Arges Cathedral gleams white through the trees surrounding it, its five towers looking like some giant hand grabbed them and gave them each a twist. Inside, some of Romania's kings and queens are buried.
The legend of Manole, the builder of the cathedral, makes your visit more meaningful. Don't forget to locate Manole's well in the park across the street.
The story goes that the king wanted to build a church to be unmatched in beauty throughout the world and for this great task he hired the best builders. They started building, but everything they erected during the day, fell apart during the night (due to a curse). One night the chief builder had a dream: a man told him that in order to complete the building, the builders had to build someone beloved inside the wall of the church. The builder were informed about the dream and they all agreed that the first of their wives to come to bring them food was to be built alive in the wall. But they cheated on him and had told their wives not to come to bring them food the next day. Manole (the chief builder) kept his word and didn't tell his wife, so Ana was the only one to come at noon. Devastated, Manole started building a wall around his wife in some sort of game to fool her. In great grief, Manole finished the wall and the building was finally completed. But then the king, fearing that another ruler could hire them to make a better church, took away the ladders, leaving the builders on the roof, with no food, no water and no way to come down. After a few desperate days, they started building wooden wings, hoping they could fly to the ground, but they all crashed and died. The last one to jump was Manole himself. He died and on the place where he fell, a spring of salty water emerged, from the tears cried for his lost beloved wife. Nowadays, the story says, if you listen carefully, you can still hear Ana crying from inside the wall
Picturesque but austere outside, the Princely Church is simply breathtaking inside.
The church is entirely decorated with painted frescoes, actually the first samples of Romanian painting dating from the 14th century.
Even if you are a lover of religious art or not, you’ll be equally amazed by the beauty of this church.
If you want to see more frescos from the church, visit my travelogues.
27 - 29 B-dul Basarabilor, Curtea de Arges, Romania
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