Perhaps the most famous and stunning of the painted monasteries is Voronet (Vo ro nets), founded in 1487 by Stephen the Great to celebrate a victory over the Turks. Widely known throughout Europe as "the Sistine Chapel of the East" due to its interior and exterior wall paintings, this monastery offers an abundance of frescoes featuring an intense shade of blue commonly known as ‘Voronet blue.’ The composition of the paint continues to remain a mystery even now, more than 500 years after the church was built.
High walls and heavily buttressed defensive towers surround the great monastic complex of Sucevita, giving it the appearance of a fortress. Founded in 1581 by Gheorghe Movila, Bishop of Radauti, it was later expanded by his brother, Ieremia, ruling prince of Moldavia, who added massive ramparts and turrets. An elegant steeple resting on a star-shaped base tops the church. Massive eaves protect the outside frescoes, painted by local artists in 1602-1604.
Perhaps a tour of Bucovina’s Painted Monasteries should begin here. After all, the highlight of the small Arbore (Are' bo ray) church is a scene from Genesis, which adorns the western wall.
Founded in 1530, Humor (Hoo mor) is rather small, physically, but it looms large among Bucovina’s treasures with a variety of frescoes dating from 1535, including one illustrating the Return of the Prodigal Son and one with a “humorous” depiction of the devil as a woman.