The massive monastery at Sucevita is considered by many to be one of the finest monasteries in Bucovina. Both the interior and exterior are covered with delightful frescoes, although the western wall is bare, as legend claims that the artist fell from the scaffolding and died and work was halted immediately. Of particular interest is the ‘Ladder of Virtue’ on the exterior north wall, depicting the 30 steps from Hell to Paradise, whilst the complex fresco on the southern wall shows the remarkable ‘Tree of Jesse’, symbolising the continuity of the Old and New Testaments through the depiction of an array of ancient philosophers and prophets surrounding Jesse and intertwined with foliage. Sucevita was the last of the 22 painted churches of Bucovina and has the largest number of painted images. The western exterior wall of the church is not painted. Legend has it that work stopped after one of the painters fell from the scaffolding and died.
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