The city of Brașov, residence of the county with the same, is located in the center of the country, in the Brasov Depression, at an altitude of 625 meters, inside the Carpathians’ curvature, limited to south and south-east by Postăvaru, which penetrates the city by Tâmpa spur, and Piatra Mare Massifs.

Beautiful panoramas can be taken from The Black Tower.

Novelties on Brașov

Brasov was established by Teutonic Knights in 1211. According to the Encyclopaedia Britannica, the establishment is mentioned in documents for the first time under the name Brașov in 1251.

For a period of 10 years, between 1950 and 1960, Brașov is called “Stalin City”

The first paper mill in Romania was built in Brașov. It happened in 1546, 13 years after Johannes Honterus established a printing house in the city.

After the catastrophic fire in April, 21st 1689, authorities banned wooden constructions. The present day city appearance resulted greatly from this ban.

The first edition of the Golden Stag International Festival took place in 1968. Organized to improve the image of communist Romania abroad, the 1969 edition enjoyed the attendance of Julio Iglesias, but who didn’t win any awards.

Hollywood stars Jude Law, Renée Zellweger and Nicole Kidman enjoyed spending time in Poiana Brașov mountain resort, after shooting “Cold Mountain” in a location close to the same resort.

What to do in Brașov?

Firstly we can go on hikes, trekking and skiing. We can enjoy the Golden Stag International Festival, but also other local festivals. We can take rides on the mountain cable car or chairlift.
We can take pictures of the gentle and almost domesticated bears that come close to inhabited areas or passing by cars; such bears can only be found in the area around Brașov.

Visit, know, and discover:
The Black Church, the city symbol, is only at a few minutes’ walk from the Council Square (Piața Sfatului). This is the patriarchal church of the Evangelical Church in Romania and is one of the most important gothic architecture monuments in the country. It got its name after it was partially destroyed by the Great Fire in 1689.

At The Black Tower you can take pictures of beautiful panoramas of Brașov. This is one of the 4 Brașov Citadel observation towers and it was built as an independent fortification. The small tower got his name after a lightning strike charred it.

Saint Bartholomew Church is the oldest architectural monument in Brașov. The construction started in 1260! It is a simple church, without decorations, in Roman (Cistercian) style. The gothic style elements catch your eye.

Saint Nicholas Church is dating back to 1292, Saint Nicholas Church oversees, with its impressive dimensions, Scheii Brașovului quarter. The church was stone built starting with 1495 by locals with the help of Neagoe Basarab, ruler of Wallachia.

The Council Square is probably the most famous and visited place in the city, both by tourists and locals, as it is a leisure place and meeting point. The square frequently hosts various cultural-artistic events.

The Old City Hall is an important architectural monument of the city, currently hosts the County History Museum.

The Fortress, or Cetățuia (Fortress) Hill as it is known presently, was an important defense point, located outside the citadel of Brașov. Today, after restoration, is a tourist attraction complex of medieval influence.

The Black Church is one of the most important gothic architecture monuments in Romania.

History, culture and architecture

Until the 13th century A.D., Brașov hadn’t been mentioned in any document. Nevertheless, a continuous inhabiting of the region is noticed, especially in the Schei or Bartolomeu areas. The present day city was formed after several nucleuses united: Bartholomä, Martinsberg, Cetatea (Corona), Șchei, Blumăna, Noua, Dârste, Stupini.

The tradition and the Brașovan calendar chronicles consider 1203 “the year erection of Brașov was commenced”.

The Brașovan architecture is specific, each house have its own charm. The constructions were executed in time according to well determined urban principles, imposed by the geographical conditions of Brașov. Therefore, while the houses of the Citadel support one another, the ones in the outer quarters are spread out. Today you can hardly see standing buildings that are centuries old. Usually these are one floored houses, the exterior walls lack decorations, and the windows are small compared to actual standards.

The Black Church is the parish church of the Lutheran Evangelical community in Brașov and it is located in the Brașov city center. The gothic building was partially damaged by the fire in 1689, when its walls were charred and got its present name. The post-fire name, “The Black Church”, was officially recognized in the 19th century.

The Black Church is one of the most representative gothic architecture monuments in Romania and it dates back to the 14th-15th centuries. With a length of over 98 meters, it considered to be the biggest church in Romania. Because of its dimensions, at the inauguration it received the title of “The biggest church between Wien and Constantinople.”

The current Black Church was built on the site of an older Romanic church, from the 13th century, that had been destroyed during the great tartar invasion in 1241. The actual construction started in 1383, when Brașov was enjoying a strong cultural and economic development period, making it the most important commercial and industrial town at the border between Transylvania and Wallachia.

