A timeless realm of pastoral hills, majestic mountains and old monasteries, Neamt district, placed in the south of the historical region of Moldova, is a popular touristic spot for those who enjoy nature, history and tranquility.
The capital of Neamt is the town of Piatra Neamt and it is built on the relics of Petrodava, an old Dacian settlement. Piatra Neamt bears the traces of other ancient cultures, such as Cucuteni – one of the most famous prehistoric cultures of Europe. It is bordered by five mountain peaks belonging to the Eastern Carpathians, is crossed by the River Bistrita and offers all the benefits of a natural environment placed in the middle of one of the most beautiful areas of Romania.
You can get there by train that connect Piatra Neamt to Bucuresti – the capital city of Romania, iasi (one of the busiest Romania cities) and Targu Mures (placed in the nearby historical region of Transylvania) and the nearest airport is 60 km towards the South, in Bacau.
There are plenty of accommodation opportunities, due to the fact that, in recent years, Piatra Neamt has encountered a considerable economic development that boosted tourism, as well.
If you have decided to arrive here, you were probably allured by the crude beauty of the Ceahlau Peak – considered a sacred mountain, similar to Olympus, in Greece. There are many legends related to this imposing natural monument, which hosts the homonymous national park, among the most beautiful in Romania. Ceahlau is the highest peak of the Bistrita Mountains and has always been considered the watchtower and the protector of the ancient surrounding lands and its inhabitants. Long ago, when the ancestors of today’s Romanians celebrated their ancient beliefs, they considered that it was the residency of Zamolxis – the principle of Creation and Ceahlau was named Pion/Peon (the Home of the Pillar). And nowadays, when the area hosts such a great number of monasteries and settlements of Orthodox hermits, it is considered the second most important mountain of Christianity, after Athos Mountain in Greece.
The landscapes – mountains and lakes – are the greatest resource of Piatra Neamt, together with the monasteries which represent real pieces of architectural jewelry that lasted since the times of Stephen the Great – the Moldavian Prince who bravely defended his homeland and the Christianity by the invasions of the numerically superior Ottoman Empire at the dimmet of the Middle Ages. Stephen the Great is also the founder of some of the most beautiful Orthodox monasteries in the country and is said that he would build a monastery after every won battle.
Among the most prestigious one in the area, I would mention only a few that are not to be missed: Agapia, Almas, Neamt (attested by the documents since 1210), Petru Voda, Sihastria (built in 1655), Bistrita Monastery, Durau, Daniil Sihastrul – which bears the name of the Stephen’s spiritual father, a wise hermit who guided his decisions.
You can also visit the Court and Tower of Stephen the Great, which is available all-year long and the Histrory and Archeology Museum, where you can admire the greatest collection of Aeneolithis artifacts in Europe.
But don’t imagine that modernity has missed this picturesque place, on the contrary; it is one of the most vivid cultural and artistic cities of Romania: The Theatre of Piatra Neamt is a prestigious stage, where some of the greatest names of actors and directors of the last century began their careers. Also, there are many other festivals throughout the year that will enrich your experience, such as a Classic Music Festival, an International Theatre Festival and countless folklore festivals that will introduce you to the local traditions.