One of my usual retreats from the bustling life in the city is travelling to remote places, to breath fresh air and take long walks in the midst of the nature. This is probably what everyone does, more or less. And taking a camera with me give these travels more purpose, putting me in the middle of nice places, ready to be recorded on film.
So one of these places I usually spend my time is located in the Northern Moldova, the upper part of my native province in Romania, also known as Bukovina. It is widely spoken of as the “painted monasteries land” and almost all of these medieval places are under the umbrella of this or that World Heritage protection. And rightly so, they’re exceedingly precious to my province. I am not a religious person, and I freely admit that these places are interesting to me from a historical and artistic angle, and because they are those places where the backbone of the long history of my province lays. What I am today is a result of the people who built here.
The 15th and 16th century old churches have their external walls covered in authentic and unique fresco paintings, representing complete cycles of religious themes. The frescoes do preserve a lot of their original colours and details, although in places the paintings are somewhat faded. Restorations are taking place every now and then, just to preserve this portion of our heritage.
Almost all of these churches are still active, and people gather here to celebrate Sunday sermons, to have their children baptized or just for their special moment, to be alone with God. Tourists are visiting in their hundreds and it is my understanding a lot of religious pilgrimages are taking place every season or so.
So yes, this is one of the places I love to visit. It puts me in direct contact with my heritage, of which I am proud.
Camera here used was a Leica IIIf with Azocolor ACN 100, expired in 1988, C41 processed and scanned.