For about 12 hours we invite you to take a glance at the medieval way of life of the Wallachian people, as well as to admire some of the marvels of modern times, namely the Vidraru Dam. The journey starts at the Princely Court and Church (1352) in Curtea de Arges; the next stop is Curtea de Arges Monastery, where two of the Romanian Kings and their beloved wives lay to rest.
As a physical challenge, we invite you to climb the 1,480 stairs that lead to Poienari Fortress (15th century) the original military fortress used by Prince Vlad Tepes (Count Dracula) as one of his main residences. At last, but not least, you may enjoy the breathtaking panoramic view opening from the Vidraru Dam, Romania’s biggest artificial dam.
Itinerary – Military District in Bucharest, 8.30 o’clock, Highway 1 Bucharest – Pitesti, Pitesti, Curtea de Arges (Prince Basarab Church, Curtea de Arges Monastery, The Royal Tombs), Poienari Fortress, Vidraru Dam, Bucharest (return in the evening).
Included Services: transport, certified national guide, entrance fees to Basarab Princely Church, Curtea de Arges Monastery and Poienari Fortress.
Lunch not included! Upon request, lunch reservations at Posada restaurant in Curtea de Arges /“Valley with Fish” restaurant near Vidraru Dam.
Photo tax not included.
The legend of Master Manole,
builder of Curtea de Arges Monastery
Folklore sources say Prince Neagoe Basarab hired the greatest masons in Wallachia to build a place of worship. For unknown reasons, all they built during the day, completely collapsed during the night. One night, master Manole had a dream: the construction he supervised would resist only if they would sacrifice the first wife who would bring food to her husband the next day.
And it so happened that Manole’s wife showed up to bring her husband’s lunch; true to the vow he made, Manole immured his own wife alive in the church walls. The place of this immolation can still be seen between two walls of the Southern front side.
When the monastery was completed, Prince Neagoe asked the masons if they could build another church, even more beautiful than this. The masters, honestly, said they could. Therefore, Prince Basarab, who would not accept the existence of a more beautiful construction than his own, he ordered the scaffoldings removed. In a moment of despair, Manole decided to manufacture a pair of wings from shingles, to fly down, but he crushed to the ground. The legend says a spring gushed to the surface, exactly on the spot where Master Manole hit the ground. Nowadays, a fountain nearby the monastery reminds the travelers of this legend.
Curtea de Arges Monastery is also related to another legend, about a 12 year old girl. It is said that the girl used to carry food to the workers hired by her father. One day she decided to give the food to the poor people she met on her way, a gentle act she paid with her own life as she was murdered by her furious father. Oddly, her body couldn’t be lifted from the ground. Only after someone mentioned the name of Curtea de Arges Monastery she could be lifted. Therefore, the priests decided to take the body to the monastery’s chapel. Nowadays, visitors can worship the relics of the little girl, known as Saint Filofteea.