Targoviste, the city where the old citadel used to be in old times, is located in the central-southern part of Romania on a high terrace of 260m above the valley of Ialomita, on the border between the Carpathian foothills region and the High Plain of Targoviste, that comprises the region between the Dambovita river and Ialomita river up to the contact point with the "divagation plain", low and monotonous, being an extension of the hilly plains. The plain is detached from the Romanian Plain’s uniformity, Targoviste being situated in the hilly sector of it, part of the High Piedmont Plain of Ialomita, and close to the SubCarpathian hills.
Archaeological excavations done on Targoviste’s territory and around the city proved that this region was inhabited since the Neolithic time. In the Archaeological Museum there are vestiges of the culture of Stancevo-Cris, Gumelnita, Cotofeni, then from the Bronze Age and the Iron Age. Richly illustrated in the museum are also Geto-Dacian ornaments and tools since the Dacian kings’s time, Burebista and Decebal, and subsequently coins that prove the comprising of the area in the coverage zone of the Daco-Roman material culture (sec. I-III) and then, the Byzantine culture (Sec. V-VI ).
In the Suseni quarter of current Targoviste, there were found traces of a settlement from the II-V centuries, over which, another one protoromana from the VIII-X centuries, is superimposed. Over these, a rural settlement was formed in the XII-XIV centuries, out of which the medieval borough had developed. The medieval period brought its recognition as a borough site of European importance, where goods arriving from three continents swapped with those of local producers. Nicolae Iorga believed that it was in Targoviste that the battle (dated by him in 1369) between the prince of Transylvania, Nicolae Lackfi and the Nobleman Dragomir of Dambovita citadel took place, during the reign of Vladislav I, alias Vlaicu Voda, won by the Romanians.
It is noteworthy that, in the chronics of the Turk Küküllö John, it is mentioned on the site of the today city, the existence of a fortification, for "Prince Nicholas, after passing the river with his army, the Ialomita waters took in force the reinforcements made by the Wallachian, therefore, he needed to retreat. A proof that the city existed even then and the Romanians had fought vigorously.
The first mention of the city is made in 1396 by the Bavarian crusader Johann Schiltberger, who visited the city during the preparations for the battle of Nikopol. During the reign of the ruler Mircea cel Batran (the Oldman), the city became the main royal residence of the Romanian Country. Also during this ruler’s time, the Royal Court was rebuilt, whose ruins surround the Chindia Tower today; latest archaeological research have advanced the idea that a royal court was built here before Mircea cel Batran.
Chindia (Sunset) Tower - Symbol of Targoviste City - Photo source: internet
In 1418 Targoviste is certified as a city and capital of the Romanian Country. During this period Targoviste enjoyed a privileged status as the most important economic and cultural center of the Romanian Country fact favored by its position at the crossroads of important trade routes.
The Metropolitan Church Targoviste - Photo source: internet
Tragoviste City Hall - Photo: source
Targoviste city panorama - Photo: internet