Historical and ethnographic heritage – part of the sustainable
development of tourism in Bukovina
MIS-ETC Code: 829



Bogdana Monastery


GPS (47.842578887939; 25.917514801025)
district Suceava
region Suceava
locality Rădăuţi
category Religious attractions
year 1359
ethnic Romanians


Bogdana Monastery which is dedicated to St Nicholas, represents the oldest place of worship with masonry wall from Moldavia, built during the times of Bogdan the Ist (1359-1365), the year 1359 being considered the year when the Moldavia, the IInd Independent Romanian State, was created. The significance of Bogdana Monastery is multiple since is connected also to the idea of political and religious independence (border with the Catholic Kingdoms of Hungary, Poland). The shape of the church remained the same during years, one single modification being brought to it by Alexandru Lăpuşneanu in 1559, when the church porch was added. It is a well-sized church, with very well delimited compartments: sanctuary, nave and narthex. The nave is separated from the narthex by a broken arrow arches on which strong stone pillars are supported. The nave is separated from the narthex by a wall which has a door in the middle. The tendency to break some arches and vaults, as well as the counter-forts supporting the thick walls represents the Gothic influence. The carved stone frames of the windows are also of Gothic origin, but they were introduced latter in the construction, seems to be the result of the works that took place in the XVIth century and executed by Alexandru Lăpuşneanu. The rectangular shape of the building, the evenness of the walls supported by counter-forts with small windows, shingle roof, gabled and with no tower, whose slope is broken towards the edges, with semi-circular recesses under the perches, prove the modesty, sobriety and harmony of the peasant architecture and the churches built by the people during that time. The painting of the church was rebuilt during the time of Alexandru Lăpuşneanu, restored in the XVIIIth century and repainted in the late XIXth century. The original painting still retains the Last Supper, the Sacrament of the apostles with wine and the washing of the Apostles feet. The votive picture is hard to be identified because of the repainting and the disappearance of the inscriptions. The church is the necropolis of the Musatin Dynasty, the first rulers of Moldavia and Stephen the Great's ancestors. He adorned their graves by decorating the gravestones, which was made by Jan (Czech or Slovak), through the technique called „plain relief”. The most often encountered motif is that of the palm-leaf (a stylized acanthus leaf), outspread in Greece, Byzantine Empire, Kiev and Novgorod. The bell towe, built out of stone in 1781, harbours the bell gave as a gift made by Stephen the Great to the church.