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Suceava's territory and its surroundings were inhabited, as certified by archaeological research, since ancient times, starting even from the Paleolithic. In II-III centuries there was here a settlement of free Dacians, archaeological finds revealing also strong Roman influences.
During the migration time and in the next centuries the local population continued to live on these lands, and in XIV century, in 1388, Suceava is mentioned as the capital of Moldova.
Beginning with the reign of Peter I of Moldova (about 1375-1391), the fortress of Suceava became the main citadel of Moldavia, the function being performed also in the time of Aron Voda (1592-1595), Razvan Stefan (1595) and the Movilesti. Together with Alexandru Lapusneanu royal residence moved to Iasi.
Near the city there were two fortresses, the older one at Scheia, the other new one, which can be seen today. Between these two fortresses has developed since the first part of the century XIV the town. The fortress Scheia, one of the oldest fortresses from Moldavia, but with a short existence, was demolished during the reign of Alexander the Good (Alexandru cel Bun). The fortress of Suceava was for three centuries very important concerning the political life of Moldova.
The medieval town was populated by Romans, but also Germans, Hungarians and Armenians, the last ones having the right to choose their own ruler (which had the name of "voit").
From Suceava, Alexander the Good (Alexandru cel Bun) has been leading the country for 32 years, increasing and strengthening the fortress walls. In 1401 the Metropolis of Moldova set down here.
In 1408, Alexander the Good grant privileges to the lioveni merchants and Suceava was mentioned as one of the cloth storage places as well as a place of export of Moldovan goods.
Nevertheless the height age would be accomplished during the reign of Stephen the Great (1457-1504). In the summer of 1476, the ambitious Muhammad II tried his luck under the fortress walls, but the stubborn resistance of Moldovans has broken his hopes to get the victory and forced him to withdraw ignominiously. Stephan had made from Suceava a kind of brain of his defense system. In 1497, 21 days and nights the cannons of the lesi have attacked the walls, but they remained fixed. Never did the city was conquered by force of arms.
On 21st May 1600, the army of Mihai Viteazu (Mihai the Brave) enter the fortress without fighting, and on May 26th, Ioan Capturi, the new Parcalab of Suceava, swears faith to that great voivode, who was called "ruler of Tara Romaneasca and Ardeal and of the whole Moldovan country." Suceava greats the army of the great Mihai voivode. Then, over the town came difficult period, entering more and more into anonymity.
In 1775, as result of the neutrality attitude, which it had during the military conflict between Turkey and Russia (1768-1774), Austria received a part of Moldova, which included also the Suceava city (the frontier with Romania crossed the South-East part of the city). For a century and a half this land was part of the Habsburg Empire, receiving the name of Bucovina. Suceava was the second city of Bucovina, after Chernovtsy.