Humor Monastery (Bucovina, Romania)

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Humor Monastery is a women's monastery built in 1530 by the Voievod Petru Rareş and his chancellor Teodor Bubuiog on the site of a previous monastery built before 1415. The monastery was closed in 1786 and was not re-established until 1990. It is situated about 50 km north of the town of Gura Humorului. Petru Rareş and his wife are both buried in the monastery church, which is dedicated to the Dormition of the Theotokos.


Humor was one of the first of Bucovina's painted monasteries to be frescoed and, along with Voroneţ is probably the best preserved. The dominant colour of the frescoes is a reddish brown. The master painter responsible for Humor's frescoes, which were painted in 1535, is one Toma of Suceava. The subjects of the frescoes at Humor include the Siege of Constantinople and the Last Judgement, common on the exterior of the painted monasteries of Bucovina, but also the Hymn to the Virgin inspired by the poem of Patriarch Sergius of Constantinople relating to the miraculous intervention of the Theotokos in saving the city from Persian conquest in 626. The Persians are, however, depicted as Turks which is a common device in these monasteries, their paintings being used in part for political propaganda in addition to their spiritual meaning.

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