Gura Humorului Things to Do

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Most Recent Things to Do in Gura Humorului

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    NATIVITY OF THE VIRGIN CATHEDRAL

    by balhannah Updated Feb 24, 2014

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    Interior
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    It has taken 17 ​​years of work to finally complete building the Cathedral "Nativity of the Virgin," in Gura Humorului.
    This is the largest church of the city, and probably the newest as the cornerstone was laid in 1994 by the Archbishop of Suceava. Construction began in 1995 and continued until 1998 when it ground to a halt because of lack of money. Work began again and the roof went on, and in 2007 painting frescoes began, this took four years.

    The Cathedral is an octagon shaped building with four aisles, two galleries, the Holy Shrine, a lovely dome and upstairs balconies. The whole interior is covered in fresoes, just an amazing sight when you first set eyes on it. I didn't want to move, but to stand still and try and take it all in. The church has an area were religious items of great value on display. After viewing the whole interior, which is a very large area, I was about to head out when my guide said, we must go upstairs and have a look from the balcony.
    I had no idea how to reach it, he did though. He went to a closed door and hey presto, we were making our way up a narrow staircase to the balcony. What an amazing view of the interior!

    This Cathedral, is the most beautiful Orthodox Cathedral I have ever seen!
    The frescoes were amazing - I can fully understand why they took 4 years to paint!
    Just everything in this Cathedral made me say wow! What a beauty to behold!

    I have more photos in my travelogue.
    chandeliers dangle from the ceiling

    UNDER CONSTRUCTION

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    ST. CONSTANTINE & ELENA ORTHODOX CHURCH

    by balhannah Updated Feb 24, 2014

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    St. Constantine and Elena
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    "St. Constantine and Elena" is located on Route 177 in the centre of Gura Humorului. This is the road that leads to Humor Monastery, so we went there first and then stopped at this Orthodox church on the way back.

    The Church was built in 1862 by the Armenians who lived here. Later, it became a Lutheran church, and after WWII, an Orthodox church. I thought it was different as it was painted green, though it still had fresoes on the outside and has 2 marble walls, typical of an Armenian
    Church. Since 1864, when approx. 5000 Armenians lived here, the Armenian population has continued to drop.

    The Church was partially destroyed during WWII, bringing forth suggestions for it to be demolished.
    Luckily, this didn't happen as with the support of the Metropolitan Church of Moldova and Suceava, it was restored. A central tower was built above the nave, the interior was painted, furniture was added and then came consecration in 1973. On this occasion, it was dedicated to Saints Constantine and Helena.
    It was rebuilt between 1995-1996.

    Beside the Church is the Bell Tower.

    The church is open throughout the day and is worth going inside for a look.

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    TRADITIONAL LIFE ON ROUTE 177

    by balhannah Updated Feb 23, 2014

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    Gate & Well
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    The road to follow from Gura Humorului to Humor Monastery is the 177. Along this route I saw traditional houses made from wooden shingles, and beautifully hand carved wooden gates.
    The gates are decorated with complex patterns, which not only make it look decorative to my eyes, but to the Romanians, there is a meaning to the pattern. Trees of life, twisted rope motifs, moons, stars, flowers and wolves’ teeth to ward off evil spirits, are all associated with myths and superstitions and can be seen on gates.
    Not only the gates along this road, but the water wells are worth looking for as these are covered by a small carved wooden shelter, usually with a peaked roof.

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    THE UNESCO LISTED VORONET PAINTED MONASTERY

    by balhannah Written Feb 23, 2014

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    Voronet Monastery
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    Voronet Monastery I have written about under Suceava, but have added it here, as it's located about 4.5kms from the city centre of Gura Humorlui.
    This Painted Monastery is probably the most famous of the four Painted Monasteries as the walls are painted "Voronet blue,' and the frescoes are extremely detailed, depicting many religious scenes.

