Royal Citadel

Top choice in Bucovina

Suceava's rugged, abandoned 14th-century citadel has gotten a high-tech makeover, allowing visitors to scramble over the rocks and into the various chambers and learn the structure's history through clever video presentations and hands-on touchscreen exhibits. It's great for kids, the only downside being most of the text and video is only in Romanian. The unconquerable fortress withstood multiple attacks, including one by Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II in 1475, just 22 years after his conquest of Constantinople (Istanbul).

The original fortress was dubbed 'Muşat’s Fortress' (after founder Petru II Muşat). Its eight square towers were surrounded by trenches. Ştefan cel Mare added 4m-thick, 33m-high walls, foiling archers outside. The exasperated Ottomans finally blew it up in 1675; a century later, home builders were still pillaging the ruins. The fortress is located 3km east of the centre by road (about 12 lei by taxi). Alternatively, hike from the centre (1km) by finding a marked footpath across the street from the Union Apartment, next to McDonald's. It's 250 steps to the top.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Bucovina attractions

1. Bucovinian Village Museum

0.15 MILES

Located next to the Royal Citadel, this small museum displays relocated Bucovinian traditional homes, with their original furnishings, accessories and…

2. Mirăuţi Church

0.21 MILES

Suceava's oldest surviving church, Mirăuţi is 500m northwest of the main square. Founded by Petru II Mușat in 1375, it was Moldavia's original coronation…

3. Domniţelor Church


Dedicated to St John the Baptist, this church was built by Vasile Lupu between 1632 and 1653. Its dedication inscription, from 1643, is in Old Church…

4. Monastery of St John the New

0.42 MILES

This monastery off Str Mitropoliei, built between 1514 and 1554, remains an important pilgrimage destination: in a decorated silver casket it houses the…

5. St Dumitru's Church

0.43 MILES

This impressive post-Byzantine church (1535) was built by Petru Rareş. Traces of original exterior frescoes are visible and the impressive interior…

6. Gah Synagogue

0.56 MILES

By the post office, this 1870 structure is Suceava's only surviving synagogue out of an original 18. The well-preserved and elaborately decorated temple…

7. Ethnographic Museum

0.59 MILES

West of Piaţa 22 Decembrie, Hanul Domnesc is an 18th-century guesthouse housing the Ethnographic Museum. It displays Moldavian folk costumes and household…

8. Bucovina History Museum

0.68 MILES

Displays here range from the Bronze Age to the present, and highlight Moldavia's famous rulers, particularly Ştefan cel Mare. While the numismatics,…