Piatra Neamt, the capital of Neamt County, is located in the northern part of the charming region of Moldavia. The picturesque city, surrounded by the Eastern Carpathians, lies on the banks of the Bistrita River.
The land of present Piatra Neamt is known to have been one of the first human settlements on Romania’s territory. Throughout the Neamt county there have been found traces of the much discussed mysterious culture of Cucuteni, a civilization who has lived 5 thousand years ago. Even more, the first centuries before and after Christ found this area as a large Dacian town, known as Petrodava.
Piatra Neamt lived a period of intense development under Stephen the Great in the 15th century, when the Princely Court, Stephen’s Tower and St John Baptist Church were built. The princely court, today the historical center, around which the actual city of Piatra Neamt developed, nests the Petru Rares College, the Art Museum, the Ethnography Museum, the Princely Court Museum and the aforementioned Stephen’s Steeple Tower and the Church of St John the Baptist, which together form the symbol of Piatra Neamt.
Museums in Piatra Neamt are plenty, from the Cucuteni Museum of Eneolithic Art, which exhibits painted ceramics, art objects depicting humans and animals, to the Ethnographic Museum, a beautiful collection of traditional costumes and artisan tools suggesting the peasants’ way of life on Bistrita Valley.
The religious monuments of Piatra Neamt exceed the traveler’s expectations by their inestimable artistic value, like the “Transfiguration of Jesus” Wooden Church in Valeni or the richly ornamented Byzantine style Bistrita Monastery fortresses by four meters stone walls which were rebuilt after Suleiman the Magnificent destroyed them.
Surprisingly, Piatra Neamt also hosts a wooden synagogue, namely the “Baal Sem Tov”, which attests a large Jewish community from the medieval times. The wooden synagogue attracts thousands of tourists every year, for it dates back from 1766 and it is considered the oldest synagogue in Romania, possibly even in southeastern Europe.
With the administration of Piatra Neamt’s goal to put the city on the map of touristic destinations of Romania, they even constructed a cable car to facilitate the winter sports practiced on Cozla Park, as well as it is also the ideal way to admire the city panorama and the nature surrounding it from a pretty high altitude.
The Cozla Park, besides being a ski run, also administers a zoo park where tourists can spot the native fauna like bears, wolves, foxes, deer and stags.
Strandul Tineretului is not to be forgotten in this array of landmarks, as it is a touristic complex which plays the role of the perfect destination for summer. Here you can relax at the pool, play tennis, football, sand volley and basketball, roller blade and skate, or go on a a paintball session. There are also numerous accommodations, terraces and clubs available here.