Travel Guides, Albums - Romania

Sucevita Monastery

The church of the Sucevita Monastery Hotels in Sucevita was included on the UNESCO Heritage List on 1 August 2010 and is the only church that includes a representation of The Ladder of St. John.


Bucovina Map - Sucevita Monastery

Year Built: 1583
Built by: Ieremia, Simion and Gheorghe Movilă
Location: Suceviţa, Suceava County.
Summary: This classic Moldavian church with its five rooms, shows the first new architectural tendencies: smaller niches, and three bases for the tower. The frescoes are very remarkable, colourful and well preserved.


Sucevita Monastery.

Three Movilă brothers built the Church of the Resurrection of Suceviţa around 1583. The church is the only painted church that was not founded by a ruling prince, although the Movilăs were descendants of Petru Rareş on their mother’s side. Quite soon after the monastery was built Ieremia Movilă became the ruler of Moldavia, and his brother Simion reigned in Walachia. The third brother, Gheorghe, who was during that period the Bishop of Rădăuţi, rose to become the Metropolitan of Moldavia.
The church was painted around 1595, nearly half a century after its “sister” churches. It is considered the last flowering of the custom of painting the church façades that mark the reigns of Stephen the Great and Petru Rareş. Building and painting a church that closely resembled the edifices their ancestors raised decades before, was a way for the Movilăs to claim to be part of the royal line of Stephen the Great.


East apse of the church.

At the same time, though, the monastic compound of Suceviţa and its buildings herald the architectural innovations of the following century.
The massive precinct walls were built after 1595, during the reign of Ieremia Movilă. Each wall is nearly 100 metres long, three metres wide and more than six metres tall, and create the atmosphere of a mediaeval fortress. The walls are strengthened with buttresses, bulwarks and imposing towers. Narrow loopholes in the upper part of the walls indicate that a defensive catwalk encircled the compound.
Each of the five towers has a different plan. The square gate tower with its pointed octagonal turret is in the middle of the north wall. A vaulted gateway, with heavy buttresses on either side, leads through to the compound. Above the arch of the gateway is a semicircular niche with a painting of The Resurrection and the carved coat of arms of Moldavia. Above the gateway, there are two storeys with rooms.

Sucevita Monastery

Sucevita Monastery – general view.

On the first floor is a small chapel dedicated to the Annunciation. The northwest tower is the bell tower of the monastery. It is the most massive one of them all, with three three-tiered buttresses on the outside. The buttresses were added later, as were the gate tower buttresses. On the ground floor is a small laboratory for the restoration of icons, where trained nuns work. On the top floor is the belfry with four big arched openings. The two bells that Ieremia Movilă donated in 1605 are still used daily. The other three towers are octagonal but each different from the other: the northeast tower has three storeys, the southeast five and the southwest two.


The south façade of the Church of the Resurrection.

A wooden glazed gallery was built on the north wall during the 19th century.The slender wooden turret has the date 1867 carved on it.The existing monastic buildings abut the east wall. The central part is original, and houses, besides the nuns’ cells, a museum with embroideries, manuscripts, religious objects and icons. The Church of the Resurrection, although still built on the model of the classic Moldavian church, shows the first new architectural tendencies.
The church has the five rooms of a large Moldavian monastery church: the chancel, naos, burial chamber, pronaos and exonarthex. On the apses are tall niches, but they no longer reach nearly to the eaves as before. The row of small niches that used to go around the church façades has been omitted.
The tower is for the first time placed on three bases, a practice that was followed some years later in Dragomirna. On either side of the exonarthex are two small open porches of Walachian influence.

Bucovina Travel Guide


General view of the north wall of the exonarthex.

The porches were added quite soon after the church was built, by Ieremia Movilă himself.
The votive painting in the naos shows a small porch on the south façade of the model of the church that the Prince holds in his hand. The two porches are not identical. Two pillars and two pilasters, all square, support the south porch. On three sides are ogee-arched openings, and the entrance is from the south. The entrance to the north porch is from the east.
Here there are altogether six openings, two on each side. In the outer corners are round twisted pillars. The pillars between them are hexagonal, and striped horizontally with red brick decoration.
The frescoes are very remarkable, colourful and well preserved. The number of scenes and personages is higher than in any other church in Moldavia. Unlike most other cases, the names of the painters are known: the brothers Ion and Sofronie, who carried out the work from 1595 to 1596.

Sucevita is situated 19km southwest of Radauti on DN 17A. In Radauti you can find accommodations and travel information. The town is 37 km northwest of Suceava that can be reached on the main European roads E85, E58, but also on the railway Bucharest-Chernivtsi-Lvov or by air. The city has an airport with flights to Bucharest and even abroad.


Address: Sucevita, 727510, Suceava County
Hotels in Sucevita
Phone: + 40 (230) 417110
Mobil: + 40 (744) 155952

Sucevita Monastery

Church Of Sucevita Monastery.
Sucevita Monastery

Sucevita Monastery, general view.
Sucevita Monastery

Sucevita Monastery seen from southwest.
Manastirea Sucevita

A scene from the naos.

General view of the Sucevita Monastery.

The painted vault of Sucevita Monastery

The whole nunnery was refurbished in the seventies and, upon request, visitors can be lodged in the guestrooms

Sts. Peter and Paul on the tower drum.

The impressive Ladder of St. John of Sinai on the north façade of Sucevita church.

The Prayer of All Saints on the south apse of Sucevita church.

The princes of the Movila family were buried in the church, where their carved tombstones can be admired.

A scene from the naos.

7 Responses to “Sucevita Monastery”

  1. Există nu sunt niciodată orele de deschidere ale mănăstirilor. In luna septembrie, voi fi în Bucovina.
    Ce trebuie sa fac.

  2. Hi,

    Are the Monks in the Monasteries knowledgeable people please? Ask them who created Adam and Eve? Oxford University Professors could not answer this vital question as Christ Thomas stated First know what you see, then what is not seen but perceived of God shall be known to you. Watch my Youtube channel nijjhar1 for answers.

  3. Hi Brethren,

    I Preach Christianity and would like to visit some monasteries to exchange views. I have put up over 2340 Youtube Videos. Channel is nijjhar1.

    If any one is interested, please let me know. I would like to go around the country and may travel other countries as well.

  4. I have also a picture of The Angel of the Night. Is it possible to send me a picture of the Angel of the Day?
    Thank You

  5. I have a picture of The Anel of the Night (Ziua si Noaptea- Ingerul Noptii (naos). Can you telle me someting about this angel? Is there also an angel of The Day? Is it possible to send me a picture of this angel? Thank you .
    M. de Wilde

  6. I’m looking for a bed and breakfeast in Sucevita. The name is CASA CU CERBI and I can’t find the phone number to make a reservation for 2 nights in november. Could you please help me ?

  7. Hello
    I know that opening times can change, but nobody include this very important infomation, when can the monasteries be visited, days and opening times,
    can you please let me know
    Thank you so much

Leave a Reply