The Cathedral of Curtea de Argeş (early 16th century) is a church in Curtea de Argeş, Romania, located in the grounds of a monastery. It is dedicated to Saint Nicholas.
It resembles a very large and elaborate mausoleum, built in Byzantine style, with Moorish arabesques. In shape it is oblong, with a many-sided annex at the back. In the centre rises a dome, fronted by two smaller cupolas, while a secondary dome, broader and loftier than the central one, springs from the annex. Each summit is crowned by an inverted pear-shaped stone, bearing a triple cross, emblematic of the Trinity.
The windows are mere slits; those of the tambours (the cylinders on which the cupolas rest) are curved and slant at an angle of 70 degrees, as though the tambours were leaning to one side. Between the pediment and the cornice a thick corded moulding is carried round the main building. Above this comes a row of circular shields, adorned with intricate arabesques, while bands and wreaths of lilies are everywhere sculptured on the windows, balconies, tambours and cornices, adding lightness to the fabric. It is all raised on a platform 7 ft (2.1 m). high and encircled by a stone balustrade.
Facing the main entrance is a small open shrine, consisting of a cornice and dome upheld by four pillars. The cathedral is faced with pale grey limestone, easily chiselled but hardening on exposure. The interior is of brick, plastered and decorated with frescoes. Close by stands a large royal palace, Moorish in style. The archives of the cathedral were plundered by Hungarians and Turks, but several inscriptions, Greek, Slav and Roman, are left.
One tablet records that the founder was Prince Neagoe Basarab (1512-1521); another that Prince Ioan Radu completed the work in 1526; a third describes the repairs executed in 1681 by Prince Şerban Cantacuzino; a fourth, the restoration, in 1804, by Joseph, the first bishop. Between 1875 and 1885 the cathedral was reconstructed, and in 1886 it was reconsecrated.
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