"Curtea de Arges and its legend" Curtea de Arges by Diana75

Curtea de Arges Travel Guide: 7 reviews and 109 photos

Only two hours away from Bucharest, Curtea de Arges was one of few favorite day trips destinations in my school times.

Who didn't know the sad legend of Master Manole who immured his own wife alive within the walls in order to finish the stunning Cathedral?

Despite its small dimensions (you probably don't need more than an hour to walk from one side to the other), Curtea de Arges was the center of important moments of Romania's history.

As the name is suggesting (Curtea means Court in Romanian), around 1 330 the settlement was mentioned as the second capital of Walachia and further more the Royal Court of the Basarabs was established, Basarab I, Vlaicu Voda, Dan I and Mircea cel Batran residing here.

Without doubt the church built by Neagoe Basarab (1512-1521) is one of the most valuable historic buildings in Romania and the ruins of the Royal Court with the Princely Church adorned with stunning frescos are part of the oldest feudal ensemble in the country.

Few kilometers away from Curtea de Arges are the ruins of so called real Castle of Vlad Tepes, better known as Dracula, and the stunning views of Arges Valley and Transfagarasan, the unique road running at 2 034m above the sea level, are worth the pain of climbing the 1 480 steps.

The trip would not be complete without the stop to the 166m high Vidraru Dam with the gigantic monument of Electricity, located 4 km further.

Master Manole ? a National legend

The legend says that one day, a very wealthy and religious Walachia prince, Radu Negru, the Black Prince, employed the well-known Master Manole to build a church more beautiful than anyone may have seen before.

The masons started to work, but everything they were building during the day, by some mysterious actions, was doomed to fall down by night.

As Manole was not able to finish the walls and the prince was threatening them with death, following an ancient custom, they decided that the only solution was to place a living woman into the foundations.

In order to see their work done, the woman who first appeared on the following morning should be the victim.
The other masons warned their wives, and so happened the Manole's wife showed up to bring her husband's lunch, so that he had to keep his vow and immure his own wife alive within the church walls.

The curse vanished and the cathedral was build. But Radu Negru was afraid that Manole would build another church even greater then his own, so he ordered to leave them stranded on the roof.

They made wooden wings and tried to fly off the roof, but, one by one, they all fell to the ground and die.
The so called Manole?s well, located on the other side of the road from the Cathedral, marks the spot where he fell.

PS: The place of immolation of Manole's wife can still be seen between two walls of the southern front side of the church.

  • Last visit to Curtea de Arges: Mar 2007
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Comments (5)

  • Jun 18, 2008 at 10:26 PM

    Great page! Great information! Keep travelling!

  • adema29's Profile Photo
    Feb 28, 2008 at 11:24 AM

    Excelent albumul! Astept cu interes ceva despre Viena:) Salutari din...Stavanger!

  • iwys's Profile Photo
    Dec 6, 2007 at 11:49 AM

    Really interesting page and some great photos, especially of Poienari Fortress.

  • LoriPori's Profile Photo
    Aug 5, 2007 at 12:26 PM

    The Churches and the Royal Palace look stunning. Wonderful pictures on this Curtea de Arges page.

  • Fam.Rauca's Profile Photo
    May 7, 2007 at 5:47 AM

    In expozitia de machete din Klagenfurt (Austria), este expusa macheta bisericii Curtea de Arges. Acolo am aflat ca aceasta biserica a fost denumita inca din 1517, a opta minune a lumii. Este o mare mandrie! Pagina ta este superba! Gabriela


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