Suceava (Romanian: [suˈtʃe̯ava]; German: Suczawa, also Sotschen or Sutschawa) is the largest city and the seat of Suceava County, situated in the historical region of Bukovina, north-eastern Romania, and at the crossroads of Central and Eastern Europe. During the late Middle Ages, from 1388 to 1564, the city was the capital of the Principality of Moldavia.
Left to right: the Administrative Palace, Palace of Justice, Bukovina History Museum, Burdujeni Train Station, The Medieval Seat Fortress, Ștefan cel Mare University, St. Apostles Church in Ițcani, St. John of Nepomuk Church
Location in Suceava County
|• Mayor (2020–2024)||Ion Lungu (PNL)|
|• City||52.10 km2 (20.12 sq mi)|
|• Metro||473.29 km2 (182.74 sq mi)|
|• Density||1,800/km2 (4,600/sq mi)|
|Demonym(s)||sucevean, suceveancă (ro)|
|Time zone||UTC+2 (EET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+3 (EEST)|
|Website||Primăria Suceava (ro, en)|
From 1775 to 1918, Suceava was controlled by the Habsburg Monarchy, initially part of its Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria, then gradually becoming the third most populous urban settlement of the Duchy of Bukovina, a constituent land of the Austrian Empire and subsequently a crown land within the Austrian part of Austria-Hungary. During this time, Suceava was an important, strategically-located commercial border town with the then Romanian Old Kingdom (Romanian: Vechiul Regat, German: Altreich).
In the wake of World War I, after 1918, along with the rest of Bukovina, Suceava became part of the then newly enlarged Kingdom of Romania. After the end of World War II, the city slowly underwent a process of communist urbanization which increased its population about tenfold throughout the decades before the 1989 Romanian Revolution. It became a municipality (Romanian: municipiu) in 1968.
Names and etymology
Aside from its Romanian name of Suceava, like several other cities in Bukovina, the city is also known by several different names in various languages, some of which are still used by the city's respective minority groups, either in connection with the rule by one country or another or independently from it. Examples of such names are Suczawa (also Sotschen and Sutschawa) in German; Suczawa in Polish; Szucsáva in Hungarian; Сучава in Ukrainian and שאָץ in Yiddish.
Moldavian chronicler Grigore Ureche presumed the name of the city came from the Hungarian Szűcsvár, which is combined of the words szűcs (furrier, skinner) and vár (castle). This was taken over by Dimitrie Cantemir, who in his work Descriptio Moldaviae gave the very same explanation of the origin of the city's name; however, there is neither historical nor vernacular evidence for this. According to another theory, the city bears the name of the river with the same name, that is supposed to be of Ukrainian origin.
In Old German, the city was known as Sedschopff, in High German sources it can be found under such variations as Sotschen, Sutschawa, or Suczawa, in Hungarian as Szucsáva ([ˈsut͡ʃaːvɒ]) or Szőcsvásár, in Polish as Suczawa, in Ukrainian as Сучава (Sučava), while in Yiddish as שאָץ ([ʃɔts]).
The present-day territory of the city of Suceava and the adjacent surroundings were already inhabited since the Paleolithic period. Stemming from the late Antiquity, there are also traces of Dacian oppidum of the 2nd century. In stark contrast to several historical regions of Romania (most notably Transylvania and Oltenia), Suceava (along with the entire region of Bukovina for that matter) was not conquered by the legions of the Roman Empire and consequently was one of the lands of the Free Dacian tribes during the late Ancient Age. Nonetheless, according to Ptolemy, at that time in the region also dwelled two likely Celtic-speaking tribes, specifically the Anartes and the Taurisci, as well as the Germanic Bastarnae, who have also been attested there. The presence of Celtic-speaking tribes in Bukovina is further attested during the late La Tène culture period through archaeological studies.
After the fall of Rome and during the Migration Period, the predominantly Carpiani population was successively invaded by East Germanic peoples (such as the Goths or the Gepids), Huns, Slavs, Magyars (i.e. Hungarians), Pechenegs, and ultimately Cumans. During the Late Middle Ages, the city of Suceava was the capital of the Principality of Moldavia and the main residence of the Moldavian princes for nearly two centuries (namely between 1388 and 1564).
The city was the capital of the lands of Stephen the Great, one of the pivotal royal figures in Romanian history, who died in Suceava in 1504. During the rule of Alexandru Lăpușneanu, the seat was moved to Iași in 1565 and Suceava failed to become the capital again. Michael the Brave captured the city in 1600 during the Moldavian Magnate Wars as he became the ruler of Wallachia, Moldavia, and Transylvania, but he was defeated the same year.
Habsburg rule and unification with the Kingdom of Romania
Together with the rest of Bukovina, Suceava was under the rule of the Habsburg Monarchy (and, later, the Austrian Empire as well as Austria-Hungary) from 1775 to 1918 (with the border of the Habsburg domains passing just south-east of the city).
