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Source: Discover Bucovina

The Sucevita Monastery is an important historical monument of our country, dating from the end of the 16th century. Located in the village Sucevita, southwest of Rădăuţi, the monastery honors Suceava city, an important economic center of Romania, and at the same time a crossroads.

In a trip to visit the monasteries of Stephen the Great and his descendants, arrived at the Sucevita Monastery, the hike will be in front of an entire spiritual universe. Starting from the architecture of the complex, which is more like a fortified fortress or a domestic courtyard, centrally comprising the church, the monastery presents itself as a nucleus of the Orthodox faith, which still preserves the charm and ancient monastic atmosphere. In the fortified enclosure there are the royal houses and the cellars, but also a museum that preserves authentic values ​​of the religious art of the XV – XVI century: wood and stone sculpture, embroidery, silver and manuscripts that were given to the monastery by the founders and their descendants. The entire complex represented by the monastery of Sucevita impresses with the harmonious combination of architecture (religious, defense and civil), painting, sculpture (stone and wood) and examples of religious decorative art. Thus, the monastery proves the continuity of the autochthonous tradition of the XV and XVI centuries, representing a symbol of the continuation in time. The monument is in fact a common foundation of the families of the Movilists (big boyars, scribes and even rulers of Moldova and the Romanian Country, 16th-17th centuries). Constructed in the style of Moldovan architecture – a combination of elements of Byzantine and Gothic art, to which are added architectural elements of the old wooden churches of Moldova, the edifice, of great proportions, preserves the trilobate plan and the style restored in the time of Stephen the Great, with the closed porch. Particular note are the other two small open porches (pillars linked by braces) placed later on the south and north sides; par excellence “Montenesti”, they are an obvious echo of the architecture of the Romanian Country. The apse niches, the gothic stone frames and the ocelli are maintained only on the turret, including its star base. The enclosure is a quadrilateral (100×104 m) of high (6 m) and thick (3 m) walls provided with buttresses, pillars, a guardrail road, four corner towers and one with paraclis over the entrance gang (the coat of arms of Moldova); there are still rooms of the old royal house and cellars.

The history of the Sucevita monastery, known by tradition and confirmed by archaeological research, is strongly linked to the name of the Movileşti family. Beginning in a modest wooden sketch, attributed to the monk Pahomie, the monastic settlement that today bears the name of Sucevita, is created through a walled church erected at the end of the sixteenth century by Gheorghe Movilă. The eldest of the Movila brothers, he wears the monk’s coat at the Probota monastery, reaching the metropolis of Moldova. At first a monastery of modest proportions, whose abbot was its founder, Gheorghe Movila, Sucevita was built at the expense of the whole family, later becoming a true emblem of the Movileşti boyars. With the appearance of a medieval fortress given by the fortified walls that draw the perimeter of the complex, Sucevita welcomes its visitors today with the echo of a multisecular history. The uniqueness of the monument is also given by the exterior painting whose brilliance has withstood, for almost four centuries, the times and the weather and precisely because of this, along with the other monuments in the north of Moldova, are valuable landmarks in the history of universal art.

Legend has it that later, for the redemption of who knows whose sins, a woman brought with her a cart pulled by buffalo, for thirty years, the stone needed for the current construction.

In 1993, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) included the “Resurrection of the Lord” Church within the Sucevița Monastery, along with seven other churches in northern Moldova (Arbore, Pătrăuți, Moldovița, Probota, “St. John the cel” New ”from Suceava, Humor and Voronet), on the list of world cultural heritage, in the group of Painted Churches from the north of Moldova.


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