Backpacking in Romania: Visiting Moldovita Monastery in Bucovina

Backpacking in Romania: Visiting Moldovita Monastery.

Backpacking in Romania: Visiting Moldovita Monastery.

My backpacking in Romania adventures continued. After a few days in Bucharest I boarded a train heading north to Suceava and onwards to the town of Campulung Moldovenesc where I stayed in the trendy Dor de Bucovina Hostel. I had read all about the Bucovina region and made it a priority to visit the UNESCO listed coloured monasteries here. I first headed to Moldovita Monastery.

UNESCO listed Moldovita Monastery.

UNESCO listed Moldovita Monastery.

About Moldovita Monastery
Moldovita is a grand complex on the top of a slight hill in the town of Moldovita. Getting here isn’t particularly easy. There is no public transport. This place is slightly less beaten than you expected it to be. In its untouristy charm the joys of Moldovita sparkle in the morning mist. It’s a sleeping giant.

Moldovita Monastery, Romania.

Moldovita Monastery, Romania.

You could hire a car or book a tour to get here. In summer months its busier. As I work on the move these days I was able to get a private tour organised which meant I could visit a load of the key sights in the region in one day including Cacica Salt Mine. I can’t wait to get them all typed up we’ll start with my visit to Moldovita Monastery.

Other tourists gather to admire Moldovita.

Other tourists gather to admire Moldovita.

Opening Hours of Moldovita Monastery
Generally speaking its a predictable 9-5 thing. You really need to see Moldovita in the day time. If you look at this photo you might understand how the dark lights of northern Romania fade the beauty down a notch…yes the colours have to be seen in daylight hours.

moldovita murals

Amazing coloured murals on the side of the walls of Moldovita.

How much does it cost to visit Moldovita?
Apparently there is a 5 Lei charge though when I went there was nobody on the gate to check or take money so I got in for free. I left a donation inside the main church instead. So basically no more than £1.

Entry is a Pound (British) if they even ask you.

Entry is a Pound (British) if they even ask you.

What to see at Moldovita
It’s very much a walk round at your own leisure and I basically did 4 things:
1. Admired the main Church from the outside.
2. Admired the main Church from the inside.
3. Walked around the internal part of the monastery.
4. Had a look at the eerie cemetery in its mist shrouded background.

Inside Moldovita main church.

Inside Moldovita main church.

What is ridiculous and apparently true is that all these pictures/murals were painted by one guy, in the same year – Toma of Suceava in 1537. Each mural represents Christian Orthodox art (mostly painted in yellow and blue) and tells a story – a procession of saints lead up to the Virgin enthroned with the Child (Jesus) in her lap on one side and that much is obvious. I popped inside to pray and photos are actually banned. I’m a Protestant rather than a Catholic or an Orthodox Christian so I’m sorry if it offends I took a quick 3 photos inside.

Inside the main church at Moldovita.

Inside the main church at Moldovita.

As I stepped outside of the grounds and visited the cemetery, there was an odd eeriness surrounding the entire morning. I’d just seen something incredibly inspiring here at Moldovita and I knew it, but something baffled me – apart from the group of Italian tourists I met, there were no other travellers here. Why not? Have I missed something. Paris’s Eiffel Tower, NYC’s shops and Sydney’s Opera House can go back up their own wombs. Moldovita is a cooler place. You might just love it and you will never ever forget it 😉 This is a quick glimpse of the wonder of Moldovita.

“Tell me love isn’t true, it’s just something that we do” – Madonna

A moment of inspiration at Moldovita.

A moment of inspiration at Moldovita.

My adventure continued in southern Bucovina and I also visited Marginea, Suceava, Sucevita and Cacica. When Life allows me to slow down, I might just tell you all how cool those places were too. Here are my videos from Moldovita:

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