During the late 19th century and early 20th century, the city was the third largest in the Duchy of Bukovina, after Cernăuți and Rădăuți. Throughout this period of time, in the process of the Josephine colonization, the Habsburgs and, later on, the Austrians, attracted many German-speaking settlers from abroad to settle down in Bukovina and, implicitly, in the contemporary city of Suceava, then just a small market town. Over the passing of time, these newly arrived German settlers and their descendants became collectively known as Bukovina Germans. This community has since dwindled to a very small number.
Nonetheless, despite their current numbers, the Germans from Suceava are still culturally, socially, and politically active. Given its diverse ethnic background during the late Modern Age, Austrian architect Rudolf Gassauer stated that the city of Suceava could have well been perceived back then as a 'miniature Austria'. Additionally, at that time, on an administrative level, the city of Suceava was part of a namesake bezirk with a total population of 66,826 inhabitants.
In 1918, the city of Suceava (as well as the entire region of Bukovina) became part of what is known as 'Greater Romania', after an overwhelming vote of the German, Romanian, and Polish representatives of the General Congress of Bukovina. All 7 political representatives of the Bukovina Germans led by Alois Lebouton voted for the union of Bukovina with the Kingdom of Romania.
Kingdom of Romania, communist period, and recent history
Throughout the interwar period, Suceava underwent further infrastructural development within the then enlarged Kingdom of Romania. Moreover, from an administrative point of view, it had also briefly belonged to Ținutul Suceava (between 1938 and 1940), one of the 10 lands established during King Carol II's reign.
Subsequently, from the 1950s onwards (along with the onset of Communism), Suceava was heavily industrialized and a significant series of historical buildings from its old city centre (more specifically the entire Franz Josef Straße) were demolished in order for Plattenbau-like blocks of flats to be constructed at the orders of the former Communist officials.
During early 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit Romania, Suceava was the first urban settlement to be placed in complete lockdown. For several months, Suceava was placed in the red scenario and had a high incidence of infection, as did the entire county for that matter. In early 2021, a large fire swept away the roof of the Administrative Palace of the town, leaving the upper part of the building nearly ruined in its entirety. The roof and upper part of the building, although previously engulfed in the fire and tremendously burned, are currently covered in plastic cloth waiting for reparation. In the meantime, Suceava's population is on a steep decline (as that of entire Romania for that matter).
The city covers two types of geographical areas, the hills (of which the highest is Zamca Hill) and the meadows of the Suceava river valley. The unique setting of the urban settlement includes two groves, Zamca and Șipote, which are both located within the city limits. Burdujeni, one of the neighbourhoods, is connected to the rest of the city by a prominent avenue, which makes the neighbourhood appear to be a separate satellite city.
|Climate data for Suceava, Romania|
|Average high °C (°F)||−1
|Average low °C (°F)||−9
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||24
|Source: Weather Atlas|
Historical data for the city proper
|Source: Austrian and Romanian census data and/or official estimates|
The Austrian census of 1869, which recorded only population in absolute numbers (bereft of ethnicity or religion), indicated that the city of Suceava had a total population of 7,450 permanent inhabitants. The Austrian census of 1880 indicated that the city of Suceava had a total population of 10,104, of which 5,862 were Germans (i.e. Bukovina Germans), 2,652 Romanians, 441 Ruthenians, and 784 inhabitants belonging to other ethnic groups. The Austrian census of 1890 indicated that the city of Suceava had a total population of 10,221, of which 5,965 were Germans (i.e. Bukovina Germans), 2,417 Romanians, 644 Ruthenians, and 905 inhabitants belonging to other ethnic groups.
In 1900, when the city was still under the Imperial Austrian administration, its total population amounted to 10,955 inhabitants. Of those, 61.5% declared their native language to be German (i.e. Hochdeutsch), followed by Romanian with 25.38% and Ruthenian (or Ukrainian) with 5.46%. 20 years later, when the city switched to the Kingdom of Romania, the 1930 Romanian census recorded a population that amounted to c. 17,000 inhabitants with the following ethno-linguistic composition:
- Romanians: 61.5%
- Jews: 18.7%
- Germans (i.e. Bukovina Germans): 13.9%
- Poles: 2.6%
- Other ethnic groups (most notably Lipovans, Ukrainians, Hungarians, and Armenians): 3.3%
According to the 2002 Romanian census, the ethnic structure of the city of Suceava can be broken down in distinct groups as follows:
- Romanians: 98.17%
- Roma: 0.48%
- Germans (i.e. Bukovina Germans): 0.35%
- Ukrainians: 0.27%
- Poles: 0.23%
- Lipovans: 0.20%
- Other ethnic groups (most notably Hungarians, Jews, and Armenians): 0.3%
According to the 2011 census data, Suceava had a population of 92,121, a decrease from the figure recorded at the 2002 census (106,138), making it the 23rd largest city in Romania at that time. Additionally, the ethnic composition was as follows:
- Romanians: 98.3%
- Roma: 0.7%
- Ukrainians: 0.3%
- Germans (i.e. Bukovina Germans): 0.2%
- Poles: 0.1%
- Lipovans: 0.1%
- Other ethnic groups (most notably Hungarians, Jews, and Armenians): 0.3%
Historical data for the Ițcani neighborhood
According to the 1930 Romanian census, the population of present-day Ițcani neighborhood (which at the time was considered a separate commune comprising two villages, namely Ițcanii Noi/Neu Itzkany and Ițcani Gară/Itzkany Bahnhof) amounted to 2,422 residents. By ethnic criterion, those residents were:
- Germans (i.e. Bukovina Germans): 45%
- Romanians: 21.40%
- Jews: 17.84%
- Ukrainians: 6.77%
- Poles: 5.24%
- Russians: 2.15%
- Hungarians: 1.53%
- Other minor ethnic groups (forming the remainder of 0.07%).
