A monument of Romanian medieval art, Curtea de Arges Monastery is the pinnacle of artistic creation in the feudal age. The church was built between 1515 and 1517. By the 17th century, it had become famous for its beauty, foreign travelers starting to call this land “one of the wonders of the world”. A genuine architectural jewel, the church is decorated with minutely detailed motifs of Georgian and Arabic origin, perfectly harmonized with Romanian folk motifs.
Curtea de Arges Monastery & the legend of Manole
The local legends come to underline the spectacular character of the site. The legend says that Negru Voda, the first ruler of Walachia, gave an order to Manole and his team to build a monastery. He requested, though, that his future monastery must be more beautiful than everything ever built before. They didn’t know that its construction was only possible through human sacrifice. So what they zealously build in the daylight, collapsed during the night. Then they followed numerous failures to raise the walls. One night Manole had a divinatory dream. Either they were getting killed by Negru-Voda or they will sacrifice the first girl to be seen in the next morning. The master builder Manole is said to have immured his still-alive wife (sacrificing for his art the person he held dearest) in order to keep the church from collapsing.
After the construction was made, Negru Voda asked them if they can build another monastery, more beautiful than Curtea de Arges. The builders responded yes, being now more experienced. This got him so mad that he destroyed all the scaffolds and the ladders, leaving the builders isolated on the roof. He couldn’t bare the idea of a monastery more beautiful than his.
Nowadays, tourists from all over the world can see Manole’s masterpiece. A red stamp on the southern wall of the monastery marks the place where it is supposed that Ana was sacrificed. On the spot where Manole felt, a spring appeared, turned into a fountain.
Attracted by the beauty of Curtea de Arges monastery, the Romanian Royal Family decided to use it as its final resting place.
Winter Hours: from September 15 to May 14
Daily: 09:00 – 17:00
Summer hours: from may 15 to 17 September
Daily: 08:00 – 20:00
Adults – 4 RON