Humor Monastery


Humor counters the memorable exterior frescoes at Voronet with its own fantastic exterior frescoes. It was founded by Chancellor Theodor Bubuiog in 1530 under the guidance of Moldavian prince Petru Rares. Unlike the other monasteries, Humor is surrounded by ramparts, partly made from wood, with a three-level brick and wood lookout tower; its traditional Moldavian open porch was the first of its kind to be built in Bucovina. Slip into the tower for the memorable climb to the viewing deck. Squeezing up the final, lean flight of stairs will feel like a literal rebirth for some, but the photo opportunity is well worth the effort.

Its exterior frescoes, dating from 1535, are predominantly red. Paintings on the church’s southern exterior wall are devoted to the Holy Virgin, the patron saint of the monastery. There’s a badly faded depiction of the 1453 siege of Constantinople, with the parable of the return of the prodigal son to the right. St George is depicted on the northern wall. On the porch is a painting of the Last Judgment: the long bench on which the 12 apostles sit, the patterned towel on the chair of judgment, and the long, horn-like bucium (pipe) used to announce the coming of Christ, are all typical Moldavian elements.

Humor shelters five chambers, the middle one (the tomb room) has a lower ceiling than the others. This hides a treasure room (tainita) where the riches of the monastery were traditionally kept safe.

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