Fodor's Expert Review Church of Nativity
The simple exterior looks more like a stone barn than a house of worship but Arbanasi's oldest church has exceptional artwork hidden within. Built during the 15th century, its exterior is so unexceptional so as to avoid rousing the ire of the then-ruling Ottoman Empire. In the mid 17th century, nearly every single inch of the church's walls and vaulted ceiling were painted with stunning frescoes—nearly 2,000 scenes from both the Old and New Testament are featured. Most have been lovingly restored, but a few were left untouched so that visitors can make a comparison. Keen craftspersons should also take note of the church's hand-carved iconostasis.