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Brasov, historic city

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Brasov, historic city
Brasov, historic city
Brasov, historic city


Brasov is a medieval Romanian town expanding on a fortified Saxon burgh in the 13th century. Its main square developed as a centre of the local social, cultural and economic life.
The City Hall is in the centre of the square. Initially (in the 14th century) a tower was built there to protect one of the gates to the city. In the 15-16th century the building was extended by adding an arcade with shops to it.
Two other landmarks - the big Business Centre and the Black Church (Brasov Cathedral) are also in the same square.
Brasov Cathedral (the Black Church) is the biggest Catholic church in Transylvania (89 x 23m). Starting in 1385, the construction of the cathedral took almost 100 years.. The church is of a hall type, or Hallenkirche - the central nave and the aisles alongside it are of equal height and covered by a single roof. Initially it was designed to have two towers on both sides of the western wall but only one was built. In 1689, a devastating fire destroyed the roof of the cathedral and covered its stone masonry with soot. Hence the name ”Black Church.” The stone sculptures decorating the five portals of the cathedral (one on the west side and two each on the northern and the southern sides) are of exceptional value.
The residents of Brasov built the castle in the 13th century to protect the border between Transylvania and Vallachia. In addition, the castle housed the local customs.
The castle was refurbished several times in the past four centuries. Its last reconstruction dates back to the middle of the 20th century when Queen Maria of Romania turned it into a summer residence.
Due to the mystic atmosphere dominating the castle, legends say that the notorious Count Dracula lived there. Now it is the ideal setting for the Museum of Medieval History housed in it.
Another interesting place in Brasov county is Fragras castle. Built as a fortified residence in the 15th century, the castle was refurbished and extended in the 16th and the 17th century: the towers were made higher, wings were added and a donjon was constructed to protect the castle against artillery fire. The castle is the largest architectural structure demonstrating the transformation of fortifications into fortified residences in the 17th century. The building really has a rich history – built as a castle, it became a residence of the nobility, later was used as a prison, and now houses a museum and a library.


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