If you happen to be visiting the Transylvanian city of Brașov, you might have already drawn the conclusion that it is one of the most sight-heavy parts of Romania. With a Hollywood-like sign overlooking the valley, Brașov is surrounded by dense forests and quite a vast wilderness. Yet it is not the wildlife that we are here to talk about but its inner and outer wonders (man-made, of course), its most endeared structures and landmarks. So, without further ado, let us see what it can offer us!
1. St Nicholas Church:
Located deep within the inner bounds of the city, the St. Nicholas Church (known officially as “Biserica Sfântul Nicolae”) is one of the oldest religious structures of Romania. Established in 1292 and located in Brasov’s historic district of Şchei, it was rebuilt using stone by the locals under the guidance of the Voivode of Wallachia, Vlad Călugărul. Further aid was given to it by the later Voivode Neagoe Basarab in 1512. What’s interesting to know about it is that it used to adhere to Gothic standards but its redesigns swayed it towards a more Baroque look. Notable graves in its local “St. Nicholas Cemetery” include those of Nicolae Titulescu, Ioan Meşotă, Aurel Popovici, and Vasile Saftu. Oh, and let us not forget about its unique murals that should not be left out by any means.
2. Bran Castle:
Situated proudly near the commune of Bran (Brașov), Bran Castle is one of the prime attractions of Transylvania (and of the entirety of Romania for that matter). Since most outsiders already hear about it before entering the country, it is definitely a European cultural landmark affiliated with countless legends and tales. Often mistakenly associated with the Wallachian ruler, Vlad the Impaler (also known as Dracula), the castle is perched upon an elevation of 760 metres and it adheres to the standards of the Medieval architectural style. Owned by the Archduke Dominic of Austria-Tuscany, the castle is still known colloquially as Dracula’s Caste (although the Vlad the Impaler can only vaguely be associated with it in terms of historical facts). Nowadays, the fortress can be visited as it is a renowned museum of art and furniture collected by the Queen Maria. Oh, and let us not forget about the secret passage that every visitor should check out!
3. The Black Church:
Quite possibly one of the most memorable sights within the bounds of the Transylvanian city of Brașov, the Black Church (also known as Schwarze Kirche in German, Fekete Templom in Hungarian, and Biserica Neagră in Romanian) is an unparalleled Gothic structure in the world. Erected by the German community of the city, it is one of the most significant Lutheran (Evangelical Church of Augustan Confession in Romania) religious centres in the country. Recognisable from afar, its design closely resembles the artistic style of certain Gothic horror movies – it is definitely an experience to lay eyes upon it at night. Researchers are uncertain as to when constructions began but they place it between the years 1383 and 1385. Possessing a single bell tower, the church reaches a height of 65 metres. 89 metres long and 38 metres wide, it truly is an eye-popper when it comes to shooting photos around it! A notable beacon from any point of the city and a visible bastion from the Council Square, it is one of the most popular sights in Transylvania (this is, of course, accentuated by its unusual gothic name).
4. Râșnov Citadel:
Yes, as you may have already guessed by now, visiting Brașov has innumerable perks such as being able to bask in the grandeur of picturesque mountains, a cooler weather system for those who seek shelter from warmer climate zones, laid-back locals, and, of course, there is the Râșnov Citadel (also known as “Cetatea Râșnov” or “Rosenauer Burg”). Built between the years 1211 and 1225 to stand as a steadfast bastion against outside forces, it is located in a strategically-significant location between Bran and Burzenland. Since the inhabitants of the surrounding villages of Cristian and Ghimbav had continuously taken refuge there, it was eventually transformed into a dwelling so that it may harbour them for decades if necessary. What’s interesting about it is that recent studies have pointed out that the location was fortified since prehistoric times. Oh, and did you know that it has been renovated in 2010? All the more reason to hit the road as soon as you can!
Did you enjoy our list? Which of the aforementioned landmarks have you explored and what lasting experiences have they left you with? Hit the comment section below and tell us all about it! See you next time!