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Brasov guide

Brasov city guide

Brasov is a very well preserved medieval city in the heart of Romania surrounded by the Southern Carpathian mountains. In winter it is a popular ski resort and attracts a lot of Romanian and foreign tourists. Outside the old city you can take an elevator to mountain Tâmpa, which provides a magnificent panoramic view over the town. The history of this Transylvanian city is highly influenced by German culture and often still called after its old German name Kronstadt. German colonists known as the Transylvanian Saxons were invited by King Géza II of Hungary to develop towns, build mines and cultivate the land of Transylvania. Once Braşov became a German colony, Romanians lost several privileges. They were no longer recognized as citizens of the city. The Germans, also known as Burghers, took over trade business and obtained a wealthy position thanks to the strategic location of the city at the centre of trade routes connecting the Ottoman Empire with Western Europe.
The Germans make a large contribution to the architectural beauty of the Brasov by erecting fortifications, gates and towers. At least two medieval entrances to the city, Poarta Ecaterinei (or Ekaterinentor) and Poarta Şchei are still in good condition. The city centre is marked by the mayor's former office building (Casa Sfatului) and the surrounding square (piaţa) including one of the oldest buildings in Braşov, the Hirscher Haus, owned by a wealthy merchant. Nearby is the "Black Church" (Biserica Neagră), which some claim to be the largest Gothic style church in South-Eastern Europe. Nearby you can find the Black Church (Biserica Neagră), probably the city’s most popular tourist sight. The Black Church is claimed to be the largest Gothic style church in South-Eastern Europe and deserves its name from its black exterior walls, a remain from a big fire in 1689. In the church you can see special Turkish carpets. Other churches in Brasov are the St. Nicholas Church and the Orthodox church of the Dormition of the Theotokos. Another popular spots with tourists in Brasov are the Rope Street, considered to be one of Europe’s most narrow streets, Şchei, the originally Bulgarian quarter outside of the old walled city, and the Brasov Citadel Fortress (Cetăţuia Braşovului). Interesting museums are Muzeul Prima Carte Românească, exhibiting the first book printed in the Romanian language and the First Romanian School, where you can see the first Romanian printing press. Close to Brasov is the Bran Castle which attracts many Dracula fans, and often (but historically incorrect) claimed to have been the home of Vlad the Impaler. The region of Brasov is also well known for its bears that sometimes visit the outskirts of the city turning trash bins upside down, meanwhile looking for food.


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