Bucovina is a region of monasteries, unique in the world for their colorful exterior frescoes. Equally well worth the visit are the villages, still leading the traditional way of life, and the stunning landscapes.
The name Bucovina may not mean much to many people, but Bucovina, and its brave princes, played an important part in the history of the Balkans during the XV and XVI centuries, and in particular with regard to relations with the Ottoman Empire. The impressive number of churches to be found there, with their fine exterior and interior frescoes, have been preserved and handed down from mediaeval times, and because of their uniqueness and artistic value, were added to UNESCO’s World Cultural Heritage List in 1993. There is, indeed, no other place in the world where such a group of churches, with such high quality exterior frescoes, are to be seen.
The churches were founded, in most cases, as family burial places of princes and high nobles. Each painter, although following the canonical iconographic programme, interpreted the scenes in a slightly different way. The scenes were first painted on the interior walls, and then extended to the exterior ones. The reasons for such vast scenes were both religious and didactic: to promote Orthodoxy and to educate the illiterate.
Tourist information in Romania: The notion of “tourist information office” disappeared after the 1989 revolution because all the local tourist offices were abolished. The travel agencies created by the private sector took over the role of the tourist information offices. They can provide you with the information and services for organizing tours in Bucovina. Because Romanians themselves increasingly prefer to travel outside Romania, the travel agencies are more specialized in organizing international travel. Local tours have been neglected for many years but are now flourishing again.
The private sector is now the most advanced, and appreciated both inside and outside the country for the western level of comfort and services.
Tourist information can also be found in the annual publication of the Romanian Yellow Pages. All bookshops sell travel guides, but it is not so easy to find travel guides of Bucovina in the main towns. An exception could be the newspaper stores.
Our travel guide: Bucovina – A Travel Guide to Romania’s Region of Painted Monasteries is an excellent full-color book on a wide variety of cultural heritage subjects from mural paintings and archaeology to architecture and local traditions. It also gives practical information and tips on travel to and in Romania, what to see, where to stay, what to buy and to eat, to get the most of Bucovina.
We hope that you will enjoy your travel to Bucovina!