In religious terms, 28.4% of the then residents were Roman Catholic, 22.7% were Evangelical Lutheran, 22.04% were Orthodox, 18.04% belonged to Judaism, 8.17% were Greek Catholic, and the rest either belonged to other smaller cults or were irreligious.
Administration and local politics
List of mayors (1990–present)
|Nº||Name||Term start||Term end||Political party|
|1||Filaret Poenariu||1990||1992||National Salvation Front (FSN)|
|2||Gheorghe Toma||1992||1996||Ecologist Party of Romania (PER)|
|3||Constantin Sofroni||1996||2000||National Liberal Party (PNL)1|
|4||Marian Ionescu||2000||2004||Social Democratic Party (PSD)|
|5||Ion Lungu||2004||Incumbent||National Liberal Party (PNL)2|
1 Initially elected on the lists of the Democratic Agrarian Party of Romania (PDAR) but subsequently switched to the National Liberal Party (PNL).
2 Initially elected on the lists of the National Liberal Party (PNL), subsequently switched to the Democratic Liberal Party (PDL), then re-elected on the lists of the PNL
The city's current local council has the following multi-party political composition, based on the results of the ballots cast at the 2020 Romanian local elections:
|National Liberal Party (PNL)||9|
|Social Democratic Party (PSD)||5|
|People's Movement Party (PMP)||4|
|Save Romania Union (USR)||3|
|PRO Romania (PRO)||2|
The Seat Fortress of Suceava
Suceava is the place of several medieval sites that are closely linked to the history of the former Principality of Moldavia. By far the most significant (and at the same time the most well preserved one) is the Seat Fortress of Suceava (Romanian: Cetatea de Scaun a Sucevei) or Suceava Citadel, a medieval castle situated on the eastern edge of the contemporary city.
The fortress was built during the reign of Petru of Moldavia (1375–1391), also known as Petru Mușat. It was further expanded and strengthened during the reigns of Alexander I of Moldavia (1400–1432) and Stephen the Great (1457–1504). The medieval castle was part of the fortification system built in Moldavia during the late 14th century, given the emergence of the Ottoman danger. It even became strong enough to hold off an attack by Ottoman sultan Mehmed II (the conqueror of Constantinople) in 1476.
Suceava was the capital city of the former Principality of Moldavia between 1388 and 1565. During this period, the castle served as princely residence. Alexandru Lăpușneanu had subsequently moved the Moldavian capital to Iași in 1565, so the castle lost its status. Afterwards, the citadel entered a period of steep decline. In 1675, during the reign of voivode Dumitrașcu Cantacuzino, the fortress was destroyed. Then, for over two centuries, the castle was completely deserted.
During the late 19th century and early 20th century, under the patronage of Austrian architect Karl Adolf Romstorfer, a series of rehabilitation works and archaeological research had been conducted. Between 1961 and 1970 other restoration and consolidation processes were carried out. In 2013, a major reconstruction program was launched, aiming to return the castle to its original architecture and shape.
The Seat Fortress of Suceava consists of two concentric citadels. The inner citadel, known as fortul mușatin, has a rectangular shape and a patio. It was built by Petru Mușat in late 14th century. During the second half of the 15th century, Stephen the Great expanded the structure by adding another citadel that had a circular shape surrounding the old one.
After 1476, new fortifications were added to the outer citadel. Furthermore, the whole castle is encircled by a large defensive ditch. Today, the fortress is a landmark of Suceava and a noteworthy touristic attraction. Since 2011, it has also been used for hosting cultural events such as the rock music festival Bucovina Rock Castle. The festival attracted a series of renowned national and international bands and artists (e.g. guitarist Jan Akkerman, formerly of Dutch progressive rock band Focus).
The Princely Court of Suceava
The Princely Court of Suceava (Romanian: Curtea Domnească din Suceava) was built and developed along with the Seat Fortress. During the late 14th century, voivode Petru Mușat built the Princely House, a structure made in wood, which included a cellar. After 1400, Alexander I of Moldavia rebuilt the wooden house and added a surrounding stone wall and a complex of buildings also built in stone. During the second half of the 15th century, the Princely Court was severely affected by fire, the wooden house being completely burned out.
