Amazing Moldavia

Wandering in the Neamț County

The road to the Fortress of Neamț  ascends steeply, with its beautiful serpentine shape, carrying you to the foot of the rocks where you can find a great citadel  builded by Peter I at the end of the 14th century and later fortified by Stephen the Great.

The Fortress of Neamț, situated on Plăieșu’s Hill from Târgu Neamţ is perhaps one of the most beautiful and imposing medieval fortifications in Romania, preserved quite well over time and beautifully restored in 2007.

A place you need to hike before you die , regardless of the season . The forest surrounding the city and the landscapes seen from  the bastions invites you to the medieval reveries, while  the charming panorama over Ozana waters will long be imprinted on your retina.

Centuries ago, the hordes of foreign invaders have faced the earnest and fearless spirit of Moldavians. The walls of the fortress resisted implacably the sieges, the fires, and the passage of  time that slowly blackened their stones. Historians, writers and poets sang the beauty of the place in their writings: Coşbuc, Negruzzi, Bolintineanu, Creangă, Vlahuţă, Sadoveanu, Hogaş, Cantemir, Neculce, Iorga and others left a mark in memory of Moldavian fortress, which is silently guarding the small burg , unshaken and dignified in all its austere splendor.

And if you are feeling tired after the climbing Plăieșu Hill,  you will want to go somewhere to rest and to quench your thirst/hunger; you can stop at the pubs at the foot of the Citadel – here you will find  some pleasant terraces with good food and good prices:  „Casa Arcaşului” Motel and  ” La Cetate ” guesthouse.

From the Fortress of Neamț, the road to the city passes by the house of Veronica Micle – a romanian woman poet and Mihai Eminescu’s lover.  Spend some time here, you traveler. The great love of our national poet Eminescu lived in this whitewashed little house, with shingle roof and a rustic wooden verandah. The tiny matchbox house still preserves in its rooms the charming scent  of old times, with its old furniture of massive wood eaten by carpenter ants and the dress of Veronica hanging on a hanger,  with delicate fabrics and laces still preserving the discrete charm of the woman that once was Eminescu’s muse.

The two portraits of the lovers – Eminescu and Veronica, were drawn in pencil by the talented artist Damian Popa and can be admired in one of the rooms of the house, most likely the room where Veronica wrote her lyrics and letters.

A place to visit at least once in a lifetime, a romantic place full of stories, a timeless poetry  with a nostalgic fragrance of dry flowers and old wood.

Near Veronica Micle’s House  you can find the History and Ethnography Museum, which is  a chic and clean museum, with beautifully organized  rooms on different themes – history, archaeology, ethnography. In summer, resting under the shade of the trees, you can find the nice lady who is in charge of the building. Hang on for a while with this woman  who has aged gracefully along with the museum itself. She has a bag full of interesting stories – for over 40 years she has been a guide, a museographer and a great friend of the all roses from the yard of the museum.

And if I have not yet convinced you to visit this small town in the Neamț County  with its history and awesome surroundings (in spite of the dusty, poor and communist air of buildings and streets) I invite you to see another place,  not far from the city, where you can find the house  of the great moldavian writer Ion Creanga, an ethnographic museum situated in Humulești village, not so far from the charming river Ozana and its smooth-flowing waters.

Photos here

© Ionela Chiru

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