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Neamt Fortress, the 620-year-old citadel

Neamt Fortress is a Moldavian medieval fortress, located in the northwestern part of Targu Neamt, 46 kilometers from it, on Plesului Hill, 480 meters altitude.The citadel is one of the most important medieval monuments in Romania and the symbol of the most glorious period of Moldavia under the rule of Stephan the Great (Stefan cel Mare). The construction was part of a high fortification system, in the late fourteenth century, to face the Ottoman attacks and is acknowledged as an important historical monument. Even Mohamed the Second, who conquered Constantinople, failed to pass the walls of Neamt Fortress, as its walls were built with great skill, almost vertical.

The fortress was built at the end of 14th century, under the rule of Peter the First (Petru I). It was first mentioned in 1395, in a document issued by the Hungarian King Sigismund of Luxembourg, when the fortress successfully resisted the Hungarian army siege. It was fortified in the 15th century by Stefan cel Mare and destroyed in the 18thcentury by the order of Mihai Racovita.

A brilliant military strategist, Stefan cel Mare, reinforced the fortress in a short interval, between two of its most important anti-Ottoman battles (Vaslui, 1475 and Valea Alba in 1476) by raising its walls with 6 to 7 meters, building the four bastions of the outer court and the arc-shaped bridge supported by 11 tall rock pillars, provided with traps and a mobile part. Around the fortress a much wider and deeper retrenchment was built, and the only access inside was possible through a special bridge, consisting of a mobile part which could be lifted in case of danger.

The construction was equipped with guns for defense, placed in the frame’s walls. In the middle there was a courtyard surrounded by several rooms for different purposes. On the eastern side there were the prison, storage room, kitchen and living room. On the western side was the armory, the council and judgment hall, a hall and a bedroom, on the southern side there was a room with a collection of large carved or engraved stones (lapidarium) and a terrace upstairs.

Located in a mountainous area with beautiful landscapes, Neamt Fortress that witnessed centuries of tumultuous history rises as one of the most important tourist attractions in Neamt County.

Visiting hours: 10:00-18:00 from April until September; 09:00-17:00 from October until March, closed on Monday.

Entrance fee : adults –RON5; children – RON3.

About Ramona Ciortescu