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Brasov City - MTM
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Brasov City - MTM PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 14 July 2011 09:00

Brasov City - MTM


Brașov (Romanian pronunciation:  German: Kronstadt; Hungarian: Brassó, Hungarian pronunciation: Medieval Latin: Brassovia or Corona; 1950–1960: Oraşul Stalin) is a city in Romania and the capital of Braşov County.

According to the last Romanian census, from 2002, there were 284,596 people living within the city of Braşov, making it the 8th most populated city in Romania.

Braşov is located in the central part of the country, about 166 km north of Bucharest. It is surrounded by the Southern Carpathians and is part of the Transylvania region.

The city is notable for being the birthplace of the national anthem of Romania and for hosting the Golden Stag International Music Festival.


The oldest traces of human activity and settlements in Braşov date back to the Neolithic age (about 9500 BCE). Archaeologists working from the last half of the 19th century discovered continuous traces of human settlements in areas situated in Braşov: Valea Cetăţii, Pietrele lui Solomon, Şprenghi, Tâmpa, Dealul Melcilor, and Noua. The first three locations shows traces of Dacian citadels; Şprenghi Hill housed a Roman-style construction. The last two locations had their names applied to Bronze Age cultures—Schneckenberg and Noua.



German colonists known as the Transylvanian Saxons played a decisive role in Braşov's development. These Germans were invited by King Géza II of Hungary to develop towns, build mines, and cultivate the land of Transylvania at different stages between 1141 and 1162. The settlers came primarily from the Rhineland, Flanders, and the Moselle region, with others from Thuringia, Bavaria, Wallonia, and even France.

In 1211, by order of King Andrew II of Hungary, the Teutonic Knights fortified the Burzenland to defend the border of the Kingdom of Hungary. On the site of the village of Brasov, the Teutonic Knights built Kronstadt – the city of the crown. Although the crusaders were evicted by 1225, the colonists they brought in remained, along with local population, as did three distinct settlements they founded on the site of Braşov:

  • Corona, around the Black Church (Biserica Neagră);
  • Martinsberg, west of Cetăţuia Hill;
  • Bartholomä, on the eastern side of Sprenghi Hill.

The city center (Piaţa Sfatului)

Germans living in Braşov were mainly involved in trade and crafts. 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. They contributed a great deal to the architectural flavor of the city. Fortifications around the city were erected and continually expanded, with several towers maintained by different craftsmen's guilds, according to medieval custom. Part of the fortification ensemble was recently restored using UNESCO funds, and other projects are ongoing. At least two entrances to the city, Poarta Ecaterinei (or Katharinentor) and Poarta Şchei (or Waisenhausgässertor), are still in existence. The city center is marked by the mayor's former office building (Casa Sfatului) and the surrounding square (piaţa), which includes one of the oldest buildings in Braşov, the Hirscher Haus. Nearby is the "Black Church" (Biserica Neagră), which some claim to be the largest Gothic style church in Southeastern Europe.

Once Braşov became a German colony, Romanians were denied several privileges by the new German settlers. They were no longer recognized as citizens of the city, and as such they were no longer able to continue to practice their crafts and operate their businesses. Additionally, their primary religion (Orthodox) was not officially recognized throughout Transylvania, especially during and after the 15th century.


  • Biserica Neagră ("The Black Church"), a celebrated Gothic site - the building dates from 1477, when it replaced an older church (demolished around 1385). Its acquired the name after being blackened by smoke from the 1689 great fire.
  • Casa Sfatului ("The mayor's former office building"). The administration for Braşov was here for more than 500 years.
  • Biserica Sf. Nicolae (St. Nicholas Church), dating back to the 14th century.
  • The First Romanian School, a museum with the first Romanian printing press among many other firsts.
  • The Rope Street, the narrowest street in Romania.
  • Şchei, the historically Bulgarian but then Romanian neighborhood outside of the old walled city.
  • Catherine's Gate, the only original city gate to have survived from medieval times.
  • Şchei Gate, next to Catherine's Gate, built in 1827.
  • The Orthodox church of the Dormition of the Theotokos, built in 1896.
  • Muzeul Prima Carte Românească, a museum exhibiting the first book printed in the Romanian language.
  • Tâmpa, a small mountain in the middle of the city (900m above sea level), a sightseeing spot near the old city center.
  • The "Braşov Citadel Fortress" - Cetăţuia Braşovului
  • The nearby Bran Castle, attracting many fans of Dracula and often (but incorrectly) said to have been the home of Vlad the Impaler.
  • Poiana Braşov, mainly a ski resort but also a sightseeing spot.
  • Râşnov Fortress, above the nearby town of Râşnov, is a restored peasant fortress
  • Prejmer Fortress, in the nearby town of Prejmer



Round Table No 11 Brasov