Curtea de Arges City

Curtea de Arges town is situated in the northern part of Walachia, at the bottom of Fagaras Mountains, on Arges river valley. It grew from an old settlement, traces from the Iron Age and later from the Dacian times being found in its area. Destroyed during the 1241 Mongol attack, it was rebuilt and later mentioned in a 1330 document. In 1369 it became the capital of Walachia, after Câmpulung. In 15th century the capital is moved again, to Targoviste, the importance of the town decreasing. The building of Arges Monastery, in 16th century, was important only from religious point of view, the place remaining a small and quiet place.

Sites:

  • the Arges Court ruins can be seen in the center of the town, near the oldest church in Wallachia, the Princely Court Church. The church was built in 14th century, in stone and brick, in the shape of a Greek cross and painted inside, the original frescoes being covered by others, in 18th and 19th century. The early 20th century restoration work revealed some of the 14th century frescoes, consider to be of an immense value. 19 graves were found inside, only one being intact.
  • the Episcopal Church, or the Monastery of Curtea de Arges, was built by Prince Neagoe Basarab between 1514 and 1517, to replace the ruined metropolitan church which had been raised in the 14th century and acknowledged by the Archbishopric of Constantinople in 1359. The 16th century church was built by 10 masons, led by Monole, who created a unique monument of religious architecture, with decorations different from any other Romanian church, some of the materials being brought from Constantinople. It suffered from attacks, fires and time, being repaired for many times. Some people consider that the church we can see today is not Manole’s original creation of 1517, but the creation of the French architect, Lecomte de Nouy, from 1875. He was asked to restore the almost ruined monument, the result, according to the original or not, still being astonishing.