The 14th century Princely Citadel is Suceava’s most impressive monument and one of the most important medieval citadels in the country. In the 14th century, Suceava became capital of Moldavia and, during the reigns of Stephen the Great, Petru Rareș or Vasile Lupu, it faced a period of military glory. The Princely Citadel was built on a hill overlooking the city by Petru I Mușat in 1374. It was designed to serve as a princely residence, but it also had a defensive purpose. Throughout the years, it proved successful against attacks of the Turks, Polish, Tartars and Hungarians.
The initial fort was rectangular in shape and presented defence towers, a 2m thick stone wall and a 10m deep moat. At the beginning of the 15th century, in order to protect the citadel by the enemies’ attacks, Alexandru cel Bun developed its defence system. He built an outer wall parallel with the existing one and paved the access ways. Stephen the Great further endowed the citadel with a moat, thick outer walls and bastions at the corners. Due to the improving brought by Mușat’s descendants, especially Alexandru cel Bun and Stephen the Great, the citadel resisted the attacks of the artillery of Mohammed II, conqueror of Constantinople. Between 1476 and 1509, the fortress resisted to five sieges, but it was conquered in 1538, when the boyars of Petru Rareș betrayed their ruler. They had made a pact with the Turkish army, led by Suleiman the Magnificent himself.
Much of the citadel was destroyed in the 17th century, by Dumitrașcu Cantacuzino, at the Turks’ orders. Nowadays we can still admire the Mușatin Fort (dating from the 14th century), the outdoor enclosure, the exterior walls, the defence ditches (dating from the 15th century) and an archaeological site. Starting with 2005, the citadel hosts temporary art exhibitions.
How to get there:
By car: From Iași, follow DN28/E583 road to Târgu Frumos. Take DN28A to Pașcani and then DJ208A to Suceava. Before entering Suceava, turn right on Parcului St and left on Citadel Alley. Approximate travel time is 2h 12’.
By train: From Iași, there are seven trains per day to Suceava. The first one leaves at 5:00 and the last one at 19:00. Approximate travel time is 2h (InterRegio trains) or 3h (Regio trains).
By bus: There are regular bus and maxi-taxi rides between Iași and Suceava. The first one leaves at 6:00 and the last one at 19:00. Approximate travel time is 2h 45’.
April – October: 8:00 – 20:00
October – April: 9:00 – 17:00
Adults: 5 lei
Groups of children: 1.5 lei
Cetatea de Scaun a Sucevei
Tel. +40 230 216 439
Tel. +40 230 213 775
Fax. +40 230 522 979