The great Royal Church
PRINCELY COURT TÂRGOVIŞTE
An endowment of Petre Cercel (1583-1585), the great Royal Church was built in the year 1584, at the same time with the Royal Court and next to it. The halidom bears the titular saint "The Virgin Mary's sleep" and was carried out after the model of the inscribed greek cross type churches. The monument stands out of the halidoms built at the end of the 16th century by its until then unencountered proportions, as the rectangle in which is inscribed the external cone measuring 14 x 30 m.
Petru Cercel added a balcony above the nave entrance for the royal family, with direct access from the palace through a passage which joined the two constructions.
The first painting from the end of the 16th century or beginning of the 17th, partially preserved on the of the deacon's wall above the altar and on the southern wall of the pronaos was superposed on a second layer of painting made between 1696-1698 on Constantin Brancoveanu's iniative.
The diversity of the iconographical themes; the colour harmonization sense as well as the expression of the faces make of this church's painting one of the great achievements of the age. The detail abundance, the great number of low proportions scenes, bound together by colouring and scale, creates a strong expression of unity which also detaches itself from almost all the painting ensembles of the Brancoveanu age.
We can find in the great Royal Church the largest gallery of Muntenia rulers' faces, preserved and represented by the votive paintings of the church's pronaos, paintings of a great artistic and documentary interest. Thus the western wall of the pronaos is decorated with the portaits of the waivodes Matei Basarab, Neagoe Basarab, then Constantin Brancoveanu and Petru Cercel (in their places as founders, holding the copy of the church), followed by Mihai Viteazu (it's his first presentation with the crown on his head), Radu Serban, Constantin Carnul, Serban Cantacuzino and Radu Mihnea.