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Cultural tours - Renaissance and Folklore in Bucovina

Traces of Renaissance style in the painting of Voronet

Nun in a Christian-Orthodox monastery

Master of Pottery at work in Marginea

The Solitude of Monk Daniil

Sucevita Monastery in Bucovina


        Bucovina lies in Northern Romania, in the Carpathian Mountains. This part of the country is renowned for its monasteries, which are wonderfully painted even on the exterior of their walls. Examples of such are Humor, Voronet and Sucevita, that represent the great themes of the Christendom. Interesting is also the life at monasteries, that reminds of the old Byzantium.

1st Day: Arrival in Bucharest
Arrival on the international airport of Bucharest. Meeting with our guide and transfer to the city. Dinner and accommodation in the best hotel of Bucharest.
Programme of the Enescu Festival, taaking place in September 2011.

2nd Day: Bucharest - Piatra Neamţ
In the morning, we shall depart to Moldova. Our first stop shall be in the area of Buzau, to the moon-like scenery of the Mud Vulcanoes and the Living Fire. Those are rare natural phenomenon, strictly protected, that need natural gas, a certain type of soil, water and some oil. Then further to the World War I Memorial in Mărăşeşti, that should have become the biggest one of its kind in Romania, funds were not sufficient though at the time of its construction. In the evening we shall reach Piatra Neamţ, a town built initially only for workers. Accommodation and dinner: the best hotel in Piatra Neamţ.

3rd Day: Piatra Neamţ - Gura Humorului
After breakfast, we shall depart North-wise, to reach in the evening Bucovina. During the morning, we shall visit the nuns in Văratec, where we are invited to coffee and cake. Further, to a folk artist in the traditional Moldavian village of Târpeşti, where we shall have the possibility to watch some of the traditions of the Romanian village. In the afternoon we shall visit the monastery Neamţu and the Stronghold Neamţu, possibly built by a German population of Transylvania as an outpost for defence. It starts being known and getting important first in the 15th century, under Stephen the Great, the ruler of Moldova. Several times under siege of the Turkish Army, or taken by the Poles, the ruins of once a great stronghold are now worth the while to be visited and its tales and legends to be listened to. Overnight accommodation in the best hotel in Gura Humorului (5 overnight accommodation)

4th Day: Monastery Humor and Arbore
Visit the Museum of Wood and the market in Câmpulung Moldovenesc. Drive to the Monastery Humor, the only reputed monastery with frescoes on the outside walls that was not constructed by the ruler, but by a noble. Visit at folk artists. Drive to the salt mine Cacica that has been frst started by Poles - the name of the village is a Polish one, Kaczyka, meaning "duck". Further, through Solca, to Arbore, a unique church among the monasteries painted on the outer walls. It tells us the life and execution of the Bojar Arbore by means of the icons of saints. The iconography on the outside of the monasteries of Bucovina normally do tell the life of saints by means of a succession of icons. Our specialist guide shall help us interpret them.

5th Day: Monasteries Moldoviţa and Voroneţ
Over a pass to Moldovita monastery. Along the Moldoviţa valley to Voroneţ, which represents the climax of the Romanian Renaissance painting, a church often described as the Sistine Chapel of the East.

6th Day: Marginea - Suceviţa - Putna
Drive to Marginea where we shall visit the pottery centre of Bucovina - with possibility to watch the process of making the black ceramics of Marginea. Further to the Monastery of Suceviţa, the last monastery with frescoes on its exterior walls, which exhibit characteristics of the baroque. Further to the Monastery Putna, in a wonderful place, the necropolis of the family of Steven the Great’s (Ştefan cel Mare), one of the most important rulers of the once separate principality of Moldova. Museum of Putna and the solitude of Holy Daniil.

7th Day: Dragomirna - Suceava
Drive to the birth place of an important Romanian musician, Ciprian Porumbescu. Visit of the museum and listening to some of his music. Visit of the Monastery Dragomirna, with beautiful stone-masonry and unusual proportions. The citadel in Suceava was for long time the residence of the Moldavian rulers. Its history makes every visit worth the while.

8th Day: Probota - Ruginoasa - Iaşi
3 jewels of Moldovan architecture: The recently restored monastery Probota, necropolis of the family of Petru Rareş and the summer residence of the ruling prince Alexandru Ioan Cuza in Ruginoasa. Further to the manor-house of the poet and minister of foreign affairs Vasile Alecsandri in Mirceşti. Accommodation: the best hotel in Iaşi / Iassy.

9th Day: Walking tour of Iaşi
The capital of Moldova is one of the most beautiful cities of Romania, which presents a particular architecture, especially the one of churches.

10th Day: Iaşi - Bucharest
Transfer to Bucharest and sightseeing tour of the Romanian Capital City. Accommodation in the best hotel of Bucharest.

11th Day: End of the tour
Time to say good-bye, as our tour draws to an end. Transfer to the airport and individual flight to your next destination.

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St. Sisoe thinking of death, painted of the exterior wall of Sucevita Monastery

Saint Daniel and Saint Rosca, painted on the exterior wall of Monastery Voronet


Jessaya´s Tree, the Genealogic Tree of Jesus, painted in Voronet

Last Judgement: the Paradise, frescoe in Voronet

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