During his reign, Stephen the Great (1457–1504) restored the whole complex. A new Princely House was built, this time made of stone, and the other buildings were extended. Vasile Lupu (1634–1653) was the last ruler of Moldavia who took care of the Princely Court. During his time, the cellars were rehabilitated. The complex was abandoned at some point in the late 17th century, the buildings and the walls being gradually dismantled. Currently, on the site of the Princely Court there are only ruins and leftovers of the former buildings. The ruins of the former medieval court are located in the city center of Suceava. Between 14th and 17th centuries, in the proximity of the Princely Court there were built several churches that still exist today and attract tourists.
On the north-western edge of the contemporary city, on a hilltop, there is another medieval citadel known as Șcheia Fortress (Romanian: Cetatea Șcheia) or the Western Fortress of Suceava (Romanian: Cetatea de Apus a Sucevei). Unlike the Seat Fortress, Șcheia Fortress has left nothing but some ruined walls. The citadel proper was built during the reign of Petru Mușat during the late 14th century, but was short-lived, given that it was dismantled during the early 15th century, in the time of Alexander I of Moldavia. Șcheia Fortress, just like the main Seat Fortress, was part of the fortification system built in the medieval Principality of Moldavia during the late 14th century.
The first museum in Suceava was opened in 1900, by the initiative of some local intellectuals. In the beginning, the museum included only a few collections that were obtained as a result of the researches and excavation works at the Seat Fortress of Suceava. The museum was expanded and developed over time and became an important cultural institution, currently named Bukovina Museum (Romanian: Muzeul Bucovinei). It has several departments and administers the medieval sites of the Seat Fortress, Șcheia Fortress and the Princely Court, local museums (Bukovina Village Museum, the history, ethnographic, and natural sciences museums), the memorial houses of Simion Florea Marian in Suceava, Nicolae Labiș in Mălini, Eusebiu Camilar in Udești, Ciprian Porumbescu in Stupca, and two traditional houses located in Solca and Bilca.
The oldest department of Bukovina Museum is the history museum, which was the backbone for creating a county museum at Suceava. This museum presents the local history of Suceava and Moldavia in the context of Romanian national history. The exhibits of the history museum and the offices of Bukovina Museum are located in a historic building, in the city center. The building, which hosted the prefecture of Suceava County during the interwar period, was built between 1902 and 1903. Since 1968, it houses the history museum. In 2014, the building and the museum entered an extensive program of modernization, rehabilitation, and expansion.
At the history museum there is a reconstitution of a scene from the former throne hall located in the Seat Fortress. The scene presents some notable people from the history of Moldavia, made in glass fiber: Stephen the Great (ruler of Moldavia), Maria Voichița (his third wife), Bogdan III the One-Eyed (his son and successor to the throne), officials of that time. The scene chosen to be reconstructed is an allotment of land for peasants. The reconstitution is based on medieval documents, frescoes, and archaeological researches. Furthermore, the history museum periodically organizes a wide range of cultural events, several of which also involve the local branch of the Democratic Forum of Germans in Romania (FDGR/DFDR). Furthermore, the local branch of the FDGR/DFDR (German: DFDR Buchenland) is also in charge of the ACI Bukowina Stiftung, a Romanian-German cultural foundation whose president is Josef-Otto Exner.
Bukovina Village Museum (Romanian: Muzeul Satului Bucovinean) is an open-air museum that highlights the traditional cultural and architectural heritage of Bukovina region. It is located in the eastern part of Suceava, near the Seat Fortress. It was founded in the 1970s, but its major expansion and development took place after 1990. The museum is designed as a traditional village in Bukovina, containing houses and various objectives from the ethnographic areas of Rădăuți, Humor, Câmpulung Moldovenesc, Dorna, and Fălticeni.
The museum includes among others a water mill from Mănăstirea Humorului, a traditional blacksmith workshop, a pottery workshop from Marginea and one of the many old wooden churches in northern Moldavia: Church of the Ascension, a Romanian Orthodox wooden church built in 1783 in Vama, a village in Suceava County. The bell tower is also made in wood, and dates from 1787. The church and the bell tower were both relocated in 2001, and currently are part of the museum.
Besides Bukovina Village Museum, another museum that reflects the traditional life in this part of Romania is the ethnographic museum. It was opened in 1968 and includes old collections and exhibits that are housed in a medieval inn located in the center of Suceava, known as the Princely Inn of Suceava (Romanian: Hanul Domnesc din Suceava). This landmark dates from the late 16th and early 17th century. It was built of stone and has two floors and a cellar. During the Austrian rule (1775–1918), the inn operated as a hunting lodge for the imperial family. Since 1968, it hosts the ethnographic museum. The Princely Inn is the oldest civic building in Suceava which had not been seriously affected by time and maintained its original architecture.
The natural sciences museum was founded in 1976–1977, being the newest museum in Suceava. It highlights the flora and fauna of the surrounding area. The museum's rare exhibits and collections are housed in an old building, located in the central park of the city and built between 1811 and 1814. In the past, before being an attraction for visitors, the building operated as a school for boys.