Between 1836 and 1839, Berlin based company Buchholz builds up in the western gallery a new pipe organ of impressive dimensions (approximately 4,000 tubes, 4 manuals with 56 keys each and a pedalboard with 27 keys, 76 pitches). It was publicly introduced on April, 17th 1839, by none other than Carl August Buchholz who played operas by Friedrich Schneider and Johann Lucas Hedwig.

The Black Church is the biggest gothic style edifice in south-eastern Europe – it is 89 meters long and 38 meters wide. The church has 5,000 people capacity. It is a hall type late gothic style church divided into choir, nave and bell tower. Of the total length, the choir is 31 meters long, the nave is 42 meters long and the tower base is 16 meters long.

The Old Mayor’s House is an important architectural monument in the city of Brașov; initially it was only a surveillance tower. The building was transformed into a mayor’s house as the town developed. Thus, the next mention about the Brașov Mayor’s house emerges in 1503 under the name of “Praetorium”.

The Council Square frequently hosts various cultural and artistic events.

Saint Bartholomew Church is an evangelical Lutheran church built in the 13th century, substantially modified in the 15th century. It is the oldest monument and the oldest church in the city. The entire construction resembles the church at the Cistercian Monastery in Carta, and it was built in a Cistercian gothic style, but was added Romanic elements. It is believed it was built for the first time around 1225. Initially a roman-catholic church under patron Saint Bartholomew, it became an evangelical Lutheran church after the Reform of the 15th century.

The original part of the construction, left untouched, is made up of the choir and chambers next to it, including the two rectangular chapels that close, to the east, the arms of the transept. The church schematics resemble to those of Carta, only that these ones feature three square bays. On the western front there are two towers, but only one has been fully executed. The current tower was built in 1842, replacing the old one that had collapsed during the 1822 earthquake.

Saint Nicholas Church, dating back to 1292, overlooks with its impressive dimensions, the Scheii Brașovului quarter. The church was build up in stone starting 1495 by locals with the support of Neagoe Basarab, ruler of Wallachia. The orthodox church and the Romanian school, built nearby, were an important spiritual and cultural center for Romanians all over Bârsa Region, extending their influence over to Romanians in the entire Romanian space, especially after the arrival of deacon Coresi who started printing here religious books in Romanian. A lot of rulers and their families made donations to the church. Even Empress Elisabeta of Russia sent expensive gifts to the church: money and religious items made of precious metals.

The Fortress, an important historical defense point, is a tourist attraction complex of medieval influence.

Saint Martin Church is an evangelical Lutheran church and of the oldest monuments in Brașov. The edifice was initially a roman-catholic church and had Saint Martin de Tours as patron. It is believed that the church execution began in 1235. In 1395, King Sigismund ordered a service to be held here, on one of the doors it is written the year 1522, and on the church bell the inscription “Magister Andreas de brash, anno 1521”. According to some historians the first owners of the monastery were Franciscan monks who were banished from these lands as Lutheranism grew in popularity. It is believed that in one of the buildings to have belonged to the church, the present day parish house, was located the first mayor’s house, the place where in 1395 an alliance treaty was signed by Mircea cel Batran and Sigismund of Luxemburg.

The Neolog Synagogue in Brașov is a Jewish place of worship and its address is Poarta Schei Street no. 29. It was built between 1899 and 1901, in a neo-gothic style with Moorish touches. The Neolog Synagogue in Brașov has been on the list of historical monuments in Brașov since 2004. The first Jewish people settled in Brașov in 1807, with the approval of the local council. The Jewish community was officially established in 1826. They faced restrictions regarding the professions (jobs) they could practice; they could work only jobs refused by the Saxons. Most members of the community were traders, but there were also skill workers (hat makers, tailors, masons, jewelers) or intellectuals among the Jewish population.

The Orthodox Synagogue is a Jewish place of worship, on Castelului Street no. 64. It was built in 1924, in Moorish style.
Culture and education made their way into the lives of the Brașov locals from the earliest times. It is enough to mention the first Romanian school, in Schei, established in 1399, with its own private teachers (Tempea family, Diaconu Coresi, Dimitrie Eustatievici etc.) and its own printing press. Works made here spread out in the entire Romanian space. At the same time, priests from Scheii Brașovului quarter paid money, sometimes huge amounts, for manuscripts and prints for the school and Saint Nicholas Church. Johannes Honterus, who lived in the citadel the 15th century, established a different school, a library and made a printing press. He edited numerous books, and his library achieved fame because of its incunabula colletction.

In Brașov several theatres and a Philarmonic have been established: The “Sica Alexandrescu” Drama Theatre, The Brașov Opera (initially The Musical Theatre, later The Lyrical Theatre), The “Gheorghe Dima” Philarmonic, “Arlechino” Puppet Theatre, “Reduta” Cultural Center. Also, there are a series of cultural organizations, most of them established after 1990. Worth mentioning are the Plastic Artists’ Union, the Musashino Cultural Association (Japan), the French Alliance, the German Cultural Center and The British Council.