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Voronet blue

Voronet blue

Temporarily defeated in the battle of Razboieni in 1476, the voivode Stephen the Great promised to raise a monastery if God would give him the final victory. He fulfilled his promise in 1488, between May and the 14th of September same year, when he built the Voronet Monastery.

Having a triconc plan, with the tower of the nave, the gothic decoration of the doors and windows outside and the enameled ceramics, the Voronet Monastery is one of the most original monuments of the Moldavian architecture of Stephen the Great’s time.

In a time when Balcanic painting (post byzantine) already lost vigor, the Moldavian artists gave the Voronet blue, a color as famous as the Veronese green and the Rubens red. It is a blending between soft and natural organic colors on a dark and unique blue background made from crumbled azurite and lapis lazuli rock extractions. The splendid mural compositions appeared from slaked lime, sand and chopped straw from colors of mineral extractions scientifically combined succeeded in giving the unmistakable blue that has borne the Voronet blue.

The most important of the frescoes is The Judgment day, painted on the entire western façade, and determined the monument to be called The Sistine Chapel of the East. The scene, the simplest and the most dramatic composition, is processed in a characteristic Moldavian manner: the souls carried to heaven are wrapped in Moldavian towels, while the souls doomed to the fire of Gehenna wear the turbans of the Turks, Moldavia’s enemies. The Resurrection of the Dead is performed to the sound of the bucium, a native folk instrument similar to the Alphorn. Among the animals that take part in the judgment and have to give back the parts of the human bodies they thorn apart, the deer has nothing to return because in the Romanian folklore it stands for innocence.