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Curtea de Arges Cathedralshow map
About Curtea de Arges Cathedral

It resembles a very large and elaborate mausoleum, built in Byzantine style, with Moorish arabesques. In shape it is oblong, with a many-sided annex at the back. In the centre 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.

Legends:

Its legends have inspired many Romanian poets, among them the celebrated Vasile Alecsandri. One tradition describes how Neagoe Basarab, while a hostage in Constantinople, designed a splendid mosque for the sultan, returning to build the cathedral out of the surplus materials.

Another version has Radu Negru employing one Mesterul Manole or Manoli as architect. Manole being unable to finish the walls, the ruler threatened him and his assistants with death. At last Manole suggested that they should follow the ancient custom of placing a living woman into the foundations; and that she who first appeared on the following morning should be the victim. The other masons warned their families, and Manole was forced to sacrifice his own wife. Thus the cathedral was built.

When Manole and his masons told the ruler that they could always build an even greater building, Radu Negru had them stranded on the roof so that they could not build something to match it. They fashioned wooden wings and tried to fly off the roof, but, one by one, they all fell to the ground. A spring of clear water, named after Manole, is said to mark the spot where he fell.


Contact and information:

Address: Bd. Basarabilor, Curtea de Arges, Romania

Opening hours: Daily

Summer: 8:00 - 20:00
Winter: 9:00 - 17:00

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