Piatra Neamț
—  County capital  —

Coat of arms
Nickname(s): Pearl of Moldavia
(Romanian: Perla Moldovei)
Location of Piatra Neamţ in Neamţ Count
3D map of Piatra Neamț



Piatra Neamț is located in Romania
Piatra Neamț
Location of Piatra Neamț in Romania
Coordinates: 46°55′39″N 26°22′15″E / 46.9275, 26.37083
Country  Romania
County Neamţ County
Status County capital
Subordinated villages
Government
 • Mayor Gheorghe Ştefan, PD-L
Area
 • Total 77.4 km2 (29.9 sq mi)
Population (2004)[1]
 • Total 108,085
 • Density 1,354/km2 (3,510/sq mi)
 • July 1, 2004 108,085
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
 • Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)
Website http://www.viziteazapiatraneamt.ro
Sister cities: Roanne, Villerest, Mably, Riorges, Alpharetta, Hliboca, Orhei, Kiryat Malachi, Lod, Beinasco, Manilva

Piatra Neamț (Romanian pronunciation: [ˈpjatra ˈne̯amt͡s]), German: Kreuzburg an der Bistritz, Hungarian: Karácsonkő; (population: avg. 110,000) is the capital city of Neamţ County, in the historical region of Moldavia, eastern Romania. Because of its privileged location in the Eastern Carpathian mountains, it is considered one of the most picturesque cities in Romania. It is also the capital of the Nord-Est (North-East) development region, which consists of six Moldavian counties.

Etymology[edit | edit source]

The piatra toponym (meaning rock in Romanian) was always part of the settlement's name throughout its history. Other names that the city has been called are: Piatra lui Crăciun (Christmas Rock, thus also corresponding to the Hungarian name of the city, "Karácson-Kő"); Târgu Piatra (Rock Fair, Rock Market) (in the middle ages) or simply Piatra to which was added the county name Neamţ (Neamţ = German), to distinguish it from towns in other counties of the same name.

Geography and access[edit | edit source]

Map of Piatra Neamţ

Piatra Neamţ lies in the Bistriţa River Valley, surrounded by mountains - Pietricica (590 m), Cozla (679 m), Cernegura (852 m), Bâtca Doamnei (462 m) and Cârloman (617 m), at an average height of 345 m (1,131.89 ft).

The city is located 350 km north of the capital city of Bucharest, in the historical region of Moldavia. The nearest airport is Bacău, situated at 60 km south. Piatra Neamţ is linked by Romanian railway trunk number 509 to Bucharest and Iaşi, and by DN15 national road to Bacău (therefore DN2 to Bucharest), Iaşi, Suceava, and Târgu Mureş (Transylvania).

The city is informally divided in several districts (in Romanian: cartiere):

  • 1 Mai
  • Băcioaia
  • Centru
  • Ciritei
  • Dărmăneşti
  • Doamna
  • Gara Veche
  • Mărăţei
  • Precista
  • Sarata
  • Speranţa
  • Valea Viei
  • Văleni
  • Vânători

Of these, Ciritei, Doamna and Văleni are formally separate villages administered by the municipality. There are plans to build two new districts, the larger of which will be on the site of the former Reconstrucţia factory.

History[edit | edit source]

15th century Stephen's Tower (the city symbol), the medieval town square and the Cucuteni culture museum in the background

The area around Piatra Neamţ is one of the oldest inhabited areas in Romania. The oldest traces of human civilisation in the present territory date back to the higher Paleolithic, about 100,000 years BCE. The Cucuteni culture, whose development lasted approximately one thousand years (ca. 3600-2600 BCE) was attested in the territory of Neamţ county by a remarkable number of settlements (approx. 150), archaeological diggings unearthing important museum collections of Aeneolithic artifacts. Archaeologists have also discovered objects here dating back to the Neolithic Period and the Bronze Age (about 1900-1700 BCE).

Excavations just outside the city revealed the ruins of a large Dacian city, Petrodava, mentioned by Greek geographer Ptolemy in the 2nd century. The whole compound had its heyday between the first century BCE and the first century CE. Standing out is the citadel at Bîtca Doamnei which contains shrines resembling those identified in the Orăştiei Mountains. As far as the existence of a local leader is concerned, historians tend to suggest the identification of the Kingdom of Dicomes in the very political centre at Petrodava. The complex of strongholds without peer in Moldavia and Wallachia is evidence as to a powerful political and military centre both in Burebista’s time and in the period that preceded the reign of Decebalus. The settlement was documented in the 15th century as Piatra lui Craciun, or Camena, a market town.

