If you got to the " Country of beech forests " - Bucovina, it is worth to visit it's largest city Suceava. You can get a real history lesson if you go to the Citadel of Suceava.
Being situated on a hill the Citadel offers a beautifull view of the Suceava Valey.
Fortress has just undergone an extensive restoration process endeavoring to restore the greatness of the it's past.
To get inside you have to cross a wooden bridge which once consisted of two parts, one fixed and one mobile that rises in case of danger. To ensure the safety of those inside uninvited visitors had a trap waiting for theme immediately after crossing the bridge.
Once past the gate we can admire the guard rooms, prison cellar, chapel, steam bath. We can walk freely on the walls of the Citadel or we can rest in the shade of the old oak tree in the yard. In the center there is a beautiful inner courtyard paved with stones.
HISTORY OF SUCEAVA CITATDEL
The forteress was built during the reign of Peter I (1375-1391). Originally a clay fortress was built in the west part of the city, which was then abandoned to lift a stone one on the east side of the city.
The construction is a rectangular one, there were seven towers reinforced by buttresses. During Stephen the Great changes both in the surface and the defense system of the city were made in order to shelter the modern fighting technique. When the works were completed the moment was marked by bringing a coat of arms with the inscription, dated September 8, 1477.
In 1538 the citadel gets in the hands of Sultun Suleiman the Magnificent, due to the surrender of the soldiers that were suppose to defend de forteress. The riches found here have surprised even the chroniclers from the Turkish sultan suite.
The fortress was destroyed in 1675 by order of the Turks, then it was turned by the townspeople into stone quarry the walls being covered over the years with rubble and earth.
In 1895 it begins a ten years work of releasing the ruins from everything they were coverd with. The campaign from 1953 reveals the most important discoveries made in Suceava: two treasures found in one of the holes that were part of the defenses sistem. The pray that was hidden had : fragments of gold ornaments and beads, foil and gold rings.
It says that there is a tunnel that comes out somewhere near the Church of St. Dumitru in Suceava. This tunnel would have been used to get rid of enemies who attacked the city. Stefan ran through the tunnel followed by the enemy. When he came out of the tunnel, he left a curse that no one would ever let the tunel out alive. From then until today nobody has had the courage to enter the tunnel. They say that they sent once some cats but they have never returned.
Medieval Art Festival in Suceava
Every year, usually in August, in the Fortress takes place the "Stefan cel Mare" Medieval Art Festival. Various exhibitions, performances and demonstrations of fighting are held, all aimeing to remember the long forgotten times.
Participants are staying several days in the city offering its visitors weaponskills lessons and tools that people in the past had used to make their equipment.
April to October / Monday - Sunday / 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
October to April / Monday - Sunday / 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Adults - 4 lei