luni, 31 decembrie 2012

Epic myths and legends about Brasov and The Black Church

Brasov makes a wonderful junction between modern days and history. Only 160 km away from Bucharest, and 43 from Sinaia, lies literally in the center  of Romania. There have been rumors and propositions for Brasov to become the Capital of Romania in different periods of the Romanian history.

You can call it Brassai in Hungarian, or Kronstadt in German, but you must accept anyway the charming reality: Brasov is attractive to any visitor due to the perfect mix between the Medieval flair in the downtown, and the excellent possibilities of entertainment.

The area provides best conditions for the human to set and live here. Archaeologists discovered an antique Dacian temple, and a later Roman fortress. Further, in Middle Age, The Teuton knights bring Saxon colonists on behalf of the mighty Kings of Hungary. Shortly, Brasov turns into the turning plate of the handle from Budapest and Vienna to the Othoman Empire and all Asia. The Teuton knights  build more fortresses, going much further the beginning order, which upsets the King Andrew of Hungary. He orders consequently the expel of the Knights, but Brasov keeps on developing. In 1234 it even appears in official documents, under name of Corona.
Tne Black Church from Brasov in winter has a special charm

The mix of population in Brasov was not always so smooth and peaceful like today. In the Middle Age the Romanians occupied an area outside the fortifications, in the today quarter of Schei, while the Hungarians and Saxons had the privilege to stay inside the fortification, around the Bartolomeu Church.

I propose to start the visit in Brasov in The Old Square, with the Council House, hosting nowadays a History museum (closed on Monday, like all the Romanian museums). It has been build around an impressive Defending Tower, where some merchants used to exhibit their products. Afterwards, The Black Church attracts you from any corner. It is among the best renowned Gothic monuments in Romania, and with its impressive dimensions (89 Meters length,28 Meters width, 65 Meters heigth)represents the biggest worship building between Vienna and Istanbul. It has been build in the XIVth century, and restored between 1770-1772, after the devastating fire from 1689 (which destroyed most of the wooden houses of Brasov).
The Black Church from brasov is a must for every culture an d art freak visiting Romania

The Black Church hides many mysteries and records. The daylight is filtered through wonderful glassworks, and the southern balcony has oak doors with the coats of arms of Matei Corvin and his beloved wife Beatrice of Aragon (probably from 1477). Discover also on the Eastern wall a significant painting of Fritz Sculerrus, depicting the City council swearing  on the "Reformation book" of Honterus in 1543 (it was one of the channels of Honterus to introduce the Protestant religion in Brasov, discover his statue near the church). The Southern tower hosts three belts; the big one wights not less than 6300 kg, being actually the biggest in Romania! Another special mention for the big organ of the church, which is also one of the biggest in Romania with its 400 pipes ( if you are really lucky, it is possible assisting to a concert). The breathtaking instrument has been build in three years, between 1836 and 1839.
Catherine gate from Brasov was one of the places to enter the fortress, actually the only one still standing

During the XIXth centuries, the attendants to the Divine service were wealthy locals, mainly traders. Everyone tried to do something for the community, making donations. along the years, decades and centuries the collection of Oriental carpets from Black Church became very rich and famous, don't miss it neither!

After so much culture and breathtaking stories, you are entitled to take a rest to the many restaurants in the neighborhood. I would recommend whether a Quiche Lorent, thinking about international cuisine, or meat rolls with a glass of wine!

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