The first urban settlements, which emerged under Petru I Muşat (1375–1391), were Piatra lui Craciun, Roman and Neamţ. The Neamţ citadel, whose documentary attestation dates back to February 2, 1395, was also erected during the same consolidation period of the Moldovian pricipate east of the Carpathians. The Princely Court of Piatra Neamţ is mentioned for the first time in a document dated April 20, 1491, to have been founded between 1468 and 1475, under Stephen the Great, the Princely Cathedral being built in 1497-1498, and the 20 m (65.62 ft) tall Bell Tower in 1499.

Demographics[edit | edit source]

According to the last census, from 2002, there were 104,914 people living within the city of Piatra Neamţ,[2] making it the 23rd largest city in Romania. The ethnic makeup is as follows:

Economy[edit | edit source]

The city's industries include a fertilizer plant, a pulp and paper mill, and several food-processing plants. In the city are also located an agricultural machinery plant (Mecanica Ceahlău), a pharmaceutical plant (Plantavorel) and two paper manufacturers.

The city's main industrial park is situated 11 km south, in the Săvineşti area. During the communist period, the Săvineşti platform was one of the most important chemical plants in Romania and the site of a research institute. Today, the industrial facility is part of the Italian group Radici, and it operates at low capacity.

In the recent period, the most important Romanian commercial brands originating from Piatra Neamţ are Rifil (synthetic fibers manufacturer), Altex (Media Galaxy) (TV, hi-fi, home appliances national dealer), ro:Köber''Köber''(paints manufacturer), Amicii-Kubo Ice Cream (ice cream producer) and Dasimpex (mobile phones dealer).

There are 4 local TV stations (TV M, 1TV, TeleM, Actual TV ), 3 FM radio stations and several newspapers.

Culture and education[edit | edit source]

Teatrul Tineretului

Piatra Neamţ is home to Teatrul Tineretului (Youth's Theatre), G. T. Kirileanu library and many cultural events, including the International Theatre Festival in the springtime, the classical music event Vacanţe muzicale (musical holydays) in the summertime and more folkloric festivals all year round.

The "Petru Rareş" national college, "Calistrat Hogaş" national college, National College of Computer Science as well as "Victor Brauner" Fine Arts College are some of the most prestigious education centres in the Neamt county.

Starting with January 2009, Piatra Neamt is the host of a short film festival called "Filmul de Piatra" (derived from the name of the city "Piatra" which means stone (rock) and translated as "Stone-film Festival"). The 1st edition took place in the building of Teatrul Tineretului and other locations between 7th and 11 January 2009. The festival has a national short film competition (all genres) and awards each category. The agenda also includes selections of international shorts, awarded in major festivals throughout the world. Other special programmes include live concerts, skiing and workshops.

Attractions[edit | edit source]

The city's main attractions are the natural beauty of the area (the mountains and the lakes), the historical buildings, the museums and the festivals. Today, there are several programs in progress with the goal of transforming Piatra Neamţ into an important touristic destination in Romania (the construction of the cable car and the wintersports facilities[3]).

Landmarks[edit | edit source]

Cucuteni Museum

  • Stephen's tower, built in 1499, during Ştefan cel Mare's reign
  • St John The Baptist church (1497–1498)
  • The Princely Court
  • The History & Archaeology Museum (host of the Cucuteni exhibition, the largest Aeneolithic artifacts collection in southeastern Europe)
  • The Fine Arts Museum
  • The Natural Sciences Museum
  • The "Calistrat Hogaş" Memorial Museum
  • The "Schimbarea la Faţă" Wooden Church in Văleni
  • The Bistriţa Monastery, founded in the early 15th century, is 8 km (5 mi) west of the city
  • The Wooden Synagogue

Parks[edit | edit source]

Sports[edit | edit source]

Ceahlăul Stadium

FC Ceahlaul Piatra Neamt.svg FC Ceahlăul Piatra Neamţ is the local football (soccer) team; best performance : 4th round in UEFA Intertoto Cup in 1999 after two matches versus Juventus Torino. Currently it plays in the first national league - Liga I.

Former Fibrex Săvineşti, actually HCM Piatra Neamţ is the local men's handball team, three times champions of Romania and two times winners of Handball Romania's Cup.

CV Unic Piatra Neamţ is the local women's volleyball team.

Piatra Neamţ is the residence of Constantin "Ticu" Lăcătuşu, the first Romanian alpinist who reached the top of Mount Everest.

The Piatra Neamţ Equestrian Stadium (Baza Hipică) is the host of several show jumping and dressage international competitions.

Notable natives and residents[edit | edit source]

International Relations[edit | edit source]

Twin towns - sister cities[edit | edit source]

Piatra Neamţ is twinned with:[4]

In popular culture[edit | edit source]

Astronomical Dedication[edit | edit source]

In honor of this city an asteroid has been dedicated to the city of Piatra Neamt, by Alfredo Caronia, an Italian amateur astronomer, living in Piatra Neamt, co-discoverer of the asteroid.[5][6][7]

Photo gallery[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]


This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Piatra Neamț. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.
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