The gateway to Transylvania, Brasov was first documentary certified in the year 1234 A.D. under the name of Corona.
Fortunately it still shows to its guests well preserved edifices with Old Saxon architecture.
You can take a walk along the old city walls.
And either walk up or drive around to the old towers guarding the medieval citadel.
Stop in the Council Square
Julio Iglesias started his career at Golden Stag Music Festival held in this square.
Visit Council HouseThis historical and architectural monument dates since 15th century.
It displays about 3000 pieces within its 17 halls spread on 3 levels.
Step inside Black Church
Black Church is also the largest Gothic church between Vienna and Istanbul.
St. Mary’s Church, built in 1385, received the present name after the fire in 1689 that blackened the outer walls.
Black Church shelters the largest and most valuable collection of Oriental (Anatolian) prayer rugs (over 100).
With a huge bell, it also has a renowned 4000-pipe organ (installed in 1839) which is the largest in Romania.
Walk on String StreetBuilt in the 17th century as corridor for firefighters' use, String Street has 80 m length and a width varying between 111 and 135 cm.
Spreuerhofstraße in Germany and Parliament Street in England are narrower.
Try to fully spread your arms while on it.
Yes, it is not wide enough !
It used to be a rendez-vous lieu pour les amoureux (meeting place for lovers).
Nowadays this is considered to be the 5th most romantic place in Romania.
By the way did you bring a date ?
Admire the beautiful building of Beth Israel Synagogue and Schei Gates
On purpose or by hazard, most probably your custom made tour of Brasov medieval city will also include these two landmarks.
Catherine GateIn 16th century, Tailors’ Guild built Catherine's Gate for defensive purposes, to replace the old gate destroyed by a flood.
Named after St. Catherine’s Monastery – situated here in former times – this is the only original city gate to have survived from medieval times.
In fact the central tower is only a part of the original gate, documents mentioning a wooden structure demolished in 1827.
You can see the original structure at Weaver’s Bastion that displays the large model of Brasov in 1600.
Old documents mention it under the name of Porta Valacce (Vallah’s Gate).
This was the only entrance for the Romanians living in Scheii Brasovului.
They were not allowed to use the other four entrances.
Saxon rule (13th to 17th century) forbade Romanians to own properties within fortress walls.
So these settled outside the wall in the neighborhood named Scheii Brasovului.
Romanians could only enter the town at certain times.
And they had to pay a toll at the gate for the privilege of selling their produce inside the citadel.
The four small corner turrets (also seen in other Transylvanian towns) symbolize the fact that the town had judicial autonomy.
And the “right of sword” (ius gladii) which was the right to decide on capital punishment.
Above entrance the tower bears the city’s coat of arms, a crown on an oak tree trunk and roots.
At the present time here is a museum.
Spend time within Weavers’ TowerThe weavers in the citadel erected it in the South-Western corner of the medieval walled city and also defended it.
This is the best-preserved fortification of the city, nowadays hosting a Museum of the Medieval City of Brasov.
Black TowerLocated on a large rock on Warthe Hill, this had the role to deny enemy soldiers to approach city walls found no further than 5 m.
The pass was only widened in 1819-1820.
Any respectable tour of Brasov medieval city should include at least one peak of the old center from the White Tower !
Stop at Graft Bastion
Brasov Craftsmen Defenders of the City - Permanent exhibition
The legend says in 1395, after a military campaign against Turks, King Sigismund of Luxembourg decided to raise Brasov fortification.
Apparently, they completed Brasov city’s first belt at the beginning of the 15th century.
Due to Ottoman sieges, the inhabitants had to improve the fortifications.
So the yard continued for repair or new construction until the first half of the 17th century.
The defense system proved to have effect, Brasov not being conquered since Turkish invasion in 1421 until Austrian troops entered the city in 1688.
In the 14th century, excess water from the springs flowing through Brasov Schei and crossing the medieval streets of the Citadel was deflected through an artificial channel called “Graft” at the foot of Romani hill.
At the same time they used the channel as natural obstacle within Citadel’s defensive system.
Graft Bastion, built between 1515 and 1521, ensured the communication of White Tower with the fortress. For this purpose it had a mobile gate. With rectangular shape and about 4 m thickness, the fortification has cutting hatches with wood closures and casting.
Harness guild – that made saddlebags, harnesses, belts – protected and maintained it.
Due to the torrential rain from August 24, 1809, fortress’ walls weakened in Graft area consolidation being needed.
In 1822, locals built 3 springs over the creek, one of which still exists today.
Atop Mount Tampa
The ride offers very beautiful landscapes and from the peak you can admire Brasov historical center.
Rising about 400 m above the city, Mount Tampa stretches over about 150 ha, nowadays declared natural reserve.
See you all back here soon for more tips, picked expressly for you.
Meanwhile feel free to address me any question you might have about Romania.
And to share this with anyone who might find it useful or interesting 😉
Happy tours !
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