in carving and decorating eggs using bee wax and paint made from natural ingredients, a local craft which represents a unique tradition. In the evening we will return to our B&B and enjoy a great dinner with local products and dishes.
After breakfast, we will leave Bucovina behind and head south. Our next goal is the largest monastery complex in Europe: Agapia – a closed community, in which almost 1000 nuns share their daily life between prayer and work. Interesting are both the workshops, where the sisters make carpets, paint eggs, knit dresses, and the museum as well as the village of the nuns. If you add the fact that the icons of the church were painted by Romania’s most famous classic painter, Nicolae Grigorescu, Agapia will be worth our visit.
Driving on through the Eastern part of the Carpathians, we will reach one of the country’s most spectacular landscapes: the Bicaz Gorges. The spectacular limestone formations, the variety of animal and plant life and the many hiking trails attract every year thousands of tourists. The view is really breathtaking…
Our next stop is going to be the Lacu Rosu (the Red Lake), formed after a landslide and dammed on the natural way. According to the legend, it flooded an entire village and killed all of its inhabitants, turning the water red…
In the evening we will reach Cluj.