File 166 – Monastery Curtea De Arges, Romania – The place where illusion can become reality!
Church of Monastery Curtea de Arges, was built between the years 1512-1517, at the initiative of Wallachian king Neagoe Basarab (1512-1521). The church was made in Byzantine architectural style with influences of Armenian, Persian, Georgian and Arabic art. In terms of architectural beauty, the church surpasses everything that was built in the Kingdom of Wallachia, until the XVI century. Today the church is an important tourist attraction. Here is tombs of some historical personalities, the tomb of Romanian royal family (Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen) and holy relics of religious martyr Saint Filoteia. In this place, sometimes illusions became reality, and for this reason, the Monastery Curtea de Arges is a place to pilgrimage, for Orthodox Christians.
The construction of the church has generated the most famous folk ballad from Romanian culture; “Balada Mesterului Manole (The Ballad Of Master (builder) Manole)”. The legend say that king, has hired Master Manole with his team of masons, to build the most beautiful church ever. The builders have started work, but everything that built during the day, is collapse overnight. In one night, Master Manole had a dream, in which “the divinity” asks him to make a sacrifice, by closed a human being inside of the wall, because it walls never to collapse. Through a concurrence of dramatic circumstances, the person who will be sacrificed, is Ana, the wife of Master Manole, which he loved very much! After sacrifice of Ana, Master Manole manages to build the most beautiful church. When the king saw the beauty of the church, ordered to be demolished the scaffoldings, because Master Manole remain suspended on roofing and can not build, another similar church. To go down on the roof, Master Manole make wooden wings and tried to hover, up to the ground. But wings are too heavy and Master Manole dies, by crashes on the ground. In the place where he dies, appear a spring from his love tears, for his sacrificed wife Ana. This spring exists currently, near of the church.
The myth of sacrifice for the remarkable construction is common in the zone of Eastern Europe. The specificity of Romanian myth, is that it approaches by the real historical elements. It is known that Neagoe Basarab, before becoming king of Wallachia, was hosted on court of Sultan Bayezid II (1481-1512), to study military arts. There are historical sources wich mention that in the process of military education, Neagoe Basarab had as task to manage the construction of a mosque in Constantinople, to improve their knowledge about construction. The chief constructor of the mosque is someone named Manoli of Niaesia, wich appearing thereby joined with Neagoe Basarab, in some documents. It is possible that this construction crew of Constantinople, to came with Neagoe Basarab in Wallachia, where they built the church of Monastery Curtea de Arges. Manoli of Niaesia was Armenian and this might explain the elements of Armenian and Georgian architecture of church, which are very rare in this geographical area. It is possible that this Manoli of Niaesia, to be Master Manole, the main character in the most famous Romanian folk ballad. Unfortunately this assertion is just a speculation of historical logic. In the absence of clear evidence, the historical truth about the famous Master Manole, remains yet, just an illusion! But church of Monastery Curtea de Arges, is a reality! A beautiful reality!
This marking indicates the place where it was slaughtered Ana.