Sucevita Monastery, Suceava County, Romania

Sucevita Monastery
Sucevita Monastery

The Church of the Resurrection of Sucevita Monastery was founded before 1581 by Metropolitan Teodosie Barbovschi, together with Movila brothers – wealthy and powerful boyars – and one of Petru Rares daughters. The founders of Sucevita were Gheorghe, Bishop of Radauti and later Metropolitan of Moldavia, leremia and Simion, future princes of Moldavia.

The church is built on the usual triconch plan of three semi-circular apses. It also has the live rooms of a classical Moldavian necropolis church: the chancel, naos, burial chamber, pronaos and exonarthex. On either side of the exonarthex are two small open porches of Walachian influence.

The frescoes of Sucevita Monastery are remarkable and well preserved. They were made

Tha vault
Tha vault

by two Romanian painters, brothers Ion and Sofronie, who completed the work in 1596. On the inside are depicted traditional iconographic themes. “The Cycle of the Christ’s Passions“ is painted inside the naos. On the west wall of the naos, south of the door is the votive painting representing the portraits of Teodosie Barbovschi, Gheorghe Movila, and leremia Movila together with his family. Other noteworthy scenes are “The Life of Moses“ which covers the walls of the burial chamber, “The Lives of Saints Nicholas and George” and “The Menology” (the Orthodox calendar of Saints) depicted inside the pronaos, and “The Life of Saint John the New” inside the exonarthex. On the outside, are depicted the usual major themes: “The

In the museum
In the museum

Akathistos Hymn” and “The Tree of Jesse” on the south facade together with the ample composition of “The Prayer of All Saints”, spreading over the walls of the three apses. There are also a series of less common compositions such as “The Genesis”, the impressive “Ladder of Saint John of Sinai” which fills the whole eastem end of the north facade, and “The Crowning of the Virgin” painted on the south facade.

Dating back to the 16th century, the rectangular precinct walls were fitted with a wall-walk, and strengthened with buttresses and bulwarks.

Each comer of the precinct is guarded by a massive defensive tower. The imposing gate tower houses a small chapel dedicated to the Annunciation on the first floor. On the east side of the walled monastic compound are the nunnery and the museum displaying a rich collection of icons, silver objects and manuscripts, and also the famous tomb embroideries portraying founders Ieremia (1606) and Simion Movila (1609).


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