Along with all these museums, Bukovina Museum includes memorial houses of some writers and artists born in this area of the country. The memorial house of Simion Florea Marian (Romanian: Casa memorială Simion Florea Marian) is the only one located in Suceava, the other ones being in the surrounding area. The memorial house operates as a museum. It was opened in 1974 in the home where Romanian priest and writer Simion Florea Marian lived, from 1884 until 1907, when he died. The museum hosts a collection that contains over 10,000 volumes, over 450 collections of magazines and newspapers, of which 150 are from Bukovina, manuscripts, letters, cultural and historical documents, old photos. In front of the memorial house it was opened a small park with a statue dedicated to Simion Florea Marian.
Colegiul de Artă Ciprian Porumbescu (Romanian: Ciprian Porumbescu Art College) is a high school which is hosted in a historic building, built in 1859, in the city center of Suceava. The building had several destinations in the past: Suceava Town Hall (until 1904) and Școala primară română de fete (Primary Romanian school for girls). Romanian jazz singer Anca Parghel taught music for a living in Suceava at this local Arts high school before turning to a professional singing career in 1989.
Gara Suceava Nord-Ițcani (Suceava North railway station, also known as Ițcani) is a train station built in 1871 in the village of Ițcani (today district of Suceava). Between 1871 and 1918, it was a train station at the Austro-Hungarian border. The historic building of Ițcani railway station was built in the Gothic style of the Central European railway stations of that period.
Palatul de Justiție (The Palace of Justice) is a historic building which was built in 1885 to serve as the seat of Suceava Tribunal and Court. The building has four sides and a patio, and was designed by Viennese architect Ferdinand Fellner. Later, during the communist regime, the city hall was moved in this palace and operated here until 2000.
Spitalul Vechi (The Old Hospital) is a complex of buildings built between 1891 and 1903 which originally hosted the district hospital. The hospital ensemble consists of four pavilions of historic value and was built in the southwestern end of Suceava, in Areni neighborhood. In 1964 a new hospital building (known as Spitalul Nou) was inaugurated nearby.
Colegiul Național Ștefan cel Mare (Ștefan cel Mare National College) is the oldest and most prestigious high school in Suceava County, established in 1860. The baroque style building which houses the high school was built between 1893 and 1895, downtown Suceava, and today is considered a historical monument.
Gara Suceava-Burdujeni (Suceava railway station, also known as Burdujeni) is a train station built between 1892 and 1902 in the village of Burdujeni (today district of Suceava). Between 1902 and 1918, it was a train station at the Austro-Hungarian border. The historic building of Burdujeni railway station was built in the architectural style of Fribourg railway station, located in Switzerland.
Palatul Administrativ (The Administrative Palace) is a historic building which was built between 1903–1904 to serve as the seat of Suceava City Hall. The building originally had only two sides of the four current sides, and was designed by Viennese architect Peter Paul Brang. It was designed in the baroque style. Currently, the palace houses the prefecture and the county council of Suceava County.
Casa Polonă (The Polish House) is a building made between 1903 and 1907 by the Polish community in the city of Suceava. The building was designed by architect Alojz Friedel. During the communist regime, The Polish House was nationalized, and since 1954, it housed Ansamblul Artistic Ciprian Porumbescu (Ciprian Porumbescu Artistic Ensemble). In 1984 the building was restored, and then hosted a local theatre, until 1990. In 1996, the building was returned to the Polish community of the city.
Uzina de Apă (The Water Plant) is a set of industrial heritage buildings, designed in 1908 by engineer G. Thiem from Leipzig and built between 1910 and 1912. The water plant operated in these buildings between 1912 and 1960, and then it was moved into a modern building. In 2012, in celebration of 100 years since its establishment, in the former water plant buildings there was inaugurated the Centre for Architecture, Urban Culture and Landscape in Suceava.
Biblioteca Bucovinei I.G. Sbiera (I.G. Sbiera Bukovina Library) is the first public library in Suceava, inaugurated on 12 December 1923. It is also the largest library in Suceava County, with over 350,000 bibliographic units. Currently, the library is hosted by two historic buildings located in downtown Suceava and built between 1925 and 1926, respectively 1929–1930.
The County Forestry Department in Suceava is an institution which operates in a heritage building located in Areni neighborhood, in the city of Suceava. The building dates from the first half of the 20th century.
The Unions House in Suceava is a heritage building, located in downtown Suceava, which houses the unions offices, along with some shops. The building is also known as Samuil Isopescu House.
Casa Costin Tarangul (Costin Tarangul House) is a heritage house dating from the 19th century (1886). The building is located next to Simion Florea Marian Memorial House, in the center of Suceava.
Casa Ciprian Porumbescu (Ciprian Porumbescu House) is a heritage house dating from the 19th century, where Romanian composer Ciprian Porumbescu lived and created some of his works. The house is located in Prunului street, downtown Suceava.
School No. 5 Jean Bart in Burdujeni (Suceava) is a school built in 1902 in the village Burdujeni, today a town district of Suceava. The building that houses the school has historic value.
