The Bucovina Monasteries. Sucevița

Leaving Moldovița Monastery behind, we set out for our next objective. There are more winding roads ahead and forest covered mountains to cross. Some parking spaces on the way offer a great view over the Obcinele Bucovinei, with their scattered old wooden houses and fences. Slowly we begin to descend, until we find ourselves, once again, on a valley. Shortly after, a bunch of hotels and guesthouses come out of nowhere. Due to the narrow terrain, the village of Sucevița is quite long and it takes a while to get to the other side.

Finally, there it is. The Sucevița Monastery, standing there for hundreds of years, looking just as it did in the old postcards when I was little. It was already afternoon and the last sun beams were barely touching the large stone walls, turning them into a mild yellow. The church tower rises above. It is the only sign that tells us what lies inside. If we didn’t know better, we’d have mistaken it for a fortification.

Legend has it that, in order to repent for her sins, a woman carried the stone necessary for the construction using an ox cart. It took her thirty years.

The monastery we see today was inaugurated in 1582. We find many tourists here, too. But the inner yard is much bigger and it’s easy to find a quiet corner from which to watch the fuzz. The cells are more massive and they seem to me a little more sober. However, the church is built in the exact same style as Moldovița, painted in lively colors showing various religious scenes. The paint is old, it’s easy to tell. It was finished in 1596. That only makes it even more valuable. Inside, art students are working on restoring the mural paintings.

As night gets closer everything gets quieter. Tourists start to leave. And we head out to look for a place to sleep. The trunk is filled with camping stuff. We had no idea where we would end up on this trip, so we packed everything we could think of. In the end we opt for a nice pasture close to a dirt road. After a warm meal cooked at the “miniature” camping stove, we took out our sleeping bags, got comfy under a tree and slept wonderfully under the stars.

Another day means other monasteries are coming. Stay close!

Share your thoughts!