Sucevita Monastery

Sucevita Monastery was built in the 16th century, in the county Suceava, Romania. It is dedicated to the Resurrection of Our Lord. It is a complex of religious, military and civil architecture housing valuable works of art.

author:giorgel

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Similar to its twin, Moldovita monastery, it combines Moldavian medieval architecture with the byzantine-inspired three leaf clover layout (3 absydiums) with gothic decoration and elements from old Moldavian wooden churches.

The plan of Sucevita monastery features a pre-nave, the crypt, the nave, rounded up with 3 absydiums, a belfry on a triple star shaped base, wide round roof eaves, a closed veranda and 2 small open verandas with column archways to the north and south. They are typical for southern Romanian mountain architecture.

The Sucevita monastery is surrounded by fortification walls on 4 sides. The walls feature 4 towers on the corners and one above the entrance, octagonal or square. Above the entrance there is a semi-circular niche with depictions of the Resurrection and Moldavia's coat of arms.

The enclosure includes the church, the sanctums, a manor house and cellars.

The monastery walls were painted with the same colors as Moldovita monastery, dominant blue, dark red and gold for the halos of the saints. The frescoes are ample depictions of themes and events from the Old and New Testaments and the lives of the saints. The north wall illustrates the impressive "scale of virtues" scene, from the harmony of heaven and angels to the chaos of hell.

The crypt houses the remains of the founders, under gravestones with medieval Romanian sculpture.

The altar of the church features a rood screen or iconostasis of carved wood, in baroque-rococo style.

The frescoes depict the biggest number of biblical scenes and characters to be found in a Moldavian monastery. The interior wall paintings illustrate the founder's family, as well as the life of Christ.

The facade features small round arch windows and painted niches on the walls and on the star-shaped base of the belfry.

The first floor of the enclosure houses a small chapel and the ground floor houses a workshop where nuns restore icons.

A lacquered wood gallery was built on the north wall, in the 19th century, with a narrow wooden spire. Some of the sanctums now house a museum with precious embroideries of gold and silver thread, silk and pearls, manuscripts, silverware, religious items and icons.



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