Suceviţa Monastery (adult/child €1.20/0.60; 8am-8pm) is perhaps the largest and finest of the Bucovina monasteries.
The church inside the fortified quadrangular enclosure (built between 1582 and 1601) is almost completely covered in frescoes. As you enter you first see the Virtuous Ladder fresco covering most of the northern exterior wall, which depicts the 30 steps from hell to paradise. On the southern exterior wall is a tree symbolising the continuity of the Old and New Testaments. The tree grows from the reclining figure of Jesse, who is flanked by a row of ancient philosophers. To the left is the Virgin as a Byzantine princess, with angels holding a red veil over her head. Mysteriously, the western wall remains blank. Legend has it that the artist fell off his scaffolding and died, leaving artists of the time too scared to follow in his footsteps.
Last updated: Oct 20, 2008
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