After the fall of Byzantium and the expansion of Ottoman rule throughout the Balkan Peninsula, the Romanian principalities became the most important depository of the Byzantine heritage. It was here that this tradition was preserved, having been passed on to the Romanians of the Middle Ages by their ancestors. This heritage continued to spread throughout Europe and influence European society and culture, creating the historical phenomenon that the great Romanian historian Nicolae Iorga would refer to as 'Byzantium after Byzantium'. The monasteries and painted churches of Northern Moldavia stand today as true revelations of Byzantium.
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