Moldovita Monastery

Moldovita Monastery was founded in the first half of the 16th century in Northern Moldavia, Northern Romania. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


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The stone monastery was built as a small fortress, with 40 m long fortification walls with round and square watchtowers. One of the round towers houses a spiral staircase leading to a chamber that served for defense.

Since Moldavita was built on the ruin of an older monastery, the northern side still shows the foundations of the old sanctums. The east side of the precinct, which granted access to the main road, features 3 massive towers.

The medieval architecture of the Moldovita monastery doesn't remind of the Byzantine style other than in its layout organization, with an opened archway pre-nave, a nave and crypt rounded up with lateral absydiums, the round altar and a belfry on top. The stone walls are heavily painted, with predominant blue and dark red, depicting saints with golden halos. They are supported by simple buttresses and perforated by narrow pointed arch windows decorated with gothic tracery. The clover rose windows and pointed arches are elements of late Transylvanian Gothic style. The structural as well as decorative elements, the order of the wall paintings contribute to the illusion of height.

The archways of the surrounding buildings are richly adorned with rose windows and floral patterns carved in stone, the consoles feature wreathed cordons decoration.

The inner doors are rectangular with simple gothic profiles. The classic cornice above the first door feature Renaissance influence upon Moldavian sculpture. The nave is coveder with a Moldavian stone canopy.

The roof is simple and covered with wooden shingles and the belfry has a star-shaped base.

The byzantine paintings on the inner walls have predominant dark red and are organized in rectangular and round frames. The main altar apse depicts St. Mary and Jesus as a child, flanked by angel. The other apses illustrate the crucifixion. The nave walls illustrate the founder's family, apostles, martyrs, the genesis, the Advent.

The altar panels feature rich tracery and gilded decoration. The exquisite furniture is adorned with symbols such as the Moldavian blaze, floral patterns and wreath motifs borrowed from Georgia and Armenia.



Moldovita Monastery

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