The Neamt Fortress (Cetatea Neamt)
Among the most representative historical monuments from Romania we find the fortress of Neamtz, an objective situated in the city of Tirgu Neamt in the subcarpathian zone of Moldavia.
The fortress was built during Petru I Musat ruling (1375-1391), in the period of the consolidation of the Moldavian feudal state. First document about the fortress is from 1395, the year in which the King of Hungary, Sigismund de Luxemburg, before was defeated by the army of Petru I Musat at Hindau (today Ghiodaoani, Neamt county), emits an office act “ante castrum Nempch”. In its initial form, composed only by the central fort which closed a precinct bordered by 4 towers at the corners, the fortress fulfilled well its duties until the middle of the 14th century, when the fire arms were more used.
The fortress from the Plesului Hill had its years of glory during the ruling of Stefan cel Mare (1457-1504), the military organizer and leader of exception, understanding well the role of the fortifications in the growth of the defense capacity of the country, fortifying all the fortresses and building new ones, whole Moldavia being bordered by a strong defensive system (Suceava, Hotin, Soroca, Orhei, Tighina, Alba, Chilia fortresses).
The works made during Stefan cel Mare, here at Neamt fortress, were overraising the old walls, building the 4 bastions of the exterior yard and making the bridge in the form of an arch, sustained on 14 stone pillars. Fortified so, in 1476, the fortress stands up against the siege of Mohamed IInd, after the battle from Valea Alba-Razboieni. About this siege, Angiolello, the sultan secretary, writes “those from the fortress did not want to speak with us all were defending them with the artillery and did not care about us”.
As the Turkish occupation hardened and the progress made by the fight technique, the role of the Moldavian fortresses is diminishing starting with the second half of the 14th century. After the partial destroying of the interior building during Alexandru Lapusneanu (1564) and the restorations ordered by Ieremia Movila, in 1600 the fortress opens its gates for Mihai Viteazul, who is the first who makes the political union of all the Romanians. Transformed in monastery by Vasile Lupu and next partialy destroyed by Dumitrascu Cantacuzino in 1675, another page of heroism is “written” in 1691, when, defended by a hand of men, have resisted to the siege of the Polish army leaded by Ioan Sobietski. After its destroying by Mihai Racovita in 1717, Neamt fortress looses its political and military importance forever.
In the two following centuries the fortress of Neamtz knew a continue degradation due to the people and to the weather, which made the fortress at the middle of the XIXth century look pale, contrasting with the impressive image of the citadel it was once.
Consolidated and restored partially, nowadays, the fortress represents one of the most visited objectives of the region.
The location of the fortress:
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