Voronet Monastery


The giddying size, scope and detail of the Last Judgment fresco, which fills every reasonable square centimeter of the exterior western wall of the Voronet Monastery has been roundly declared as the most marvellous Bucovine fresco. Like all of the surviving exterior monastery paintings, it’s something of a miracle; the paint pigment is only two millimeters thick, making the lasting robustness of the frescoes difficult to explain. With the exception of the northern wall at Voronet, which has absorbed the brunt of centuries of Romania’s punishing elements, the exterior frescoes remain implausibly vibrant.

The northern wall depicts Genesis, from Adam and Eve to Cain and Abel. The southern wall features a tree of Jesse with the genealogy of biblical personalities.

The vibrant, almost satiny blue pigment used throughout the frescoes is known worldwide as ‘Voronet blue‘.

In the narthex lies the tomb of Daniel the Hermit, the first abbot of Voronet Monastery. It was upon the worldly advice of Daniel, who told Stefan cel Mare not to give up his battle against the Turks, that the Moldavian prince went on to win further victories against the Turks and then to build Voronet Monastery out of gratitude to God.

In 1785, occupying Austrians forced Voronet’s monks to abandon the monastery. Since 1991 the monastery has been inhabited by a small community of nuns.

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