About Piatra-Neamț

About Piatra-Neamț


"There are places and settlements that no longer need special recommendations. The mere pronunciation of their name reminds you of something familiar, something you have heard of on other occasions, recalling long past events, and the passing of time does nothing but to add to things an even stronger aura of interest. Such a settlement is Piatra-Neamț." the story of the writer Victor Nămolaru in the book "A small travel guide to Piatra-Neamț" published in 1969.

Scurt istoric

Benefiting from a special natural setting and smooth connections to all the cardinal points, today's territory of the Piatra-Neamț municipality has constituted a permanent bedstone for living. The oldest archaeological evidence comes from the settlement at Poiana Cireșului (the banks of the Doamna stream) and dates from the Upper Paleolithic, being characteristic to the Gravettian type culture.

Later, for over two millennia, the Neolithic population at the mountainfeet of Cozla and Pietricica will experience a fruitful evolution, expressed through a material culture that unfolds from the Precucuteni to the Cucuteni B phase. This is the era in which the settlements of Izvoare and Văleni get established and expanded while the masterpieces of Cucutenian ceramics are created.

The cemetery and the settlement in the Ciritei neighborhood testify to the Bronze Age, where numerous weapons, dishes, tools and ornaments produced in the 13th-12th centuries BC have been kept. But the most significant testimonies from the distant history of our locality are those that belong to the Geto-Dacian civilization (on the heights of Bâtca Doamnei and Cozla). The extent, wealth and strength of these centers, whose maximum flourishing was between the I B.C.E. and I C.E., determined their identification with "Petrodava", mentioned in the work of Ptolemy - "Geography". Other vestiges were discovered at Izvoare (4th century CE), at Lutărie (5th-6th century CE) and at Bâtca Doamnei (12th-13th century CE).

The first attestation in an external document is from the year 1387, while in an internal document from July 31, 1431, when the ruler Alexandru cel Bun gives the Bistrița Monastery "...a house of Crăciun from Piatra". The settlement experienced an important development during the time of Stephen the Great, when the Royal Court, the "St. John the Baptist" Church and the Bell Tower were built. This place was and still is the heart of the city of Piatra-Neamț.

Cadrul natural

The area of Piatra-Neamţ municipality is located in the central part of Neamt county, extending partially into the Eastern Carpathians - the Stânişoara Mountains and the Tarcăului Mountains (Goşmanul) and the Moldavian Subcarpathians.

More specifically, the city is located on the terraces of the Bistriţa River, in the Cracău-Bistriţa Depression, at an altitude of 310-430 m. It is surrounded by peaks: Cernegura (851 m) to the south, Pietricica (586 m) to the east, Cozla (651 m) to the north, Cârlomanu (704 m) to the northwest and Bâtca Doamnei (462 m) to the southwest, peaks that represent the last step of the Carpathians at the contact with the Subcarpathians and which are made of sedimentary rocks (sandstones, marl, shale clayey, conglomerates).

The natural landscape is characterized by a complex geological composition and large differences in altitude within which the main mountain range decreases in altitude from west to east. There are three physical-geographical units, each of them having well-defined characteristics: the mountainous region, the plateau region and the valley region. Thus, the territory of the area is similar to a natural amphitheater oriented to the east.

The same author Victor Nămolaru described the natural setting of our city so beautifully in his book: "This is Piatra Neamț. A city with a generous nature, located at the bottom of an elongated cup, whose edges are embroidered, with great finesse, by the green of the heights. A city - center of lands with old traditions, with songs, games and traditions whose beauty has never aged. A city with a youthful air, which presents itself to the slender and sporty visitor, in full economic expansion, and few suspect that it is carrying - officially, with written documents - centuries on edge, but that its age is, in reality, much larger."

Prin ochii călătorilor

Charles I in 1866 - Neamţ County has been host to members of the royal family on numerous occasions. The first "royal" visit to Neamţ takes place only a few months after Prince Carol's arrival in the country, in August 1866. He arrived in Moldova to get to know places and people. He passed by Roman, stopped at the Ghica estate in Dulcesti, from where he headed to Piatra Neamţ where he visited the Church of "Saint Ioan Domnesc".

