Brasov The Most Visited Places in Romania

By: Douglas Scott

Fringed by the peaks of the Southern Carpathian Mountains and resplendent with gothic, baroque and renaissance architecture, as well as a wealth of historical attractions. Brasov is one of the most visited places in Romania.

Founded by the Teutonic Knights in 1211on an ancient Dacian site and settled by the Saxons as one of the seven walled citadels. Brasov exudes a distinct medieval ambiance and has been used as backdrop in many recent period films.

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 in the region. This was reflected in the cities German name, Kronstadt, as well as in its Latin name, Corona, meaning Crown City.

Fortifications were erected around the city and continually expanded, with several towers maintained by different craft guilds, according to medieval custom.

Stroll around the old Town Hall Square where you can admire colourfully painted and ornately trimmed baroque structures. Take a peek inside the Black Church, the largest gothic church in Romania. Its name derives from damage caused by the Great Fire of 1689, when flames and smoke blackened its walls. The interior is impressive and well kept and houses one of the largest organs in Eastern Europe.

Nearby are towering mountains, rolling fields, thick forests and villages with fortified churches.

Brasov is home to what is said to be the narrowest street in Europe. The Rope Street is approximately four feet wide and links Cerbului Street with Poarta Schei Street. The street was initially used as an access route by fire fighters.

The Saxons built massive stone walls and seven bastions around the city that are still visible today, as well as ornate churches, elaborately trimmed buildings and one of the finest central squares in the country, said to be the spot to which the legendary Pied Piper led the children of Hamlin. Located at the heart of old medieval Brasov and lined with beautiful red roofed merchant houses, the Council Square, known to the Saxon population as the Marktplatz, is a nice place to rest and soak in the beautiful scenery.

In the centre of the square stands the Old Town Hall, now home to Brasovs History Museum, while the southeast corner is dominated by the towns most famous landmark, the Black Church. Around the square, youll find the renaissance style Merchants House, now the Cerbul Carpatin restaurant, the beautiful archway of the Orthodox Cathedral and the memorial museum of the Mureseanu family. In late summer, the Golden Stag music festival takes place here.

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