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    UNESCO LISTED HUMOR PAINTED MONASTERY

    by balhannah Written Feb 23, 2014

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    Humor Monastery
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    I have written about this Monastery and more information under Suceava county, but have added information here as its only about 5 km north of the town of Gura Humorului. The Monastery was built in 1530 by Voievod Petru Rares, and is used by Nuns dedicated to the Dormition of Virgin Mary. Both Petru Rares and his wife are buried in the monastery church.

    The monastery was built over the foundation of a previous monastery that dated from around 1415. The old ruins are approx 500 meters from the new Monastery.
    The small church has an open porch with three open arches. The open porch with arcades was the first of its kind to be built in Bucovina. Another innovation is the tainiþa [hiding area] above the burial-vault. This is a hidden area where precious objects were kept, especially during upheavals.

    Humor & Voronet Monasteries were one of the first of Bucovina's painted monasteries to be frescoed. Both have been preserved quite well. It takes a while to walk around and find frescoes detailing different scenes, like the Last Judgment, which is on the wall beneath the open porch. Unfortunately, the Tree of Jesse isn't in the best condition.
    Looking for the Devil, then look for a Scarlet Woman, though this area is so faded it is hard to see. Hell is a cavern upheld by seven old women who had surpassed Satan in wickedness during their lifetimes. Since the women are mortal, the legend goes - the Devil must constantly search the world for replacements - and he never fails to find them.

    Another famous exterior painting, is the Hymn to the Virgin, dedicated to the Virgin Mary, who is reputed to have saved the city during the attack of the Persians in 626. The Persians are depicted as Turks which is a common in these monasteries. There are heaps more frescoes as the whole outside and inside is covered in them.
    Also on the Monastery grounds is a three storied Defence Tower, built in 1641.

    When you pay a visit to the monastery, you can buy religious items at the Monastery shop, or outside, admire or buy the handicraft objects sold by the locals. Wooden carved icons, colorful carpets, regional costumes, wooden kitchen cutlery, clothing, lace tablecloths and many more handmade objects can be purchased as a memory of this beautiful place.

    The monastery is located on the Humor river and is surrounded by hills with forests. In April, it was quiet to visit, not many people there at all, but come high season, and you may be amongst thousands of tourists.

    There is a map showing the locations of all the painted monasteries in the area on the outside wall.

    BE AWARE
    There is an admission fee and if you wish to take photos, you pay a photo fee.
    THE PHOTO FEE DOES NOT ALLOW YOU TO TAKE PHOTOS OF THE INTERIOR
    ONLY OF THE EXTERIOR!

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    Painted Monasteries: Voronet

    by TravellerMel Written Oct 4, 2012

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    Voronet Monastery
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    The Painted Monasteries of Bucovina were named as UNESCO World Heritage sites in 1993.

    Probably the most famous of the painted monasteries is Voronet, 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 remains a mystery more than 500 years after the church was built, and still remains vibrant.

    Frescoes of this church illustrate biblical scenes, such as The Last Judgment and Jacob's Ladder.

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    Painted Monasteries: Humor

    by TravellerMel Updated Oct 3, 2012

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    Humor Monastery
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    The Painted Monasteries of Bucovina were designated as UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1993.

    Humor Monastery was the first of four painted monasteries we visited in Bucovina, and I think it was my favorite. It was smaller than the other four (Voronet, Sucavita, and Moldovita being the other three). The monastery was founded in 1530, and has many beautifully preserved frescoes, including one of the Return of the Prodigal Son, and one large one of "the Last Judgement", which was a common theme in the churches we visited. We were told that Humor Monastery was one of the first of Bucovina’s painted monasteries to be fresco-ed and, is probably one of the best preserved religious sites in the region.

    The church is topped by a cross-shaped shingled roof, without a steeple, which indicates it was built by a court official rather than a prince. The dominant colors of the frescoes are reddish-brown with rich blues and green infusions.

    The day of our visit, we could hear chanting and bells/tones and saw several solumn looking nuns walking around - we found out later that it was the day John the Baptist was martyred, and therefore a holy day.

