Curtea de Arges Monastery is an interesting edifice in Romania whose beauty is surpassed only by the legends told from generation to generation about its construction and the human sacrifices made in the name of eternity.
Curtea de Arges Monastery is a construction in the southern part of Romania, not far from Bucharest, the Capital. Its construction began in the time of Neagoe Basarab (1512-1517), the king of Wallachia (Wallachia or Walachia is a historical and geographical region of Romania). The King’s tomb can be seen in the interior of this monastery next to his wife, his daughter and his successor (Radu from Afumati). Other tombs located in the monastery are the final resting places for other four important royal heads of Romania: King Ferdinand I (king between 1914-1927) and his wife Queen Maria and King Carol I (king between 1866-1914) and his wife Queen Elisabeth.
King Neagoe Basarab and his wife – painting
Apart from the tombs and the monastery itself, one can admire the art collection of the monastery, paintings and icons from the 17th century, paintings of King Carol I and Queen Elisabeth and the Gospel written with letters of gold (PHOTO).
Curtea de Arges Monastery’s architectural design
Curtea de Arges monastery resembles a very large and elaborate mausoleum, built in Byzantine style, with Moorish arabesques. In the center rises a dome, fronted by two smaller cupolas, while a secondary dome, broader and loftier than the central one, springs from the annex. Each summit is crowned by an inverted pear-shaped stone, bearing a triple cross, emblematic of the Trinity.
Facing the main entrance is a small open shrine, consisting of a cornice and dome upheld by four pillars. The cathedral is faced with pale grey limestone, easily chiseled but hardening on exposure. The interior is of brick, plastered and decorated with frescoes. Close by stands a large royal palace, Moorish in style. The archives of the cathedral were plundered by Hungarians and Turks, but several inscriptions, Greek, Slav and Roman, are left.
This construction is very impressing regarding the time it was built and the means that were available in those ages in Wallachia.
The legend of the pregnant woman built inside the walls
It is said that a very appreciated master named Manole was the one supervising the construction. One of the most popular legends in Romania is associated with his name. It’s a story of sacrifice, love for one’s work, death for creation and commitment for religion and faith before anything else. Continue reading