Voronet Monastery: Sistine Chapel of the East

Voronet Monastery is a medieval monastery located in Voronet, a Romanian village. It is one of the most famous painted monasteries scattered around the Bukovina region. Stephan the Great, in 1488, ordered the construction of the monastery to commemorate the victory at the Battle of Vaslui. The monastery was dedicated to Saint George. It took three months and three weeks to construct the building since the number three is a holy number symbolizing the Holy Trinity. Due to its colorful, vivid, and well-preserved exterior frescoes, the monastery is often called the ”Sistine Chapel of the East”, it also has a depiction of The Last Judgement on the southern wall.

Voronet Monastery

The vibrant and unique shade of blue on the walls of the monastery is known as the ”Voronet blue”. The color was made with crushed azurite mixed with a mysterious substance that makes the paint more vivid, but the exact color composition of the frescoes is still unknown. The richly detailed frescoes depict biblical scenes, angels, demons, apostles, and such. There are even depictions of some philosophers such as Aristotle and Plato.


The monastery is on the list of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites.

In the antechamber lies the tomb of Daniel the Hermit, the ascetic who encouraged Stephan to fight the Turks, and then he became the first abbot of the monastery.

Voronet Monastery

The small windows and their frames are of the Gothic tradition. The south and north doors of the exonarthex, however, have rectangular frames which indicate the transition period from Gothic to Renaissance.


The Last Judgement Fresco wholly covers the wall without getting interrupted by a door or window.

Voronet Monastery
Voronet Monastery

The Voronet Blue

Voronet Monastery

An interior fresco

Voronet Monastery