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    Voroneţ Monastery

    by tim76 Updated Mar 5, 2010

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    Any place dubbed the Sistine Chapel of the East should be special and Voroneţ truely is. It's the most beautiful of the painted monasteries of Bucovina, especially its Last Judgement on the western wall is marvelous. It's a miracle that the colours withstood the elements so well. As a matter of fact its blue is so special that it got a name of its own: Voroneţ blue.

    The monastery was built by Stephen the Great of Moldavia in just three months in 1488, after an important victory over the Turks. The paintings are a bit younger, from 1550.

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    Humor Monastery

    by tim76 Updated Mar 2, 2010

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    Hymn to the Virgin
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    Despite its name, Humor Monastery is serious business. Like the other painted monasteries, it was built at a time when this area was fighting an ever growing Turkish influence. As it was constructed by Teodor Bubuiog, chancellor of the Moldovan prince Petru Rareş, Humor never was a princely monastery and therefore doesn't have a spire, like the other monasteries. Under Turkish and Austrian rule the monastery fell in decay and it was only in 1991 that a religious community returned to Humor, after an absence of more than 200 years.

    Although the frescoes here are more faded then in Voroneţ or Moldoviţa, what remains still merits the trip and gave Humor a place on the World Heritage List. On the outside walls, in beautiful red and blue, the Last Judgment and the Hymn to the Virgin are depicted. The interior, where photography is permitted by way of exception, shows scenes from the Gospel and martyrdoms. Notice how the painter seems to take pleasure in picturing the cruellest tortures.

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    Voronet Monastery

    by sieffron Updated Jul 15, 2005

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    Ottoman attack on Christian inhabitants

    This is a good example of the clarity of the frescoes. These paintings served a greater importance than simply adding an aesthetic quality to a house of worship: They told Biblical and historical stories to villagers unable to read the old world Slavonic language employed by the Eastern Orthodox church.

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    Voronet Monastery

    by sieffron Updated Apr 25, 2005

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    Keep Voronet beautiful.

    The preservation of the Voronet frescoes makes the monastery stand out from other in the region. Some have faded, though restoration work is on the upswing as tourist visits and money flow into the monastery have increased in recent years.

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    Humor Monastery

    by sieffron Updated Apr 22, 2005

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    Humor Monastery

    Although not as colorful as Voronet, Humor still warrants a visit. It was built in 1530 and is one of the first Romanian Monasteries to be painted in the Byzantine style. Many of the frescoes have faded quite a bit, but the interior of the monastery is still covered in beautiful paintings. Where Voronet is famed for its shade of blue, Humor is known the pink hue suffusing most of its frescoes.

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    Voronet Monastery

    by glenn57 Updated Jan 3, 2005

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    The Last Judgment, Voronet Monastery

    Voronet Monastery (pronounced "Voronets"), is a pleasant 5 km walk from Gura Humorului on rural roads, through scenic farmland. It was built in 1488. The exterior frescoes were painted by Petru Rares, and are in superb condition. The masterpiece is the Last Judgment - I stared at this for a good 30 minutes. It is in brilliant blue hues, and shows what happens to various people on the judgment day. You see certain groups of people being selected for Heaven, and others for Hell, as well as depictions of those people's lives in Heaven and Hell. This will scare anyone into being good the rest of their days.

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    Humor Monastery

    by sieffron Written Sep 22, 2004

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    Humor Monastery tower

    This tower is on the grounds of the Humor Monastery and despite its short stature, it requires a dangerous climb to the top, via high, narrow, and extremely steep steps. The tower, built in 1641, provides a nice view of the surrounding area.

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    Voronet Monastery

    by sieffron Updated Sep 21, 2004

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    Voronet Monastery

    The Voronet Monastery is desribed as the Sistine Chapel of the East and it is really quite impressive. Stefan Cel Mare, the great Moldavian hero who staved off Turkish invaders for many years, built Voronet in 1488 to celebrate a victory over the Turks. Cel Mare's son, Petru Rares, added the fantastically preserved and highly detailed frescoes in 1524. Voronet is known for its rich blue, the dominant color in the paintings.

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