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



„Saint Simion” Church Complex


GPS (47.64994430542; 26.253664016724)
district Suceava
region Suceava
locality Suceava
category Religious attractions
year 1513
ethnic Armenians


”St Simion” church of Suceava is an Armenian place of worship. The complex contains two objectives: the church (the XVIth century) and the bell tower (1551). The church was built in the year 1513 by the Armenian community of the place, its founder being the Armenian Donig (or Donik), being transformed several times over time. In 1551 the bell tower was built, and in the late XVIth century, during the reign of Ieremia Movilă (1595-1600, 1600-1606), the building of the church was rebuilt by someone called Simion (Șima in Armenian), where the name of the church comes from. The church is dedicated to St. Simion Dzerun (Simion the Old). Until the late of the XIXth century, around this church there was an Armenian cemetery which was afterwards moved to Zamca Monastery. The repairs undertaken in 1925 partially changed the shape of the building. ”St Simion” Church of Suceava was used as a church until 1969. When, due to serious fissures and the small number of the people in the Armenian community, it was closed. As a result of a protocol signed with the Gregorian Armenian Epyscopacy of Bucharest, the church building was taken by the Orthodox Archiepiscopate of Suceava and Rădăuți, which holds no sermons in the church and prefers to keep the sermon in a chappel built in the middle of the Armenian cemetery, in the yard of the church. The church is known especially due to its bell towerl, made of brick, hence the alternative name of ”The Red Tower”. The tower is 28 meters tall, being one of the highest medieval towers from Suceava. The bells were cast in bronze, having a high percentage of silver, which gives them a special sonority. The inside staircase is made by the supersposition of a few gravestones, having inscriptions in Old Armenian.