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Arbore Church

Bucovina Map - Arbore Church

Year Built: 1503
Built by: Luca Arbore
Location: Arbore, Suceava County
Summary: The dating of the paintings is unsure. An inscription found inside the church states that Dragoş, son of priest Coman of Iaşi, painted the church in 1541 at the request of Ana, niece of Luca Arbore. Usually, this is considered the date of both the interior and exterior paintings.

Arbore Church

The church seen from the southwest.

In 1503 great hetman Luca Arbore founded a chapel in the village bearing his name, to be part of his estate.
Arbore was one of the most important boyars in the courts of Stephen the Great, Bogdan III and Prince Stefăniţă. Political differences separated Arbore from Prince Stefăniţă, he lost his position as hetman and guard of Suceava, and was beheaded in 1523. The church is dedicated to the Beheading of St. John the Baptist.

Arbore Church

West façade of the Arbore church.

There are some researchers who think that the date 1541 only refers to later modifications. Inside, the plan is triconch, with the two lateral apses of the naos carved out of the thickness of the walls. The west façade of the church is very distinctive. Only here in Arbore and in Reuseni, a giant niche replaces the exonarthex, Originally, the church bells were placed here, on a wooden beam, and now the space is used to give offerings to the dead.

The dating of the paintings is unsure. Aninscription found inside the church states thatDragos, son of priest Coman of Iasi, painted thechurch in 1541 at the request of Ana, niece ofLuca Arbore. Usually, this is considered thedate of both the interior and exterior paintings.There are some researchers who think that thechurch was painted quite soon after it wasbuilt, and the date 1541 refers to later modifi-cations.

Architecturally, the church, together withthose of Dobrovat and Reuseni, is part of thegroup of churches that mark the end of Stephenthe Great’s reign. The church belongs to theso-called mixed type. The westfaçade of the church is very distinctive.

Bucovina Travel Guide

Arbore Church

A scene from The Life of St. George. The saint at the court of the King.

The south façade of the Arbore church is quite well preserved, except for the upper registers and the east end. On the left side of the door is the Byzantine hymn to the Holy Virgin, The Akathistos Hymn, with its 24 stanzas. Below it is the additional typically Moldavian scene of The Siege of Constantinople, painted to invoke the protection of the Virgin against the invading Turks. This is the last time this scene was painted on the exterior of any church.


Address: Arbore, 727015, Suceava County
Phone: + 40 (991) 54

Arbore Church

Arbore Church, Entry to the church bell.
Arbore Church

Inside Arbore Church.

One Response to “Arbore Church”

  1. It is fascinating to see this. A relative in Bucharest notified me of this monestary and stated that it is related to my late family of my grandfather, General Victor Anastasiu of Romania. He was priginally from Husi. His parents were Constantin and Elisabetha Dormain Husi, originally Moldavia. My relative stated when he toured this monestary several years ago, he was told there was only one surviving family to this montestary, now living in the USA. This was referring to my mother, Lilianne Anastasiu Maxwell. My relative knew that my mother had just passed away and notified them of the news. I would love to know more information of the lineage. Please let know any information that you have.
    Donna Maxwell Lisenby
    Granddaughter to General Victor C. Anastasiu
    and daughter of Lilianne Anastasiu Maxwell

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