Neamt Fortress: Medieval Wars and Legendary Princes

If you’d like to discover Neamt fortress and other attractions from the region, contact us via www.uncover-romania-tours.com

Neamt Fortress is one of the most important medieval monuments in Romania and the symbol of the most glorious period of its eastern part, Moldavia, under the rule of Stephen the Great (1457-1504).

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Tumultuous history

The history of the fortress is closely related to the development of the Moldavian state in medieval times when enemy attacks were a constant threat. The fortress of Neamt witnessed some crucial fights and survived harsh sieges like the Ottoman attack from 1476 and the Polish attack from 1691.

Built in the 14th century, the fortress was first mentioned in 1395, in a document issued by the Hungarian King Sigismund of Luxemburg. Located at 480 meters altitude and named after the nearby river Neamt, the fortress had a strategic position for defending the territory of Moldavia. It was substantially reinforced during the rule of Prince Stephen the Great, highly praised for his heroic victories against the Turks and the many churches and monasteries he founded, including today’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites from Bucovina.

Neamt fortress

The legacy of a great prince

A brilliant military strategist, Stephen the Great strengthened Neamt Fortress in a short interval of time, between two of his most important anti-Ottoman battles – Vaslui in 1475 and Valea Alba in 1476. The walls were raised with 6-7 meters,  four bastions were built as well as the arch-shaped bridge supported by 11 tall rock pillars. The 80 meters long bridge was provided with traps and a drawbridge that was elevated through a pulley system, making the attackers more exposed in front of the fortress’ defendants.

Neamt fortress

The final days

In the next centuries, the fortress of Neamt, like all the other fortresses of Moldavia, lost its strategic importance as the Ottoman domination grew stronger. Several local princes, faithful to the Ottoman Empire, tried to destroy it, while others attempted to save it. After 1717, the fortress had no military importance anymore, and more than one century later it was declared a historical monument.

The fortress was included in an ample process of restoration and is today one of the most important tourist attractions of Neamt County, a beautiful mountainous county from the Eastern Carpathians. A trip here is a great starting point to discover the entire region of Neamt and Moldavia, less visited, but surprisingly rich in historical and natural attractions.

Travel tips

You can check here the visiting hours.

Combine the fortress visit with a walk in Vanatori-Neamt Nature Park.

For a more cultural touch, visit the centuries-old monasteries of Neamt, Agapia and Varatec.

If you’d like to discover Neamt Fortress and other attractions from the region, contact us via www.uncover-romania-tours.com

About the author

Diana is a tourism consultant, tour guide, travel writer and amateur photographer, focusing on sustainable tourism practices and destinations. You can find Diana Condrea on Twitter and Google+

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