After a few days in Bucharest, I boarded a train heading north to Suceava and then on to the town of Campulung Moldovenesc where I stayed at the trendy Dor de Bucovina. I had read all about the Bucovina region and made it a priority to visit the UNESCO listed coloured monasteries here. I first headed to Moldovita Monastery.
UNESCO listed Moldovita Monastery.
Moldovita is a grand complex on the top of a slight hill in the town of Moldovita. Getting here isn’t particularly easy since there is no public transport. This place is slightly less beaten than you expected it to be. In its untouristy charm the joys of Moldovita sparkle in the morning mist; it’s a sleeping giant.
Moldovita Monastery, Romania.
It’s best to hire a car or book a tour to get here. As I work on the move these days I was able to get a private tour organised which meant I could visit a load of the key sights in the region in one day including Cacica Salt Mine.
Other tourists gather to admire Moldovita.
You really need to see Moldovita in the day time. If you look at this photo you might understand how the dark lights of northern Romania fade the beauty down a notch…yes the colours have to be seen in daylight hours.
Amazing coloured murals on the side of the walls of Moldovita.
Inside Moldovita main church.
What is ridiculous and apparently true is that all these pictures/murals were painted by one artist, in the same year – Toma of Suceava in 1537. Each mural represents Christian Orthodox art (mostly painted in yellow and blue) and tells a story – a procession of saints lead up to the Virgin enthroned with the Child (Jesus) in her lap on one side and that much is obvious. I popped inside to pray and photos are actually banned.
As I stepped outside of the grounds and visited the cemetery, there was an odd eeriness surrounding the entire morning. I’d just seen something incredibly inspiring here at Moldovita and I knew it, but something baffled me – apart from the group of Italian tourists I met, there were no other travellers here. Why not? Have I missed something. Paris’s Eiffel Tower, NYC’s shops and Sydney’s Opera House can go back up their own wombs. Moldovita is a cooler place. You might just love it and you will never ever forget it!
A moment of inspiration at Moldovita.
My adventure continued in southern Bucovina and I also visited Marginea, Suceava, Sucevita and Cacica. More on that coming.
Jonny Blair is a self confessed traveling nomad who founded and blogs at Don’t Stop Living. He sees every day as an adventure. Since leaving behind his home town of Bangor in Northern Ireland ten years ago he has traveled to all seven continents, working his way through various jobs and funding it all with hard work and an appetite for travel. Don’t Stop Living, a lifestyle of travel’ contains over 1,000 stories and tips from his journeys round the globe. He wants to show others how easy it is to travel the world, give them some ideas and encourage them to do the same but most of all he aims to constantly live a lifestyle of travel. He is currently based in Hong Kong and on Twitter @jonnyblair.