"Piatra is perhaps the most beautifully settled city in Moldova. It lies in the amphitheater, in a wonderful valley, torn from the foamy Bistrita by the first branches of the Carpathians. With special pride, the residents here look at a beautiful, old church, which is said to have been built by Stephen the Great. The city's main source of income is the wood trade: countless rafts come down from the forested mountains and go through Bistrita and Siret to Galati".

Queen Mary in August 1917:

"Piatra is a very beautiful town, at the mouth of the Bistrița valley. We were greeted by Averescu and the prefect, an old friend of Aunty's, from Curtea de Argeș (...). I went first to the Red Cross hospital and then to a sanatorium for French officers and doctors; it is a pleasant little house which is very dear to them, and in which they come to rest with great pleasure. They had always wanted me to pay them a visit, and they welcomed me with a flattering joy for me. From there I went to Mrs. Albu, who once, in my youth, had hosted me when I was taking a trip with my husband to the Bistriței Valley".

Nicolae Iorga in 1905 - Born in Botoșani, Nicolae Iorga often passed through Neamț and Piatra. He was a friend of the scholar Kirileanu, admired Nicu Albu and visited Elena Cuza in the house on Ștefan cel Mare street where she spent the last years of her life.

"For some time, on the left are the mountains, with rounded peaks, huge smoky mountains. The stone is in their midst, with its feet bathed in the clear Bistrita. Seen at night by the light of globes and electric arcs, it gives an impression of order, cleanliness and civilization, with its large churches, its gardens, its hotels, its markets and its shops. Bad and good music is playing everywhere and the stock market goes late in search of harvests. The next day, the city looks very different from what it was four years ago; the care of a good household can be seen everywhere. With not too many means, Mr. Nicu Albu, the transformative mayor of Piatra, gave it a modern shine, which responds to the call of an air station that it still has today and which brings hundreds of guests in the summer months."

Mihail Sadoveanu in April 1906 - He loved Neamțu so much that it is said that he would have liked to sleep here forever, in the quiet clearing of Vovidenia. On his way through Neamț he also passed by Piatra.

"Piatra is undoubtedly a very beautiful city. The locals even say that it is our most beautiful city on the Carpathian coast. And we can give all the justice to the citizens of Pietre, if you too will allow us to testify to them that this city is truly the richest in powder than is known in our blessed and happy kingdom.

(...) Through dusty eyelashes, however, I could distinguish the clean houses between the bunches of trees, white and quiet, strung up one after the other, while the carriages hurriedly took us out on the narrow bed of Bistrița, towards the monastery of the old and kind Voivode Alexandru The good one."

Ion Luca Caragiale in July 1897 - Caragiale arrived in Piatra-Neamț several times, especially during the period in which he was a school auditor. He writes to his friend Dr. Alecu Urechia about how he spent time here during one of his trips.

"The location is very beautiful here. I eat and drink, mother of fire, because the air is healthy. Then after that, it's a long day... The weather is very good, only that it rains as much as it is in the mountains. You have to bargain for a carriage. There are many and there is a lot of competition(…) In the evening is very cold; you have to put on a thick coat. I go to the public garden where the music of the regiment plays; yes, it can rain hell, but they still regularly sing twice, four times in a row, from eight to two in the afternoon, morning and evening; you wonder how their livers don't burst from so many blows (...)".

Mary Adalaide Walker in 1884 - Among the evocations of the city by foreign travelers are the lines left by the young woman of British origin, Mary Adelaide Walker, who passes through Romania on a trip to Southeast Europe. He arrives in Piatra during a fair in which many people participate, so he finds a place to stay with difficulty, first at a Jewish guest house, then at the Bistrița Hotel.

"Piatra, a small town on the Bistrița river, benefits from a beautiful position, at the base of some rather wild-looking hills (...). Passing around the base of the old and attractive bell tower near St. John's Church, we quickly arrive in one of the cool border districts full of flower aromas, passing first through a wide public garden and among some charming villas...

Farther on, the cottages of the peasants shine white against the background of orchards and green plants, or recede smoothly into the shade of rustic porches and deep eaves. Beyond the river rise the mountains, with broad and sunny meadows at their foot, on which are spread stables and households; above are beech and oak forests and - finally - the peaks clothed with spruces and pines".

Similar Suggestions

A vacation as cool as Piatra!
The mountain trails of the Ceahlău Massif
Moldavian Cuisine