advertisement

Suceava: 439km (272 miles) NE of Bucharest and 150km (93 miles) NW of Iasi

Achieving independence in the 14th century, Moldavia reached its apogee during the anti-Ottoman crusades with great defensive battles fought and won by Stephen the Great (who ruled 1457-1504) and his successor, Petrus Rares. Military success ensured a cultural renaissance, evidenced in Moldavia's beautiful painted monasteries that have earned great artistic acclaim, and attract visitors from around the world. The most precious of these churches are all within a 60km (37-mile) radius of the city of Suceava; once the princely seat of the Moldavian rulers, but thoroughly ruined during Ceausescu's reign, this is still a useful base from which to explore the churches. Mostly situated in remote rural villages in lush landscapes, the churches of these monastic complexes have almost all been painted -- inside and out -- with such brilliant and vivid frescoes that they have been accorded UNESCO World Heritage status and are amongst the world's great artistic treasures.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.