Bistrita Nasaud

Ciceu Fortress Ruins

Ciceu Fortress Ruins

Archaelogical sites

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The tourists who are passionate about history and are willing to imagine how life looked like when our ancestors were living in medieval fortresses, with strongly fortified walls, can visit the Ciceu Fortress ruins, of Bistrita Nasaud County. It was built on a hill of volcanic origin, but the erection date is not exactly certified.


All we know is that in the early 1400 it was lost by Losoncz nobles, thereafter given to Stephen the Great as a feudal domain of refuge, who left it as inheritance to Bogdan, Stefanita Voda and also got in the possession of Petru Rares. The latter used it as hiding place when the Turks invaded Moldavia.


Hungarian kings have long considered Ciceu Fortress an important objective in the Moldavians’ defence strategy, and therefore they had tried many times to conquer it, especially because it was located by Ardeal side.


But they failed because the geographic area gave them a great deal of trouble, as it was placed on top of the hill and very hard to break between its walls. When they failed by force of soldiers, they tried to destroy the city with the miners brought from Rodnei Valley.


So the walls of the Ciceu Fortress began to give way gradually, being completely razed down eventually. Presently the visitor can only find a few ruins, but that is also due to the fact that the locals have not been careful with their patrimony and have cut the millstones remained from the walls.


Only in the southern part of the fortress there are pieces of wall eight meters high and on the opposite side you can see traces of the moat, up to five meters wide, as well as the wall of earth in front of it.


In order to get to Ciceu Fortress, you must follow the road indicators towards Ciceu and Dumbraveni localities. If you are coming from Moldavia, you will pass through Vatra Dornei, Tihuta Pass, and then you will reach Bistrita. If you are coming from Cluj Napoca, you will pass through Dej and reach Bistrita Nasaud.


After you have visited the Ciceu Fortress ruins you can also see Ciceu Cave, Ciceu grottos and Ciceu hillock or take a walk on Spanul hill. You can also relax at Colibita Lake or you can go to Dracula Castle of Tihuta Pass, the Evangelical Church or Sugalete Complex.


For accommodation you can stop at the guesthouses in the area or you can choose one of the hotels of Bistrita, but you can also install a tent in order to enjoy the fresh air.

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