VIII, 2012, 1

Several Remarks about the “Place” of St. Demetrius Church from Suceava and “the Princely Yard” in the Second Half of the 18th Century | p. 7–16

marketplace, plan of a medieval town, St. Demetrius Church, Suceava, urban planning


Upon the initiative of Metropolitan Jacob of Putna, at the middle of the 18th century a “real estate boom” took place around the St. Demetrius princely church from central Suceava, a boom which modified the topography of the area as well as the way nowadays historians “interpolated” the plan of the residence of the first rulers of Moldavia. Among them, even those who accepted the role of urban planning and colonization in the forming of the medieval towns in this part of the world, as well as the archaeologists, who thoroughly excavated the centre of the old town, placed the princely palace and the St. Demetrius church away from the hypothetic marketplace, similar to the situation in the first cadastral survey of Suceava, the one from 1856. The testimonies of the 17th century travellers who described a marketplace bordered by the princely court, with the church in the middle, were either ignored or considered late. Two documents from the second half of the 18th century, which describe a place named “the princely yard” next to the ruined princely palace, corroborated with a series of other clues, confirm the testimonies of the travellers and support the conclusion that the princely residence had from its very beginning a plan similar to that of the contemporary gothic towns with a charter of privileges from the Polish realm.