Nicolae Iorga (January 17, 1871 – November 27, 1940) was a Romanian historian, politician, literary critic, memoirist, poet and playwright. Co-founder (in 1910) of the Democratic Nationalist Party (PND), he served as a member of Parliament, President of the Deputies' Assembly and Senate, cabinet minister and briefly (1931–32) as Prime Minister. A child prodigy, polymath and polyglot, Iorga produced an unusually large body of scholarly works, consecrating his international reputation as a medievalist, Byzantinist, Latinist, Slavist, art historian and philosopher of history. Holding teaching positions at the University of Bucharest, the University of Paris and several other academic institutions, Iorga was founder of the International Congress of Byzantine Studies and the Institute of South-East European Studies (ISSEE).
His activity also included the transformation of Vălenii de Munte town into a cultural and academic center. In parallel with his scientific contributions, Nicolae Iorga was a prominent right-of-center activist, whose political theory bridged conservatism, nationalism and agrarianism. From Marxist beginnings, he switched sides and became a maverick disciple of the Junimea movement. Iorga later became a leadership figure at Sămănătorul, the influential literary magazine with populist leanings, and militated within the Cultural League for the Unity of All Romanians, founding vocally conservative publications such as Neamul Românesc, Drum Drept, Cuget Clar and Floarea Darurilor. His support for the cause of ethnic Romanians in Austria-Hungary made him a prominent figure in the pro-Entente camp by the time of World War I, and ensured him a special political role during the interwar existence of Greater Romania. Initiator of large-scale campaigns to defend Romanian culture in front of perceived threats, Iorga sparked most controversy with his antisemitic rhetoric, and was for long an associate of the far right ideologue A. C. Cuza.
He was an adversary of the dominant National Liberals, later involved with the opposition Romanian National Party. Late in his life, Iorga opposed the radically fascist Iron Guard, and, after much oscillation, came to endorse its rival King Carol II. Involved in a personal dispute with the Guard's leader Corneliu Zelea Codreanu, and indirectly contributing to his killing, Iorga was also a prominent figure in Carol's corporatist and authoritarian party, the National Renaissance Front. He remained an independent voice of opposition after the Guard inaugurated its own National Legionary dictatorship, but was ultimately assassinated by a Guardist commando.
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The Cathedral of Curtea de Argeș (early 16th century) is a church in Curtea de Argeș, 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 Șerban 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.