Cultural Corridors of South East Europe

Cultural Corridor Eastern Trans-Balkan Road / Eastern Trans-Balkan Road

Brasov, historic town

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Brasov, historic town

About the site

Corridor: Eastern Trans-Balkan Road
Country: Romania, Brasov
Type: Historic Town
Epoch: Modern Times, Middle Ages
World Heritage:
Modern TimesMiddle AgesHistoric Town

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.
Built by the citizens of Brasov, the Bran castle was meant to secure the border between Transylvania and Wallachia and provide the customs for the merchandise crossing it. Innitially a fortification belonging to the Teutonic Order (13th century) the castle was altered on several occassions (17th-18th-19th century) and refurbished last time mid 20th century by the late Queen Maria of Romania as her summer residence. Known as Dracula’s Castle, the monument is now a museum of medieval history.Another interesting place in Brasov county is Fragras castle. Built as a fortified residence in the 15th century, the Castle was refurbished and enlarged in the 16th and 17th century when new storeys to the towers and wings were added, and a bastionry fortification to protect the castle against artillery was constructed. The castle is the largest architectural structure displaying the transformation from defensive to residential use occured in the 17th century in Transylvania. Formerly a citadell, a nobiliary residence and a prison, the castle houses now a museum and a library.

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