15 of the Most Beautiful Churches in the World

Arbore

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8) Church of Arbore, Romania

This humble building is one of only 8 remaining Moldavian painted churches. Wealthy landowner, Luca Arbore, funded construction in the early 1500’s as a tribute to St. John the Baptist. Due to its unassuming size, the structure was completed in under 6 months. What it lacks in stature, the church makes up for in its fresco paintings, however. Work on both interior and exterior paintings started in the early 1540’s, taking about 40 years to complete. The paintings—attributed to Drogos Coman—feature a principally green background, and combine stunning color palates that to this day are difficult to replicate. The West and South exterior walls offer illustrations of The Cavalcade of the Constantine Emperor, and the Hymns of the Prayers to the Virgin. The characters depicted in the scenes often have relaxed gestures, which are atypical of religious frescos, and give the paintings an unusual warmth and intimacy.

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