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Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Romania - Neamț County: Cetatea Neamt

My dear friends,

Did you know that Romania and Poland shared borders? We had an international border that spread for 349 kilometers. It was established in 1919 and existed until September 1939, when Poland was taken over by Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. But those are not the only connections between Poland and Romania. Throughout history there are many links that can be found, if one chooses to search for them :)
When we went this year for 2 weeks back home, for the Big Fat Romanian - Polish Wedding Party, we had a day off at the mountains. With great assistance from our friend Alexandru - we bow to your help one more time - Marek got to see a bit more of my homeland. We managed to get to Cetatea Neamt - Neamt Citadel - and see what the Polish King Jan Sobieski did not manage to conquer :)
 Cetatea Neamt is a medieval citadel from Moldavia - Romanian Moldavia, not the country Moldavia. The building is situated at the North - West border or the city Târgu Neamț and has an altitude of 480 meters and the height of 80 meters from the level of the water that flows through the city. The Neamt Citadel is part of the chain of fortifications build in Moldavia at the end of the 14th century, when the attacks from the turks started to appear. The cities/citadels build at that time had very high walls and large ditches surrounding the walls.
2 proud boys :)
The citadel was built at the end of the 14th century by Peter the first, was fortified in the 15th century by Stefan cel Mare, and destroyed in the 18th century (1718) by the order of the ruler Mihai Racovita. The Neamt Citadel was included on the list of historical monuments from the Neamt County in 2004.
Inside view
The Polish Lad Inside The Romanian Citadel
On Top Of The World...
Between the years 1684-1694 there were six Polish military campaigns in Moldova; the city at the foot of the city was set on fire several times. In 1686 Polish army led by the King Jan Sobieski the 3rd invaded Moldova, destroying and looting their way through the country. In their return to their homeland, a group of Polish and Cossack turned to Neamt Fortress, managing to get there by deceit. As several sources attest Cossacks brought here the lady Ruxandra, daughter of Vasile Lupu and the widow of Timuş Hmelniţchi, who was at her estate in Preutesti. The thieves wanted the princess to show them where his father had hidden wealth. Poles they cut off her head with an ax, and layed their hands on 19,000 coins.
Inside The Citadel -Upper Part
In 1691, during the reign of Constantin Cantemir (1685-1693), the Polish army led by King Jan Sobieski the 3rd made a foray into the Principality of Moldavia, besieging on this occasion the Neamt Fortress. The siege of the city is presented by Cazimir Sarnecki in the Journal of the Polish campaign in 1691 in Moldova. According to him, on October 14, 1691 Sobieski's army arrived outside the city walls. Because of the city garrison refused to surrender, the Poles began "to attack it with mortars and small cannon, for they could bring so quickly other tools so high in the mountains." The guards were defending valiantly and "killed some of our men with the hooked arquebuses and with their hand rifles".
Happy Tree Friends & The View
The Moldovan Garrison had six captains in his forehead; in addition watchmen, and residents sought refuge here from Cotnari, Roman and Targu Neamt. As weapons the watchmen had 12 harquebuses rifles and 90 hand guns - ienicereşti. The second day, after greeting the Polish king, they were let free to go as they wish, due to the way they fought and defended their land. Jan Sobieski found that this was a Christian citadel and took no claim, though for a long while a garrison was staged inside the citadel walls.
The Citadel Neamt can be visited by car but you need to leave it at the end of the mountain and walk about one kilometer through the forest - don't worry, the road is paved and the view is just lovely. The Citadel is a sight for sore eyes, if it is your first time seeing it live. I know Marek was very impressed, as in Poland you cannot find such type of citadels/fortresses. As Romanian people, we were very inventive and we used the land around us to defend ourselves - we would build fortresses on mountains, on some peak, and made sure that they could not get to us from either side. We would have high bridges that we could destroy in an instant - in case we would be attacked. Our monasteries had high walls and could sustain themselves internally in case of long sieges. The Citadel Neamt is a good example in this case :)
The view in Spring, with trees is bloom... Magical!
Citadel Neamt welcomes you from above and you immediately have a feeling that this place is larger than life. It feels rather intimidating and as you walk towards the bridge you start imagining the princesses strolling about the place and viewing the world and feeling on top of it :) We spent about one hour and a half around the place and the pay - ticket - per person was only 5 RON (almost 5 zloty) and totally worth it! Take your time and visit every chamber and see every picture. We were there in April so the tower was closed - it is open only during summertime - but everything else was open to see. Do go to the frontal side of the Citadel and enjoy the view from inside... you can see miles away and the mountains shaping out :) It is indeed a sight for sore eyes and all 3 musketeers - Marek, myself and Alex - loved it! We recommend it from the bottom of our hearts! :)

Visiting hours: Monday - Closed
10:00 - 18:00 from April to September & 9:00 - 17:00 from October to March

Prices (as of May 2015): 5 RON for adults and 3 for youngsters + 10 RON for picture taking/video

You can also have a wedding/baptism inside the Citadel ;)  and that would cost you only 500 RON and the people participating don't have to pay the entrance fee.

** This post was made out of love for great medieval castles/citadels - made in Romania :) I was not repayed in any way and all the opinions are my very own, straight from the heart! ** 
 
DISCLAIMER - All pictures were taken with the camera from my Samsung Galaxy S4, no filter and no modification - Copyrights reserved :) For more citadel pictures, with better light, you can go on their Internet Page - unfortunately no English version, just Romanian, but check the Photo area for some air pictures as well ;)
 
Yours truly,
The LadyBug That Loves History & Medieval Castles/Citadels