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About The Royal Court

The Nativity of St. John the Baptist Church located at Piata Libertatii, Piatra Neamț City, Romania, is a Romanian Orthodox church. Established by Prince Stephen the Great of Moldavia, it was built in 1497-1498 as part of his royal court in the town. The bell tower dates to the year after the church was completed, and is a symbol of the city. Both church and tower are well preserved examples of late 15th century Moldavian religious architecture.

Stephen the Great, Prince of Moldavia was the ktitor of the church, built between 1497 and 1498. It originally formed part of the Piatra Neamț princely court, with the royal residence built from 1468 to 1475. The interior is divided into a vestibule, nave and altar. The vestibule has two domed ceilings, one in front of the other and divided by a large stone transverse arch. Originally, a sizable wall separated the vestibule from the nave.

The church is entered through a Gothic-style stone portal that combines common elements with new concepts.

On the exterior, the base offers a solid support and has artistic touches as well: it is accurately designed, has a series of horizontal bands in relief that emphasize its depth, and there is an inclined plane connecting it to the next level.

The freestanding entrance tower located to the northwest of the church and nicknamed Stephen's Tower.
Its main purpose was and is a bell tower, but it also played a secondary role as observation tower, allowing guards to watch over the Bistrița River and the roads leading to the Neamţ Citadel and Roman, picking out enemies and seeking refuge from them.

Contact and information:

Address: Piata Libertatii, Piatra Neamt, Romania
Railway station: Piatra Neamt

Opening hours: Daily

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