In Romanian mythology, Meșterul Manole (roughly: The master builder Manole) was the chief architect of the Curtea de Argeș Monastery in Wallachia.
Curtea de Arges Monastery is one of the most famous monasteries in Romania and a must-see attraction if you’re looking to discover centuries-old religious sites. It’s the monumental church and its unique architectural style that make this monastery one of the most representative in Romania, a country that has hundreds of religious monuments of venerable age.
Prince Negru Vodă (Radu Negru)([Radu the Black Prince ]) had the wish to build the most impresive monastery in the country, so he hired Master Manole, one of the best mason of those times. Because the walls of the monastery were continuously crumble, the Prince threatened to kill Manole and his workers.
Desperate about the way construction went, one night Manole had a dream in which he was told that, for the monastery to be built, he had to incorporate into its walls some person very loved by him or his masons. He told his masons about his dream, and they agreed that the first wife who would come there with lunch for her husband the following day should be the one to be built into the walls of the monastery so that their art would last.
The next day, Manole looked over the hills and sadly saw his wife, Ana (who was pregnant), coming from afar. He prayed to God to start rain and storm in order for her to stop her trip or go back home. As her love was stronger than the storm, she came to her husband.
Manole had to keep his promise and started building walls around her body. And that was how the beautiful monastery was built.
When the monastery was completed, the Prince asked the builders if they could ever make a similarly splendid building. Manole and his masons told the Prince that they surely could always build an even greater building. Hearing that and fearing they'll build a bigger and more beautiful building for someone else, the Prince had them all stranded on the roof so that they would perish and never build something to match it. They fashioned wooden wings and tried to fly off the roof. But, one by one, they all fell to the ground. A well of clear water, named after Manole, is believed to mark the spot where Manole himself fell.