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The monastery of Voronet was erected in less than four months, during the summer of 1488, by the famous Prince of Moldavia Stephen the Great upon the advice of his confessor, Daniil the Hermit, an ascetic hesychast who became the first egumen of Voronet.
UNESCO World Heritage monument
The painted church of Voronet is famous for its dominant blue color, the so-called Voronet blue, and for the Last Judgement fresco on the western wall. The exterior walls of the Voronet monastery were painted in 1547, at the commandment of Voivode Petru Rares, the son of Stephen the Great.
The votive painting features Prince Stephen and his family offering the church to Jesus through the intercession of the soldier Saint George, the patron saint of the church of Voronet.
The pious monk Daniil the Hermit inspired the building of two famous Romanian monasteries of Bucovina (the north of Moldova region): the monastery of Putna (1469), built after Stephen the Great's victory in the battle for Chilia (an important port at the Black Sea coast), and the monastery of Voronet (1488).
Daniil the Hermit was burried in the church of Voronet in 1496, while Stephen the Great was laid to rest at Putna in 1504, after 47 years of ruling Moldova. Both, Stephen and Daniil, were canonized by the Romanian Orthodox Church in 1992 .
The Moldovan Prince used to erect a church or a monastery to give thanks to the Lord after each battle he won against the Turks or the Tartars. Some of these churches are today's UNESCO World Heritage sites.
In the twilight of his years, the Moldavian Prince told his Venetian doctor: ”I fought 36 battles during my ruling of this country, I won 34 and I lost two.”
The story of Voronet
In 1476, one year after the resounding victory of Stephen against the Turks at Vaslui (the Battle of Podul Înalt), a 120,000 strong Ottoman army led by Sultan Mehmed II in person invaded Moldova. The Conqueror of Constantinople was thirst to revenge the slaughter of his 45,000 soldiers during the Vaslui battle the year before and to punish the impertinent Giaour Voivode who was ruling the Princedom of Moldova, and refused to pay tribute and to handover Chilia port.
Stephen was then defeated by Mehmet the Conqueror in the Battle of Razboieni (July 26, 1476). The place has since also be known as the White Valley
- Valea Alba
- due to the piles of dead bones which remained on the battlefield for two more decades.
Stephen took refuge further north, to the Moldavian border with Poland. During this flee, the Prince asked for the advice of his old confessor, Daniil the Hermit, who was living in a cave on the banks of Voronet river. The hesychast told Stephen to resist the Ottomans and Stephen started to assemble a new army. The Turks failed to conquer the main Moldovan fortresses of Neamt and Suceava and they left the country few months later. Stephen the Great ruled the princedom for another 28 years, until his death in 1504.
In 1488, in order to give thanks to the Lord, Stephen erected the monastery of Voronet and asked Daniil to be its first egumen. In 1496, twenty years after the Valea Alba
battle (1476), the Moldovan Voivode raised a church in Razboieni over the bones of the fallen soldiers from his war with the Ottoman Empire.