About Brașov

Brasov (in Latin: Corona, German: Kronstadt, Transylvanian Saxon: Kruhnen, Hungarian: Brassó) is a city in Romania and the administrative centre of Brasov County. According to the latest Romanian census (2011), Brasov has a population of 253,200 making it the 7th most populous city in Romania. The metropolitan area is home to 382,896 residents.

Fringed by the peaks of the Southern Carpathian Mountains and resplendent with gothic, baroque and renaissance architecture, as well as a wealth of historical attractions, Brasov is one of the most visited places in Romania.

Founded by the Teutonic Knights in 1211 on an ancient Dacian site and settled by the Saxons as one of the seven walled citadels, Brasov exudes a distinct medieval ambiance and has been used as backdrop in many recent period films. The location of the city at the intersection of trade routes linking the Ottoman Empire and western Europe, together with certain tax exemptions, allowed Saxon merchants to obtain considerable wealth and exert a strong political influence in the region. This was reflected in the city’s German name, Kronstadt, as well as in its Latin name, Corona, meaning Crown City (hence, the coat of arms of the city which is a crown with oak roots). Fortifications were erected around the city and continually expanded, with several towers maintained by different craft guilds, according to medieval custom.

City Landmarks:

Poiana Brașov

A 15-minute drive or 30-minute bus ride from Brasov leads to Poiana Brasov (3,300 feet), a mountaintop ski and summer resort. During winter months, Poiana Brasov offers some of the best skiing in Romania. In the summer, it is a great place for hikers to launch treks into the Southern Carpathian Mountains. For a panoramic view of Brasov and the more distant Bucegi Mountains, take the cable car to the summit of Postavarul Mountain (5,756 feet).

Hollywood celebrities Jude Law, Renee Zellweger and Nicole Kidman relaxed in Poiana Brasov after shooting the film Cold Mountain on location in nearby fields and farms.

Tampa Mountain/Cable Car

Brasov is often referred to as the city at the foot of Mount Tampa. Above the Weavers’ Bastion, along the southeastern side of the fortress walls, there is an alley (Aleea Tiberiu Brediceanu), shaded by old trees and dotted with benches. From here, one can hike to the top of Tampa Mountain, where the original defensive fortress was built.

Walking to the top takes about an hour; just follow the ‘red triangle’ marked trail that begins at the cable car (lower) boarding point or the yellow triangle marked trail which continues from Brediceanu Alley. Those in a hurry or not in the mood for a little hiking, can take the cable car to the peak of the mountain (3,200 feet high).

The Old Town Hall

Built in the 13th century, the house served as meeting place for the town councilors, known as centurions. On top of the building sits the Trumpeter’s Tower, used during the Middle Ages as a watchtower for warning the citadel inhabitants of approaching danger.

Today, the old city hall houses the Brasov History Museum.

Art Museum

The ground and first floors of the museum feature a national gallery of canvases, starting with anonymous Transylvanian painters of the 18th century up to the who’s who of Romanian 20th century artists, including Theodor Pallady, Nicolae Grigorescu, Stefan Luchian and Horia Bernea.

The museum also displays works by Brasov-born Janos Mattis-Teutsch (1884-1960), one of the most influential Romanian artists, as well as sculptures by Corneliu Medrea, Ion Jalea, Frederic Storck and Dimitrie Paciurea.French photographer Brassai, famous for his portrayal of Paris at the beginning of the 20th century, was born in 1899 in Brasov. Upon his move to France he took on his artistic pseudonym Brassai, which means ‘from Brasov’.

Visit the cellar level for a look at the beautiful European crystal and porcelain, as well as a large collection of Oriental vases and statuettes from China, Tibet and Persia.

The Black Church

Brasov’s famous landmark and Romania’s leading gothic church, the Black Church towers over the Council Square and the old town.

Built between 1385 and 1477 on the site of an earlier church (destroyed by Mongol invasions in 1242), the construction of the Marienkirche, as it was known in German, was hampered by extensive damage caused by Turkish raids in 1421.
The church was given its new name after disaster struck again in 1689, when the Great Fire leveled most of the town, blackening the walls of the church. Restoration took almost 100 years. Of two towers planned, only one was finished.
The Black Church is the largest gothic church between Vienna and Istanbul. The Black Church boasts the largest church bell in Romania, weighing in at seven tons.

The original gothic interior got a makeover during restorations, and the lofty, light space you see today is mostly baroque. The interior is beautiful, with balconies, stained glass windows, an enormous organ, stone columns and walls adorned with fabulous Turkish carpets. The church windows have recently been fitted out with special UV-filtering glass to protect the 119 Anatolian carpets. Thankful to have survived their trips into the “barbaric” lands south and east of the Carpathians, German merchants donated the carpets to the church in the 17th and 18th centuries. The collection is the largest of its kind in Europe.

The Rope Street

Brasov is home to one of the the narrowest streets in Europe. The Rope Street is approximately four feet wide and it links Cerbului Street with Poarta Schei Street. This street was initially used as an access route by firefighters.

 

 

Source: http://romaniatourism.com/brasov.html

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