Suceava Fortress

SUCEAVA FORTRESS

Suceava  Fortress highlights the importance of the Moldavian city, which has existed since the most remoted times. Located in the outskirts, 70 meters above the Suceava Valley, the fortress was built by Peter I Musat, in the 14thcentury and afterwards fortified by Alexander the Great and Stephen the Great, but, in spite of that, was destroyed in 1675 by Dumitrascu Cantacuzino.

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Suceava  Fortress, part of the Moldavia’s fortifications, was built to resist the Turkish attacks. The ruler Petru I Musat raised the fortress as a princely residence. Bt the time he built the fortress, the opposite sides were equal, thus, two sides were 40 m long and another two, 36 m and the defensive towers had a square shape, with sides of 4 m.  As a princely residence, the fortress had room for the royal family, so there was a room for the lady, a room for the ruler, a prison, a royal bath, or a chapel  and inside there was a large patio. During Alexander the Great, the Citadel of Suceava was fortified in the southern part by a wall parallel with that of the city. Another improvement was covering the access roads to the city and the patio with pavement.

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Under the leadership of Stephen the Great, the city was fortified in two stages. In the first stage, the western and eastern sides of the city were surrounded by a wall 15 m high and thick and three square towers for a further consolidation (the Northern side hasn’t been fortified as it was at the edge of a hill). The second stage of the Suceava Chair fortress consolidation occurred in 1467, in the aftermath of the damages triggered by the Turkish arm attacks. The ruler annexed another wall to the first one, built by himself, two meters thick along with two semicircular towers.

Following further attacks, the citadel couldn’t be destroyed, showing an impressive resistance. Unfortunately, in the aftermath of the earthquake in 1648, its entire side was destroyed, and suffered great damages in 1673 when Dumitrascu Cantacuzino filled it with wood and set it on fire, under the Turkish orders. Since so much time had passed since the fortress destruction until its first restoration, these have contributed at the present stage of the present historical monument, allowing tourist visits.

In 1897, the Australian archeologist Karl A Romstofer was the first that consolidated the rotten parts of the fortress. Suceava  Fortress experienced a considerably more complex restoration and consolidation between 1961 and 1970. During that period, the chapel built by Stephen the Great  was fortified and the walls were raised with a few meters in order to set aside any risk of collapse. Those that are going to visit this fortress  can easily notice where the walls were built, by a white line trace, in the exterior walls, which sets the limits between the old and the new ones.

Suceava Fortress restoration continues in 2004 and its outlays were financed by the state. So, the access bridge to the fortress was built, the inner arcades were fortified and the basement was covered with concrete. There is also a memorial board on the wall near the entrance. The rooms where the watchmen lived can be seen from the access bridge, following an extremely spacious entrance to the courtyard, where the admirers will be delighted by the stones that make up the pavement. There can also be noticed the rooms of the chapel, the cellar, the steam bath and the prison.

The entrances can also be admired, rather the one that leads to the basement or to the Musantin Fort or those leading on certain sides of the city. Every attraction of the Suceava  Fortress is of special importance because it symbolizes the entire Moldavian heroism, that many wanted, unsuccessfully to destroy. Its walls stand as a proof of its rich history, that started since 1388 (the year of the first historic record of the fortress).  During time, it has been a Moldavian pride, as glorious as the ruler that profoundly changed its meaning, whom people bear in their souls. Certainly, a stroll through Suceava would be an unforgettable trip through the medieval Romanian times.

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