Meșterul Manole (roughly: The master builder Manole)

Original version
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. The Legend: 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.
Main characters
Master, Prince, Mason, Ana-the beloved wife
Connected artistic / architectonic / historical heritage
Location: Curtea de Argeș, Argeș County, Romania Geographic coordinates 45°9′25″N 24°40′31″E Historical heritage: The monastery at Curtea de Arges, founded by Neagoe Basarab, non-princely ruler, voivode church, monarchy necropolis Romanian, episcopal and episcopal Cathedral, today archbishopric, from Arges, is an old, established voivodal establishment in 1515, carried in 1517, painted in 1526 and restored in 19th century. The united country's first modern king, Carol I of Romania renovated the Curtea de Argeș Monastery and designated it as a royal necropolis in 1886. Curtea de Argeș became the burial place for the Royal House of Romania (a branch of the Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen dynasty), including Carol I, Ferdinand I and Queen Marie, and Michael I and Queen Anne. King Carol I also built a railway linking Curtea de Argeș to Bucharest; the city's railway station dates from this period and stands out as one of the distinctive architectural masterpieces of the city. Architectural heritage: Curtea de Argeș Monastery is a remarkable architectural achievement, reuniting elements related to Christian culture, Byzantine fast, but also elements of Western architecture, or elements Islamic. Complexity is an element that gives it value in while her venerability complements her arsenal of qualities defining. Artistic heritage: The monastery of Arges and the legend of Manole Master, so united in the same destiny that we could not talk about one without remembering the other, are always open doors to the essence of Romanian spirituality. Otherwise, the legend remains beautiful, and the wonderful Monastery of Arges, perhaps the most brilliant religious building on the Romanian soil.
Local traditions or historical connections
Local traditions: The legend of the Manole Master (in a more precise formulation, the legendary ballad "Arges Monastery"), a masterpiece of the Romanian folk culture, remains irrevocably linked to the beautiful Curtea de Arges Monastery, founded by the 16th century Neagoe Basarab. Over time, the legend has become one of our fundamental myths, the myth of the sacrifice for creation, whose message is that nothing can resist time unless it "enlivens" through a sacrifice. It has gone beyond the borders of the country and brings strangers from all over the world, eager to see the famous wall where the craftsman's wife was forever caught. The Legend of Master Manole is based on the belief that nothing durable and unique can be built without the creator's self-sacrifice. The Legend of Master Manole is also related to the custom of burial of a man's life at the foundation of a building as being a pre-Christian ritual encountered in the history and mythology of many peoples, especially in the Balkan area. A newer version is the burial at the home of a photo representing a person. Regardless of the method, the goal is the same - protecting the construction of the house from obstacles and misfortunes. Historical connection: The united country's first modern king, Carol I of Romania renovated the Curtea de Argeș Monastery and designated it as a royal necropolis in 1886. Curtea de Argeș became the burial place for the Royal House of Romania (a branch of the Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen dynasty), including Carol I, Ferdinand I and Queen Marie, and Michael I and Queen Anne. King Carol I also built a railway linking Curtea de Argeș to Bucharest; the city's railway station dates from this period and stands out as one of the distinctive architectural masterpieces of the city.
Didactical Relevance
Curtea de Arges Monastery is an interesting edifice in Romania whose beauty is surpassed only by the legends told from generation to generation about its construction and the human sacrifices made in the name of eternity. Activities you can enjoy: - visiting the Monastery - compare different monastery structures - “build” a monastery - trying your hand at traditional crafts - How can you,as a student , contribute to preserving the history and the legends? Literature: The master builder Manole Author: unknown; ballad was collected by Vasile Alecsandri. Literary species: ballad Ballad type: popular Literary genre: The epic genre Characters: Master Manole, Negru-Voda, the nine masonry, Ana Main theme: The theme of this ballad is that of self-sacrifice. This is one of the oldest myths of humanity and has been systematically approached in many literary works.
Didactical Activity
Brainstorming: What do you think about Master Manole decision? It was a fair decision? How would you have done if you were in his place? Essay on The meaning of the title: The title of the ballad bears the name of the protagonist ("Manole"), as well as that of his occupation ("The Master"). It becomes obvious that the ballad focuses on the drama of the creative artist, who ennobles his creation through self-sacrifice and all that is most valuable to him. Thus, the teluric elements are eliminated and the divinity intervention is established in the establishment of the superior condition of the artistic creation. Debate: Half of the students will be on the side of Mester Manole and the other party against his decision. Each team must support their case with arguments. Win the team that manages to attract as many team members as possible to their team, making them change their opinions through the arguments they offer. Another ending: Students are asked to give another ending to the story. Another perspective: Students are asked to tell the story from the Manole`s point of view. Crafts: create a monastery using matches or matches boxes or staw for juice Paint a monastery, mixing the colors and find a new one, the better. Reading: The students will read another legends and then compare them. Must find similarities and differences between different legends. Maths: Approximate how many bricks Master Manole used to build the Monastery Game: In Master Manole`s game you have to save Ana, the wife of Mester Manole. The game is won by the player who will first save Ana without tearing the wall. The game contains: A wooden stand consisting of two side pillars, 34 whole wood bricks, 14 wooden brick halves, 4 wooden hammers.

Video

Manole the Mason Rock Opera by Josef Kappl
World premiere! The "Mesterul Manole" (Manole the Mason) Rock Opera by Josef Kappl in Timisoara, the "Banatul" philharmonia. Whith Josef Kappl, Mircea Baniciu, Ovidiu Lipan Tandarica, Radu Popa.
Vasile Alecsandri - Meșterul Manole
Mesterul Manole full movie (1995)
movie available in Romanian

Images

The Legend Of Master Manole illustration
Mesterul Manole well (fountain)
In the vicinity of the Curtea De Arges Monastery is the well of the legendary Mesterul Manole
Curtea De Arges Monastery

External Sources

Romanian Cultural Institute
Comments On The Legend Of Master Manole
Curtea de Arges Monastery is the place where “The legend of master Manole” was born
Details on the Legend of Arges Monastery and the legend of master Manole

PDF version of the legend in national language

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