The Neamț toponym is first mentioned in the Russian list of Wallachian cities, i.e. Romanian, made between 1387 and 1392, where Neamț is used for a group of mountains. Subsequently, the Hungarian king Sigismund of Luxemburg used this toponym as ante castrum Nempch (before the citadel of Neamț) in a document issued on February 2, 1395, during a raid in Moldavia followed by a battle at Ghindăoani, where he was defeated by Prince Stephen I. In 7 January 1403, the Neamț toponym appears in a document of the chancellery of Moldavia, where Prince Alexander the Good was mentioning boyar Pan Sandru of Neamț as a member of the voivodal council. The origin of the toponym of Neamț generated various discussions and speculations that have not solved this problem. Bogdan Petriceicu Hașdeu (1870) believed Neamț is the same with German, therefore the Neamț name refers to the group of Germans, perhaps Teutonic or Saxon knights, who built the citadel of Neamț.
The stages in the development of the city of Tîrgu Neamț are difficult to reconstruct because the old buildings, made of less resistant materials, disappeared almost entirely due to the frequent invasions, fires or the urban systematization of the contemporary period.
The first town core with a small urban center was established before the 14th century.
In 1890, the city suburbs were: Neamțu, Berăria, Boiștea, Haralambie, Pârâul Ursului, Pometea, Prundu and Țuțuieni (C.D. Gheorghiu, 1895), some with a well-defined functional development.
In the 20th century, the increase in surface was achieved by extending old neighborhoods and embedding the suburbian localities of Condreni, Humulești, Blebea and Băile-Oglinzi into the city, which currently belong to the administration of Tîrgu-Neamț.
The shape of the city’s infrastructure shows the stages of territorial development and the functional diversification. The center has evolved spontaneously to the shape of an elongated market or a merchant street. Two main axes of circulation stand out in the city plan: one from the Northeast to the Southwest, which crosses the city as part of National Road 15C, and another from the West to the East, linked to the mountain area (DN 15B) and to Bistrița Valley, or to the national road of European importance E 85, linked to Cristești. The main arteries are doubled or even tripled by parallel streets.
The first days of the settlement are lost in the mists of time, a very long time before the consolidation of Moldavia (1359) and the first documentary attestation (1389-1392). The discovered archaeological remains prove the city and its environs have been inhabited since the time of the commune. The earliest evidence date from the Neolithic and the Bronze Age, followed by elements of the Geto-Dacian civilization(C. Buzdugan, 1981), documented by the 19 archaeological sites reported or investigated around the city and the 170 surrounding archaeological points (Gh. Dumitroaia, 1992). During early feudalism (3rd – 4th century), the city population was large, causing its mention in the Russian list of the cities in Moldavia (1387-1392) on third rank after the bourg of Iași, on the Prut River, and the bourg of Roman, on Moldavia River (Giurescu 1967). As feudal relations of production along with trade and crafts developed, sheltered by the citadel of Neamț, the city’s population increased, a fact noted by foreign travelers who passed through here. There were also periods of decline, due to the repeated invasions and destruction that affected the entire Moldavia.
In the 14th and 15th centuries, an urban concentration has developed at the the foot of the Neamțu Hill of the Culmea Pleșului chain, between the voivodal church and the former Old Alley, west-northwest of the current town center (Al. Ungureanu, 1980). In the course of its historical evolution, the territorial development has been stimulated by the emergence of certain types of functional areas and the assimilation of rural settlements into the city.
Since the 16th to the 18th century, the city had a moderate expansion, and during the 19th century it knew a large territorial growth. New suburban neighborhoods emerged, such as “Mahalaua Țuțuienilor”, founded by the Romanians that came from Transylvania.
Some districts have rural influences, with old houses sustained by oak beams, with timber walls, currently plastered. The roofs are made in four slopes covered with shingle, later with sheet or tile. The porch was replaced with the veranda, decorated with floral, geometric and sometimes zoomorphic patterns, executed by carvings and indentures in the wood or by fretwork. In “Țuțuieni”, the southern Transylvanian physiognomy was preserved, the houses are big, square, with tall porches on more sides, with brick columns and round or accolade arches.
A small number of aristocratic houses are still preserved in the central area, with some architectural distinction. They are massive buildings, large, with beautifully decorated facades. On the main arteries, residential buildings were built, with shops on the ground floor, in various shapes and with geometric decorations. The City Hospital, The Princely School where the Museum of History and Ethnography operates today, and other public buildings built in the 19th century to house various institutions have imposing architecture, adapted to the functional needs.
By the diverse landscape, the richness in natural resources and the intensity of human life, the Neamț region reminds of the history, the culture and traditions of the Romanian nation. The area of the Neamț Depression, this shelter of authentic life, preserved the cultural traditions, the ancient customs and especially the Moldavian hospitality.