Historical and ethnographic heritage – part of the sustainable
development of tourism in Bukovina
MIS-ETC Code: 829



The Ruins of ”Saint Mary the Virgin” Church (Catholic Cathedral)


GPS (47.42195892334; 26.213556289673)
district Suceava
region Baia
locality Baia
category Religious attractions
year 1467
ethnic Germans, Romanians


Baia exists as a consolidated medieval settlement even from 1200. Today, in Baia commune, situated at 8 kilometres from Fălticeni, it was one of the oldest towns of Moldavia, probably the oldest princely residence of the country. It is believed that the residence of the country was temporary moved from Baia to Siret, then to Suceava. Here a German community was settled (the Transylvanian Saxons or Germans from Galicia), its presence being proven by the fact that the medieval town had a seal with the legend written in Latin. From this community, as well as from the Hungarian one, two catholic churches remained – ”The Holy Apostles Peter and Paul” Church, the Church of Saint Mary the Virgin of Baia - which today are ruined. Baia locality, situated on Moldova River, in Latin documents appears under the name of „Civitas Moldaviensis”, in the past being known under the Romanian name of „Târgul Moldovei. In German literary sources it appears under the following names: „Stadt Molde”, „Molda” and „Mulda”. Today, the commune has two villages: Baia and Bogata. Baia was not only the first throne fortress of Moldavia, but also a very important religious centre. In the XIIIth century, the Dominican missionaries built here a church and in 1337 a document mentions also a Franciscan church. In 1410, the voivode Alexander the Good ordered to start building a catholic cathedral, the biggest in Moldavia, whose impressive ruins can be seen also today.Since 1420, Baia was also the residence of the catholic episcopacy, which lost its status maybe after the battle of December 14-15, 1467, one of the most important events in the life of the town, where Stephan the Great’s army crushed the army of Matia Corvin. On this occasion, the town was destroyed, than rebuilt, house by house, street by street, resuming its entire activity.