I don’t know how much you’ve heard about Bucovina – or if you ever heard of it. But if you choose to visit this blessed, fairy-tale land in north-eastern Romania, I’m sure it will remain in your heart forever. You’ll love ancient monasteries, dating from XV-XVI-th centuries, UNESCO Heritage, spectacular Suceava citadel, small museums showing ancient occupations, spectacular views, excellent food and very special people – so good, with heartfelt hospitality, ready to welcome you, guide you, stay with you and tell you stories about a place like no other. Take time to see Bucovina, breathe it and feel its heart beating – it will give you emotions, so much beauty and so much joy.
There are some places about I could never say “I’ve seen enough” and this wonderful part of north-eastern Romania is certainly one of them. It’s simple, almost ancient in so many ways, natural, with both history and traditions, it’s a wonderful coming back in time – a place to enjoy, to feel, to breathe, to put your mind in order, to open your heart and smile.
Ancient monasteries, UNESCO Heritage
Ancient monasteries are certainly the main and most famous attraction in Bucovina. Dating from XV-XVI-th centuries, UNESCO Heritage, are all a “must see”, each is an unique, beautiful, sacred place, something to enjoy both with your eyes and with your heart. After seeing each of them, just enter and pray – and you’ll feel God close to you more than in any imposing cathedral.
These are my favorites – of course it’s a personal opinion.
Voronet – most famous of all, dates from 1448 and it’s famous for its spectacular painting, dominated by an unique shade of blue – it’s actually called like that, Voronet blue. Then, it’s also famous for the scene of The Last Judgement, painted on the whole western wall, without being interrupted by any door or window.
Sucevita – is beautiful, imposing and spectacular – I’ve admired it a lot from the outside, every time, before going in there. Dates from 1582, and combines elements of byzantine and gothic art.
Moldovita – was built in 1532, and the painting dates from 1537. Best preserved are the paintings from the southern facade.
Putna – it’s not UNESCO Heritage, but it’s highly spectacular and one of the most famous romanian monasteries – known as “Romanian Jerusalem”, also. Important cultural center, it was built in 1466 by Stefan cel Mare, one of the most famous romanian rulers. Dragomirna monastery, as well, is a wonderful place to see, it’s imposing, surrounded by a defense wall, and dates from 1602.
Built and the end of the XIV-th century, the citadel is a part of the fortification system of the historical region of Moldova, built to protect the land against the attacks of the Ottoman Empire. The medieval architectural ensemble was consolidated during an extensive restoration program, between 2011-2015. From the citadel, you can admire a spectacular top view of Suceava city and surrounding areas.
Ion Creanga Memorial House and Museum from Humulesti
If you get to the area, I strongly recommend you to see this – although it’s not considered to be situated in Bucovina. 60 kilometers from Suceava, you will discover an unique museum, a wonderful coming back in time and a valuable lesson about Romanian old villages, traditional costumes, crafts, tools, dishes, everything that happened in a traditional household.
I must tell you a few words about Ion Creanga – he is a famous Romanian writer, one of the “best friends” of our childhoods – generations grew up with his simple, wonderful stories. Priest and teacher, he describes in his stories, with authenticity and a good, healthy humor, the world of the ancient Romanian village, everyday life, with habits, traditions, simple people full of genuineness.
Near his native house, a museum illustrates his stories – and shows visitors how the old Romanian households were, illustrating people, traditional clothes, tools, habits, authentic every day life.
I’ll put a few pictures below, to make yourself and idea and understand why I say it’s a very interesting place to see.
Places around – Iasi, Agapia, Varatec
If you get to the area, around there are also a few beautiful places to see.
Iasi – the biggest city in the historical region of Moldova, Iasi is situated approximately 150 kilometers from Suceava. If you get there, don’t miss the Palace of Culture, The Metropolitan Cathedral and a good, traditional meal at Bolta Rece – you will love that place, also.
Agapia and Varatec monasteries – both are approximate 70 kilometers from Suceava and are beautiful, very special places to see. Varatec was founded in 1785 and is the biggest monastery of nuns from Romania, about 400 nuns live here. Agapia was founded in 1641 and the frescoes painted by Nicolae Grigorescu, a famous Romanian painter, make the monument extremely valuable.
Where to stay, what to eat
You must try the traditional Romanian food when you get to Bucovina. People in the area are excellent cooks, famous for what they do in the kitchen, the food tastes like homemade even if you eat in a restaurant. Don’t miss “ciorba radauteana” from soup list, “hribi cu smantana” as main dish and “coltunasi” for the delicious desert.
And if you happen to pass by Hanu Ancutei don’t miss it – it’s a traditional restaurant you’ll simply love, atmosphere, food, everything.
We stayed in a few places in Bucovina – but I would certainly recommend this one – LA ROATA – it’s a complex with traditional houses, situated on a hill, outside the town of Gura Humorului. Houses seem from the times of our grandparents, but have all the comfort of the modern ages. They also come with good, homemade food, friendly hosts and beautiful views of the area.
PHOTOS FROM PERSONAL ARCHIVE
Do you know a very special place? A place where things are made with love, from heart, with good skills, respect and lot of care? A place with a story and with a heart beyond it? Tell me about it and let’s tell the others its beautiful story. Write me at email@example.com, here, on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.