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CNAA / Theses / 2004 / June /

The defensive architecture of medieval Moldavia (the middle of the 14th century – the middle of the 16th century)

Author: Mariana Şlapac
Degree:doctor habilitat of history and Theory of Arts, Cultorology
Speciality: 17.00.04 - Visual Arts (with specification: Fine Art; Decorative Art; Applied Art)
Institution: Institute of History of Art of the ASM


The thesis was presented on the 2 June, 2004
Approved by NCAA on the 14 October, 2004


Adobe PDF document0.34 Mb / in romanian


fortress, moldavian fortress, architecture of moldavian fortress, military architecture of Moldavia


The present work is dedicated to the architecture of medieval fortresses, which had the supreme significance in the defensive system of Moldavia during the most heroic period in its history. These are the Ruling fortress from Suceava, the New Roman fortress, the citadel of Orheiul Vechi, Neamţ, Cetatea Albă, Chilia, Soroca, Hotin, Ţeţina, Tatarbunar, Tighina (Bender) and other fortresses. Among their building owners are such Moldavian princes as Petru I Muşat, Roman I Muşat, Alexandru cel Bun, Ştefan cel Mare, Petru Rareş, Turkish sultan Süleyman the Magnificent and other. By their architectural, constructive and artistic qualities Moldavian fortresses of 70-80s of the 15th century can be compared to the best samples of medieval military architecture. In plus the defensive system of the country is the strongest in South-Eastern Europe.

In order to get an objective image of military building of Moldavia were used different categories of primary sources, scientific publications as well as materials, stored in archives, libraries, museums of the Republic of Moldova, Romania, the Ukraine, Russia, Austria, Poland and Turkey. „Castellology” „data bank” was replenished with the help of new, previously not published, archaeological, archive and in-situ data, thanks to the discoveries of the author in the fields of fine arts, architecture, history or epigraphy, by means of classification and comparison of already known and new information, using certain system and methods of investigation etc.

In the work was for the first time in detail studied architecture of Moldavian fortresses (architectural-planning and compositional-spatial solutions, typological and stylistic characteristics etc.). Special attention was paid to construction materials and methods of building of defensive units. Questions concerning ascription and dating of certain constructions were touched upon.

For the first time was undertaken architectural and typological analysis of stone fortifications of Moldavia, which incorporate the best traits of medieval military architecture. Moldavian fortifications incorporate northern, central and west European types of architecture, Oriental and Byzantine architecture, as well as Renaissance architecture. Evolution and typological series were presented, visual groups of fortresses-analogues were presented also. The base models were defined and were also routed the ways of their penetration into Moldavian principality. In the dissertation appear new data referring to plans, sections and exterior of fortifications, to interior decoration, secret passages, memorable inscriptions, lapidary and protective signs etc. Information about masters and organisers of construction works was also given in the work.

The results of this work can be used for restoration and reconstruction of a number of fortresses of the Republic of Moldova, Romania and the Ukraine. They also can be of use for specialists of Middle Age as well as for those who are interested in monuments of medieval architecture.