School No. 6 in Burdujeni-Sat (Suceava) is a school built in 1911 in the village Burdujeni, today a town district of Suceava. The building that houses the school has historic value.
Former Burdujeni Town Hall in Suceava is a building that was built in 1902 in the village Burdujeni and initially was the town hall of the locality. In 1926 Burdujeni became a district of Suceava, and so the town hall was abolished. The historic building currently houses the headquarters of Electrica company.
Ițcani is a neighbourhood located several miles northwest of the city centre. Initially established as a small village in the 15th century under the rulership of Alexăndrel of Moldavia, it subsequently expanded as a German-speaking colony much later, specifically starting in the late 19th century, seeing an influx of German settlers during the Josephine colonization which took place in the time of the Austrian Empire. The north railway station (which depicts architectural elements of both Gothic revival and Neo-romanticist styles, also the oldest in the city) is situated in this neighbourhood as well.
Near the fortress, in Șipote-Cetate Park, there is an equestrian statue of Stephen the Great, designed and made by the local sculptor Iftimie Bârleanu in 1977. The monument has 23 meters in height, being the tallest equestrian statue in Romania. In the city centre there's also a statue dedicated to Petru Mușat, Prince of Moldavia between 1375 and 1391.
Romanian Orthodox churches
One of the most important cultural sites in Suceava is Saint John the New Monastery which includes the monumental Church of Saint George, built between 1514 and 1522. The construction began during the reign of voivode Bogdan III the One-Eyed of Moldavia, after the nearby Mirăuți Church (the metropolitan cathedral of Moldavia at that moment) was devastated in 1513. The construction was completed by Stephen IV of Moldavia (also known as Ștefăniță). The monastery church served as metropolitan cathedral of Moldavia until 1677. It has frescoes painted on the outside, typical of the region, and is one of eight buildings that make up the churches of Moldavia UNESCO World Heritage Site. Since 1991 Saint John the New Monastery serves as the cathedral of the Archdiocese of Suceava and Rădăuți. Saint John the New was a Moldavian monk who preached during Turkish occupation and was subsequently martyred in Cetatea Albă, present-day Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi in Ukraine. Alexander I of Moldavia brought his relics to Suceava in 1402.
Mirăuți Church, dedicated to Saint George, is the oldest religious building in Suceava, founded by Petru II of Moldavia in late 14th century, in the same period with the Seat Fortress, when he moved the capital from Siret to Suceava. The church established the city as a see of it. Mirăuți was the metropolitan cathedral of Moldavia between 1402 and 1522, when the church of Saint John the New Monastery was completed. In 1402, the relics of Saint John the New were transferred to this church from Cetatea Albă, and then, in 1589 transferred again to the nearby monastery church by voivode Peter the Lame. The name Mirăuți derives from the fact that it was the coronation church of Moldavia until 1522. Stephen the Great was crowned in here in 1457. After the church was devastated, it was rebuilt in early 17th century, and then, in the 18th century, abandoned.
Church of Saint Demetrius was founded by Peter IV Rareș, ruler of Moldavia (1527–1538, 1541–1546), and the son of Stephan the Great. The church was built in 1534–1535, with a bell tower added in 1560–1561 by Alexandru Lăpușneanu. The bell tower is 40 meters high, being the tallest bell tower in Suceava and a landmark of the city. The church had frescoes painted on the outside, that are still visible on one side wall. The frescoes inside were restored recently. Church of Saint Demetrius is located near the ruins of the former Princely Court of Suceava.
Furthermore, there is another old church near these ruins. Church of Saint John the Baptist, also known as Coconilor Church or Domnițelor Church, was founded in 1643 by Vasile Lupu, voivode of Moldavia between 1632 and 1653. It has no exterior frescoes and a short bell tower that has its roof linked with the roof above the church. In its early days, the church functioned as a chapel for the Princely Court.
Church of the Resurrection (located in the proximity of Saint John the New Monastery) dates from 1551, and was founded by Elena Rareș, the wife of voivode Peter IV Rareș. The church has no tower above the naos, its architecture reflecting the urban style of the medieval period. Instead of the bell tower, the church has a zvonnitsa, an architectural form especially used in the Russian architecture of the 14th–17th centuries. Church of the Resurrection was used by the local Roman Catholic community during the Habsburg occupation, and then by the Ruthenian Greek Catholic community, until 1936. It is also known as Văscresenia Church or Elena Doamna Church.
Church of Saint Nicholas (Prăjescu) is another religious building in Suceava that features the medieval Moldavian architectural style. The present church was rebuilt by treasurer Nicoară Prăjescu in 1611, during the reign of Constantin Movilă (1607–1611). Throughout its history, the church functioned as a necropolis for the local boyars.
Between the city center and Ițcani neighborhood, on the slopes that descend to the Suceava river valley, there is Church of the Assumption, another old Romanian Orthodox church, founded in the first half of the 17th century (1639). The church was built on the place where Ițcani Monastery existed before. It functioned as a nunnery until late 18th century. Today it is parish church, and has a zvonnitsa similar to that of Church of the Resurrection, located downtown.
