Curtea de Arges was once the capital of Wallachia and its most famous building was the Episcopal Church (or Curtea de Arges cathedral) built in 1512 within the grounds of the monastery. Its elaborate design feautres two domes and a pair of twisted cupolas with twisted windows set atop a box-like building adorned with tiers of niches and arabesque motifs. According to the legend, the chief architect Manole was forced to entomb his wife in the walls of the church to keep the building from collapsing – popular belief at the time held that ghosts were required to keep buildings from falling down. The builders agreed that whoever’s wife came first would have to be sacrificed. But Manole’s men all warned their wives. So it was only Manole’s wife who arrived, bringing his lunch for him. Upon completion of the building, the church’s patron, Neagoe Basarab, left Manole and his fellow workers on the roof to ensure they never built a greater church. The whole group fell to their deaths attempting to fly using wooden wings made from the roofing shingles. It was also where the tombs of King Carol I and queen Elizabeth, and the next king Ferdinand and wife Maria lay. Outside was the tomb of Ferdinand II. If you're after religious items, don't forget the souvenir shop on the grounds. A really remarkable building, laced by a remarkable legend, and a fantastic retreat from a hectic tour.
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