Each city or tourist destination has at least one representative, symbolic tourist attraction, which you should not miss when you reach the area. The city of Brasov makes no exception, so if you were to ask a local what to visit in the city, a few tourist attractions might certainly come up more often than others.
The city of Brasov is located in the central area of Romania, surrounded by the Southern Carpathians, and is part of the Transylvania region. Brasov is documentary certified in 1252 under the Latin name “Corona” or the German name “Kronstadt”, which means “Crown City”, both of which are mirrored in the city logo. On Mount Tampa there was a fortress called Brassovia, later receiving the Romanian name of the city. There have been discovered traces of settlements from the Stone Age, but also traces of Dacian fortresses.
The city was founded by the Teutonic Knights in 1211 to defend the border of the Hungarian Kingdom, and was colonized by the Saxons of Transylvania, becoming one of the seven fortresses known as “Siebenburgen”. Traces of German colonists can be seen in the Gothic, Baroque and Renaissance architecture, and together with a multitude of historical attractions, Brasov is one of the most visited places in Romania. So, if you visit Brasov, here are the top 5 best tourist attractions you shouldn’t miss!
1.The Black Church
It is the main attraction of the Council Square, which itself is an important tourist destination. For over 500 years, the Black Church – the largest Gothic church in Romania – is considered the heart of Brasov, being its most representative historical monument, as nearly 100,000 tourists visit it each year. Beyond the blackened walls of the fire from 1689, when the name of the church (Saint Mary) was changed to the Black Church, a pipe organ with 4000 tubes takes the spotlight. It is so impressive that even today it is considered one of the largest pipe organs in Europe.
When you arrive in Brasov, you can find out the schedule for the Organ Concerts (organized weekly) and you can attend at least one. It will be an interesting experience, guaranteed! Don’t miss the collection of old Asia Minor carpets, made in the 17th-18th centuries, considered a true treasure of the church.
2.The White Tower
Another unforgettable landmark in Brasov is the White Tower, located on Straja Hill. You reach it by passing through the Graft Bastion on one side of the Fortress of Brasov. Built in the fifteenth century from stone and brick, in the shape of a horseshoe, the White Tower was inhabited by coppersmiths and tinkers, but with the purpose of observation and defense. Like the Black Church, the tower’s name is given due to its color (white). The fire flares of 1689 that destroyed Brasov did not spare the tower, so in 1723 it was restored for the first time. The White Tower is nearly 20 meters high and equipped with stairs, with easy access to the top. And the view that opens in front of your eyes once you get to the last step leaves you simply amazed.
3.The Weavers Bastion
Brasov has always been the town of craftsmen. The streets of the old center still bear the fingerprints of the past, even though the small workshops of the past are abandoned or hidden behind shops signs that don’t have the same rich history behind them.
The same thing can’t be said about the Brasov Citadel, which still bears the Linen Weavers Bastion built by these craftsmen. The Weavers Bastion was built for defense in two stages: between 1421-1436 and 1570-1573. Even today, it is considered to be the most spectacular architectural objectives of Brasov from the medieval period: its walls measure 4.30 m at the base, with shooting holes and ingenious shooting windows in the shape of reversed key plates.
At the beginning of the 20th century (1910), the Weavers Bastion was turned into a museum, and 40 years later, the festivities hall became the Museum of Fortifications of Barsei Country, where you can see documents and objects belonging to the medieval defense system discovered during archaeological excavations. From time to time, the inner courtyard of the Bastion turns into an open-air scene, where various performances take place.
This street in Brasov, which has an average width of only 123 centimeters, is described as the narrowest street in Europe. The street is located right in the fortress of Brasov and connects the streets of Poarta Schei and Cerbului. If you walk on one of the two mentioned above, only an indicator with an arrow shows that you are passing through an intersection. Otherwise, you will not even notice it.
The street‘s history is just as interesting. It was built in the seventeenth century, originally designed to facilitate the firemen’s access if needed. The street measures at its narrowest point only 111 centimeters and at its widest point only 135 centimeters. One legend of this 80-meter-long street says that young lovers used to meet here in order to avoid prying eyes.
5.Mount Tampa – the city’s skyline
You can’t go to Brasov and not climb Mount Tampa for a gorgeous panorama over the city and Barsei Country (if you are lucky enough to take advantage of clear skies). Tampa is the reason why Brasov is named Brasov “the city at the foot of Tampa”. It belongs to the Postavarul Massif and has an altitude of 960m.
To reach Mount Tampa you can follow one of the mountain trails or climb up to the top in just four minutes. One of the hiking trails starts from the Old Town (and consists of 25 serpentines), another from Scheii Brasov, or from Fortress Valley (Valea Cetatii) district.
If you plan on staying a little longer in Brasov, don’t hesitate to check out the surroundings: the famous Bran Castle, Viscri village or Fagaras fortress, just to name a few.