In Burdujeni neighborhood, 4 km (2 mi) north-east of the city center, there is Teodoreni Monastery, founded in 1597 by local boyar Teodor Movilă, the elder brother of Ieremia Movilă, ruler of Moldavia (1595–1600, 1600–1606). Burdujeni village (now a district of Suceava) was established and developed around this monastery. The set of buildings includes Church of Ascension, the bell tower, living quarters for nuns and a surrounding wall. Just 1 km (0.6 mi) north of Teodoreni Monastery, in the old district of Burdujeni, there is Church of the Holy Trinity, founded by archimandrite Filaret Scriban in 1851.
Ițcani neighborhood has two Romanian Orthodox churches founded in the first half of the 20th century: Church of the Holy Archangels (built near Suceava North railway station, in 1933–1938) and Church of the Holy Apostles (located on European route E85 and built in 1905–1908 by the German community of Ițcani, initially as a Lutheran church).
Church of the Holy Cross, located in Pătrăuți village (a few miles north-west of Ițcani), was founded in 1487 by Stephen the Great, and is one of the monuments that make up the churches of Moldavia UNESCO World Heritage Site. Also not far away from Ițcani, there is Dragomirna Monastery, established by clergyman Anastasie Crimca in 1609. Voroneț Monastery is located 40 km (25 mi) west of Suceava, in the town of Gura Humorului.
German Roman Catholic and Lutheran churches
During the late Modern Age up until the early 1940s, a sizable German community lived in Suceava. They were of both Roman Catholic and Evangelical Lutheran faith. These German-speaking colonists who were settled by the Austrian Empire in the city proper can trace their origins most notably to the territories of present-day southern Germany, Austria, and the Czech Republic (Bohemia), being thus both Catholics and Protestants. Several religious buildings that served both aforementioned religious denominations can still be found today both in the city proper and in the Ițcani neighborhood, where a bygone community of ethnic Germans (stemming from contemporary Rhineland-Palatinate land in Germany) once lived.
Armenian Orthodox churches
In the past, Suceava used to have an important Armenian community as well. Their cultural and historical legacy is highlighted by a series of well preserved religious buildings that still exist to this today.
The most representative ecclesiastical landmark established by the local Armenian population is Zamca Monastery (the term Zamca can actually trace its linguistic origin to Polish, denoting as such a 'fortified place' and being named this way by King Jan Sobieski of Poland in 1691), a fortified complex of buildings located on a plateau at the western point of the contemporary city.
Zamca Monastery was constructed between 1551 and 1606 and its church is dedicated to Saint Auxentius. Along with the church, the monastery includes several buildings made of stone and a defensive wall that surrounds the whole medieval complex.
Between Zamca Monastery and the city center there are two more Armenian Orthodox churches. Church of Saint Simon (also known as The Red Tower Church because of its bell tower) was founded in 1513. The bell tower was constructed in 1551.
The church has an old Armenian cemetery in the proximity and a chapel that was built in 1902 (Pruncul Chapel). Church of the Holy Cross was established in 1521 and was renovated several times in its history. The Armenian parsonage is located near the church, along with several old tomb stones.
Hagigadar Monastery is another medieval complex built by the local Armenians. It was founded in 1512–1513, and is located on the south-western proximity of the city, on a valley near European route E85.
In the past few years Suceava started to evolve more rapidly. The most important sights in the town date from its time as a princely capital (i.e. the Middle Ages). There are numerous museums in the city proper including, most notably, the Bucovina History Museum, the Bucovina Village Museum, Bucovina Ethnographic Museum (housed in an inn dating back to the 17th century), or the Natural History Museum.
The city has also had other significant football clubs competing in either Liga I or Liga II such as CSM Suceava, FC Cetatea Suceava, or Foresta Suceava, the last initially based in the city of Fălticeni from the same county. The city also used to have another Liga III side, Sporting Suceava, but it went bankrupt.
All the major sporting events are hosted on the Areni Stadium, a multi-purpose stadium with a capacity of 12,500 people. It is currently the home ground of ACS Foresta Suceava. The stadium was initially opened in 1963 as the "Municipal Stadium".
CS Universitatea Bucovina Suceava is the city's men's handball team which currently competes in the Romanian Handball League (Romanian: Liga Națională). It was founded in 2002 and it started playing in the first tier of the Romanian handball system in 2006. In 2011 it achieved its greatest performance to date, namely finishing 3rd in the national handball division.
The only university of the city (and also of the entire county) is Ștefan cel Mare University of Suceava which was established in 1990.
The most prominent high schools with theoretical pathways of the city are the following ones:
- Named after the most well-known Moldavian and Romanian poet, Mihai Eminescu
- Main study offers are: Social Sciences, Mathematics and Computer Science, Philology.
- Named after the voievod of Moldavia, Peter IV Rareş
- Main study offers are: English, Philology, Mathematics and Computer Science.
- Named after the prince of Moldavia between the years 1457 and 1504, Stephen III of Moldavia
- Main study offers are: Natural Sciences, Mathematics and Computer Science.
