Many centuries ago, “the holy land” was the scene of bloody battles between Christian knits and the Arabic armies. These events have gone into the history as the famous crusades. Few people know the fact that after being chased away from Jerusalem, some of the knits, the German Teutonic Knights, went to Transylvania. Here they were given land and were allowed to settle down and build cities and fortresses. One of the biggest settlement was the “city of the crown”, later called Kronstadt or Braşov.
The city’s history is very closely related to the Teutonic knits and to the German colonists, the Saxons of Transylvania. Although parts of the city were inhabited by an Orthodox population centuries before the arrival of the Germans, Braşov’s development is closely related to the great colonization of Eastern Europe, started by the Hungarian kings and the pope. The best proof for the great plans of the Catholic church, is the “Black Church”, the largest Gothic building between Vienna and Istanbul, a sign of the vast development the city had back in the medal eves. For centuries, the city was considered to be one of Europe’s most important commercial centers, thanks to the geographic position and to the active local traders.
The most dramatic year in the Brasov’s history was 1689, when large parts of the city (including the Gothic Church) were destroyed because of a great fire. Legend has it that Austrian soldiers set fire on purpose, to punish the disobedient citizens of the city. The consequences were dramatic and it took over a century for the city to recuperate itself…
The city has suffered dramatic changes after the Second World War, when large parts of the German population emigrated towards Germany and the city was massively industrialized. Today it is one of the most beautiful places in Romania, a city filled with history and situated on the foot of the mountains, in a place of rare beauty…
Did you know that:
- The Gothic Church from the center of the city was named Black Church, because of the damages made by the big fire of 1689?
- The Black Church is the biggest Gothic Church between Vienna and Istanbul?
- The Buchholz Organ is the biggest one in Romania (and one of the biggest all over Europe), with almost 4000 pipes and was the first one to play Bach’s music in Transylvania?
- The Black Church houses a rare collection (the biggest one outside Turkey) of ottoman rugs?
- After the Second World War, the city was named Stalin for a couple of years?
- In Schei neighborhood, one can find the oldest Romanian school in Transylvania, which is today hosing a very interesting museum?
- Close to Brasov (only 40 km), one can visit Romania’s most interesting wildlife conservation project, dedicated to the wild bears of the Carpathian Mountains?