Suceava is the capital city of the Suceava County, Bukovina, Northeastern Romania. It is situated on a commercial high-way that linked the Baltic with the Black Sea. The town of Suceava gained its importance from the presence of the main royal palace which Petru I Muşat (1375-1391) built here at the end of the 14th century. Close to the royal court and the citadel stood the Mirăuţi Church, the first Metropolitan Church of Moldavia, which once housed the relics of Saint John the New, one of Moldavia's patron saints.
Suceava fortress was built by Petru I Muşat who moved here his residence from Siret and it had a rectangular shape, with a 36-meter long southern side and 40-meter long eastern side and defensive square towers at each end and in the middle of each side as well. It was first mentioned in 1388, but it was later transformed into a residence castle by Alexander the Good (1400-1432) and Stephen the Great (1457-1504) when Suceava became the capital of Moldavia. At the initial walls (10 m high and 2 m width) there were added new ones and a deeper water ditch was dig to surround the castle. The inside rooms belonged to soldiers, the prince and his family; there was also a chapel and a warehouse for food and ammunition. After 1476 Stephen doubled the exterior walls by adding new layers which were fixed to the existing walls, so that they varied in thickness from 2m to 4m. The walls were also made circular so that they stood more chance of surviving bombardment. This is the explanation why Suceava fortress couldn't be conquered despite the fact it was under siege several times by Turks and Polish armies - in 1467, 1485, 1497 and 1509. Only treason was the key for making possible its occupation by enemies (September 18th, 1538).
Under Alexandru Lăpuşneanu's second reign (1564-1568), the Turks ordered the fortress to be set on fire and the royal residence was moved to Iaşi. The last flourishing period of the fortress took place during Vasile Lupu's reign (1634-1653); the prince restored a good deal of it. In 1657, the Turks ordered ruling prince Dumitraşcu Cantacuzino (1673-1674 and 1684-1685) to destroy it. Nowadays, this fortress is a part of Suceava city so one can reach it easily.
From the point of view of the economic life it is worth mentioning that for the first half of the 15th century, the archaeological excavations revealed at Suceava metal processing (iron and bronze, proven by the iron and bronze slag bits, as well as metal dies). They uncovered numerous craft tools, such as: hammers, anvils, tongs, chisels, household artifacts (knives, locks, keys, etc.) or arms and harness parts. At the same time, they found many agricultural tools, such as shares, plough iron parts, sickles, hacks, etc. Besides these crafts it is worth mentioning those for ceramics processing, especially the enameled one, as well as the ceramic plates and disks used for interior and exterior decoration, for secular and religious buildings. The first excavations were carried out by the end of the 20th century by C.A. Romstorfer.
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