There is no other place in the world than Bucovina in Romania, where a group of Orthodox monasteries with such high quality exterior mural paintings are to be seen. These Painted Monasteries are part of UNESCO's World Heritage for their rarity and beauty. Another group are the Wooden Churches of Maramures, unique examples that combine Gothic style with traditional timber construction.
Romanianmonasteries.org is an innovation. It is a site about the unique and rich cultural heritage of Bucovina and Maramures – monasteries, churches, architecture, frescoes, icons and wall paintings that are a testimony to the faith of former times.
Bucovina section describes the 18 most interesting monasteries and churches in the Bucovina area: Probota, St. John the New in Suceava, St. Demetrius in Suceava, St. Elijah in Suceava, Dragomirna, Patrauti, Parhauti, Slatina, Rasca, Baia, Dolhestii Mari, Sucevita, Arbore, Putna, Balinesti, Humor, Voronet and Moldovita. Most of these churches have frescoes covering both their facades and their interior walls, and several of them have been included on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Besides texts and photographs, there are explanatory line drawings and aquarelles for the most important ones.
Maramures section takes under focus the famous wooden churches of the region. Most of these churches were built during the 18th and 19th centuries, on the place of older churches that no longer exist. The churches are made of thick logs, are quite small and dark inside, and painted with rather “naïve” Biblical scenes. The most characteristic features are the tall tower above the entrance and the massive roof that seems to dwarf the main body of the church.
Additionally the website promotes two travel guides: Bucovina - A Travel Guide to Romania's Region of Painted Monasteries and Maramures - A Travel Guide to Romania 's Region of Wooden Churches. These travel guides excellent full-colour books on a wide variety of cultural heritage subjects from mural paintings and archaeology to architecture and local traditions. They also give 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 and Maramures.