- Named after the twice Prince of Moldavia and the famous writer of the Descriptio Moldavie, Dimitrie Cantemir.
- It is the only economics high-school in Suceava.
- Main study offers are Tourism, Gastronomy, Alimentation, Economy, Countability, and Trade.
- The main profile which the school promovates is the Technical profile.
Suceava is served by the Suceava International "Ştefan cel Mare" Airport (SCV), located 12 km (7.5 mi) east of the city centre, in the small town of Salcea. The airport initially opened in 1962 when commercial services started with TAROM, the oldest operating Romanian airline. In 1963, the runway was paved, and an apron was built. Services by TAROM were discontinued in 2001, but resumed in 2004. During this period, the airport was served only by Angel Airlines. In March 2005, the airport was renamed Ștefan cel Mare Airport, and opened to international traffic.
In 2013, Suceava International Airport started a plan (worth c. €39 million) to rebuild and extend the old runway of 1,800 m (5,906 ft), to construct a new control tower and to install a new ILS system. In August 2013, the construction works commenced, and on 12 January 2014, the airport closed in order to allow the runway works to resume. The old concrete runway was completely removed, and a new runway, made out of asphalt, was constructed.
On 25 October 2015, the airport was officially reopened. As of 2019, Suceava International Airport had an annual traffic of 430,064 passengers, a local record thus far, making it the 8th busiest airport in Romania.
- Marius Babias, art critic, author, and curator (director of Neuer Berliner Kunstverein since 2008)
- Iosif Berman, photographer and journalist during the interwar period
- Eugeniu Botez (nom de plume Jean Bart), writer
- Olga Bucătaru, actress
- Stela Cheptea, historian and medievalist
- Vladimir Găitan, actor
- Norman Manea, writer and intellectual
- Ioan Nemeș, physicist and biologist
- George Ostafi, abstract painter
- Gheorghe Panaiteanu Bardasare, painter
- Nicolae Picu, violinist
- Pamfil Polonic, archaeologist and topographer
- Ioana Rostoș (nom de plume Jane Rostos), writer
- Ludwig Adolf Staufe-Simiginowicz, poet and German language teacher
- Daniel Bălan, football player and coach
- Petru Bălan, rugby union footballer
- Cristian Mugur Bolohan, former football player and coach
- Alexandru Buziuc, football player
- Ionuț Dimofte, rugby union football player
- Irina Dorneanu, Olympic rower
- Iulian Dumitraș, rugby union football player
- Dorin Goian, former football player and coach
- Lucian Goian, football player
- Cătălin Golofca, football player
- Lidia Havriștiuc, football player
- Aleksandru Longher, football player
- Paul Mateciuc, football player
- Cosmin Pașcovici, former football player
- Anca Polocoșer, handball player
- Doru Popadiuc, football player
- Mihai Roman, football player
- Tiberiu Serediuc, football player
- Ovidiu Slușariuc, former rugby union football player
- Sonia Ursu-Kim, basketball player
- Dimitrie Barilă, 17th century Moldavian Metropolitan, scholar, poet, and translator
- Iosif Bobulescu, 19th century bishop
- Anastasie Crimca, 16th century Eastern Orthodox clergyman, calligrapher, illuminator, and writer
- Peter Mogila, 17th century theologian
- Shulem Moskovitz, chasidic Rebbe
- Filaret Scriban, 19th century theologian
- Meir Shapiro, Hasidic rabbi and rosh yeshiva
- Foundation of Moldavia
- List of rulers of Moldavia (between the 14th and 19th centuries)
- Medieval churches of Moldavia
- Germans of Romania (including, most notably, Bukovina Germans)
Twin towns — Sister cities
Suceava is twinned with:
Regional, cultural, and economic partnerships
- The Administrative Palace
- Burdujeni railway station in wintertime
- The Evangelical Lutheran Church belonging to the German community in the town
- The Old Hospital
- The Friendship House (with bezirk Schwaben)
- Ciprian Porumbescu Art College (former German language gymnasium)
- The Justice Palace in the city centre
- The Palace of Finance
- Downtown Suceava, as seen from the medieval Seat Fortress (December 2005)
- Downtown Suceava, as seen from the medieval Seat Fortress (August 2009)
- 22 December square in downtown Suceava
- Aerial view of the Seat Fortress (June 2015)
- The Seat Fortress (August 2009)
- Panoramic view of the Seat Fortress of Suceava as seen in August 2016
- Statue of Petru Mușat, Prince of Moldavia (between 1375 and 1391)
- The equestrian statue of Stephen III of Moldavia
- Hotel Bucovina
- Apartment blocks on the 1 December 1918 boulevard
- Renovated block of flats on Victory street
- IFA Tower, the city's tallest structure (with a total height surpassing 200 metres)
- Matei Vișniec Municipal Theater
- Costin Tarangul memorial house in the city centre
- Simion Florea Marian memorial house in the city centre
- Jean Bart secondary school in Burdujeni
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