Humor Monastery

Humor monastery is located in Northern Romania, near the town Gura Humorului, in Suceava county. Dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin, Humor monastery was built in the first half of the 16th century and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


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Situated in a natural scenery of rare beauty and picturesque wilderness, in a forested valley, Humor monastery is smaller than other churches of the Moldavian type of painted monasteries and features no tower or cupola. However, it keeps the wide and round-eaved saddle roof, the byzantine-inspired 3-cupsed layout proper to the other Moldavian painted monasteries, consisting of exonarthex, pre-nave and crypt, nave and altar with 3 absydiums.

The small church features an open porch with pointed arches and columns on 3 sides and the vault of the founders, housing their tombstones and portraits, preceding the nave. The gothic influences are visible in the window frames, arches, portal, and in the decoration of the absydiums.

The dominant color of the frescoes is reddish brown, from oriental madder pigment, completed with rich hues of green and blue. The open porch or exoarthex features a depiction of the Advent, or Last Judgement, similar to that of the Voronet monastery. Other exterior frescoes are the Hymn to the Virgin, on the south wall, inspired by a poem written by the patriarch Serghei of Constantinople and the Siege of Constantinople, painted centrally, as well as the Parable of the Prodigal Son. The crypt features votive paintings of the church founders.

Depictions of local elements and symbols such as Moldavian musical instruments (Moldavian kind of alpenhorn and violin) and embroidered towels were included in the paintings. The paintings were restored during renovations with the aid of UNESCO.

The Humor monastery houses a precious collection of religious items and icons from the 16th century. The princely throne in the church is decorated with Moldavia's coat of arms and the outstanding sculptural wooden iconostasis, with wreaths and floral patterns, dates from the 16th century. The monastery holds the valuable "Evangelistry", a religious book dating back to 1473 with paintings by the monk Nicodim and a portrait of ruler Stefan the Great.



Humor Monastery

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