Monday 27th October Curtea De Arges

Curtea Travel Blog

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Monday 27th October 2008
Terrific Breakfast I paid 68Ron for the sandwiches and Baileys we had for lunch the day before. (Ouch)
Driving in Romania is insane. It doesn't improve in the country either. People here are seriuously suicidal when they get behind the wheel.
At Siestru, we got two little row boats out to the island that has the Snagov Monestry which is where the body (But not the head) of Vlad Tepe? is buried. When we arrived we had only a few seconds of photography before a priest decended upon us and demanded RON15 each to go inside and in addition, €20 per group to take photos inside. We tried to negotiate €5 for one person and the others share the photos but to no avail. So we as a group chose to take no photos. Why they wanted Euros specifically, I have no idea. We felt it was just greed. Only three of us had cameras so why should some pay for others to photograph. SO few places take Euros here in Romania so why carry them.

The inside of the church, whilst lovely, was under renovation and so scafolding was everywhere. But there, in all the chaos, was the tomb of Vlad Tepes.
Back across the lake to the car and then a Harrowing/hair raising drive to Curtea de Arges. 4-5 Hours. Our first stop in this town was the Princely Church and the ruins of the Princely Court. Built in the 14th Century by Basarab 1 (On top of a 13th century church), it is the oldest church in Transylvania (Romania?). The lady who is the caretaker, has dedicated her life to this church and spoke fluent french so I could talk to her about her building. She allowed us behind the iconostasis which is a rare treat Esp for women. The modern grafitti was sad :( A staue of Basarab 1 was outside in the street in front of the church.
From here, it was a short drive up the road to the Curtea De Arges Monestry. Built form 1514 to 1526, the master stone mason's wife was entombed in a front wall of the church as a sacrifice to art. Por woman was tricked into allowing it to happen. As legend has it, the stone mason himself was killed when he was ordered to be killed (to ensure no other church will be built) but jumped from the top spire of his creation, trying to fly away only to fall to his death a few meters away.
The tombstone of King Carol 1 and his wife Elizabeth are here along with Kind Ferdinand 1 and Queen Marie. The building is lovely and the curator allowed us behind the ropes to get the perfect photograph.

We stopped for the night at the Montana. The place had a great bathroom, and internet but the twin beds were annoying.
I tossed all night.
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