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Moldoviţa

Moldovita , east sideIvy-covered walls enclose the graceful church of the Annunciation at Moldoviţa, a foundation dating from the first half of the 15th century, completely reconstructed by Peter Rareş in 1532. The frescoes were painted by Toma of Suceava in 1537. The apse paintings depict the traditional procession of the saints leading up to the Virgin enthroned with the Child in her lap above the narrow east window. Below them a representation of the Paschal lamb reminds the faithful that Christ conquered death in the sacrifice of the Cross. On the south side, an elegant Tree of Jesse on a blue background springs from a recumbent Jesse at the foot of the wall to marshal the ancestry of Christ around the Holy Family.

Siege of Constantinople The Siege of Constantinople along the bottom of the south wall depicts Christians routing the infidel with arrows and cannons and miraculous icons being paraded around the ramparts. Still visible are graffiti scratched by Austrian troops in the eighteenth century.

West side On the west end of the church, tall arches light the porch and shelter the depiction of the Last Judgment. The interior frescoes are not obscured by soot as much as in other churches, and the Abbess, armed with breviary and laser pointer, proved ready to help identify the saints and martyrs pictured on the walls of the pronaos. The defensive exterior walls incorporate white stone buildings with black-shingled roofs. Nun's cells line one side of the compound, while in the northwest corner is a restored two-story princely residence now used as a museum of ecclesiastical embroidery and religious art.

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