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Neamț Fortress, 628 years since the first documentary attestation

10 February 2023 No Comment

Standing as a testimony of the turbulent history of the Moldavian state in Middle Ages, Neamț Fortress was first documented in 1395.

Built during the reign of Petru Musat (1374-1391), when a central fort was erected, on which massive walls were raised with defensive cannons at the corners  the fortress reached its full glory during the reign of Stephen the Great (1457-1504), due to numerous works of extension and consolidation. In the second stage of extending the building, the outer courtyard was arranged, more walls and some bastions, a defense trench with an arched bridge were also set up. Moreover, the premises were arranged with living rooms, a storehouse and other thematically arranged spaces so that, nowadays, visitors can visit all the 21 exhibition rooms of the medieval fortresses, all of which recreate the image of glorious, old times past.

The imposing fortress resisted many sieges of many enemies. Important pages of heroism were written here, among which two sieges stand out in both history and literature pages. Remarkable was the resistance of the fortress in the face of conquest attempts, when the furious Ottoman troops of the fearsome Mehmed the Conqueror fought to besiege it in the 15th century, without success, and also  the glorious episode written in their own blood by frontier guards facing the Polish army led by Jan Sobieski, in the 16th century. This last battle was described by C. Negruzzi in the short novel “Jan Sobieski and the Romanians”; by D. Cantemir in his prodigious work “Description Moldaviae”; by Dimitrie Bolintineanu in the poem “The Mother of Stephen the Great”; by Alexandru Vlăhuță in “Picturesque Romania”; by Ion Creangă in his beloved book “Memories from childhood” and last, but not least, by Calistrat Hogaș in “On mountain roads”.

All these stories still reverberate with life behind the stone walls, captivating the visitors.

The fortress is celebrated every year, between late June and early July, during the Medieval Festival ”Days of Neamţ Fortress”. The event proposes an extremely diverse program: from medieval music performances, combat demonstrations in clothing of the epoch and parades with princesses and knights, to folk art exhibitions, workshops of various crafts and wielding weapons, all of which recreate the atmosphere of times long gone, exerting a strong fascination to adults and children alike.

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