Suceava Fortress

Suceava is the capital city of Suceava County, Moldavia region, being situated in north-eastern part of Romania. The city was the capital of Moldavian Principality from 1388 to 1565.

There were two fortresses, Scheia, built in the north-western side of the town, for defensive reasons and the Moldavian Principality Seat Fortress, the main residence of the Moldavian rulers, built on a hill overlooking the south-eastern part of the town. They were both built by Petru Musat, at the end of 14th century, being part of the Moldavian fortification system, including Neamt Fortress and others ones, guarding the Black Sea coast. They were meant to defeat Moldavia from the Turkish army, the main threat, but also from the Mongols, Hungarians and Polish armies.

During Stefan cel Mare rule, in the second part of 15th century, Suceava Fortress was enlarged; stronger and higher walls, half-circular towers and a moat were added, to resist the attacks with newer and more powerful weapons. The fortress resisted a Turkish siege in 1476, the walls and towers being repaired and reinforced afterwards. It survived two more sieges, a Turkish and a Polish one, in the years that followed. Stefan died in Suceava in 1504 and was buried at Putna Monastery.

His follower rulers maintained and repaired the fortress until 1538, when a huge Turkish army entered the fortress without a fight, due to the noblemen’s betrayed. It was the end of the independency for the Moldavian state and the beginning of a long Turkish rule and suzerainty.

In 1565, during A. Lapusneanu rule, the Moldavian capital was moved to Iasi and the fortresses were burned following the Turkish order.

In 1675 Suceava Fortress was entirely destroyed, never to be rebuilt.

Nowadays its ruins stand on top of the hill, for the next generations to remember a great period of time of the Moldavian history.