Romania is very rich in the meaning of wonderful cities and architecture. On your visit do not miss Brasov, a city located only 160 kilometers to the northwest from Bucharest, in the heart of Transylvania.
Transylvania includes the valley between the Carpathian arc in the middle of Romania and Apuseni mountains. It is generally famous by horror novel „Dracula“ by Bram Stoker. The train from Bucharest to Brasov takes longer than usual because the trains in Romania are very slow. I had the greatest pleasure of being on the seat with reservation ticket on number 56 in wagon, but the seat with this number did not exist at all. All the way I sat and waited for anybody who asks me to stand of from his reserved seat. Luckily to me, this did not happen. Morning train to Brasov was delayed for almost an hour and a German sitting next to Suzan got us loudly noticed with her dissatisfaction. As you’re getting closer to your destination – the heart of Transylvania, it can be easily recognized by the dramatic scenery outside of the window of your coupe. Majestic Carpathian Mountains rises to the sky and guarding small villages in their shadow, and in this shadow is the city of Brasov.
The population in 2011 rose to 360,000. Majority of the population of this city consists of Romanians ( 90.66 % ), and Hungarians ( 8.53 % ), Germans ( 0.60 % ) and Roma ( 0.21 % ). Since 1971 there is university. Life in Brasov is pulsing at the newly renovated Town Hall Square (Piata Sfatului). If you want to enjoy wonderful coffee, even more wonderful ice cream, lunch or a beer, or just want to cool off in the fountain, this is the place you should not miss. The dominant feature of the square is the Town Hall, but Brasov has a much greater dominant. Characteristic building of Brasov is the Black Church ( Biserica Neagră ) from the late 14th century. Black Church is considered as the largest Gothic cathedral in Southeast Europe, there is 6-ton bell – the largest in Romania and a organ consisting of 4000 pipes. This church has a number of curiosities such as the oriental carpets – the church has the richest collection of Turkish carpets in Europe – they are gifts that Germans brought from their travels ( 1 ). The title Black Church was given after the great fire in 1689, after which the walls of the church remained black. We wanted to get in, but the church was closed .
The city is surrounded by the majestic Carpathian Mountains and Romanians know how to get most of it. Your eye will not miss the large banner “ BRASOV “ above the city on hill of Tampa, in the American style of Hollywood. Getting here is simple, you can use the lift that takes you up in less than five minutes, or you can use your own legs ( I recommend this option more ). We used lift up, back we went on foot . This tourist billboard really works and as many tourists you meet on the square is also up here. Tampa is a local hill, part of the Carpathian Mountains, 955 meters above sea level, from which is magnificent scenic view of the city. The bigger part of the mountain (1.5 km2) consists of a protected nature reserve, due to the existence of bears, protected birds and this is home to 35 % of all butterfly species in Romania. To get up by walking will take no more than one hour, descent even less. Mountains near Tampa is the most famous ski resort Carpathians – Poiana Brasov at a height of 1020 meters above sea level. After extensive modernization in 2010, there are 80 hectares of slopes with a length of 23.9 kilometers. In the 2002 was filmed an American film “ Cold Mountain “ ( orig. : Cold Mountain ) here, starring Nicole Kidman and Renee Zellweger. During the filming of this movie they both were staying at the hotel “ Vila Zorile “ of Brasov.
Another feature of the town is the local fortress – Cetăţuia Brasov. Semicircular building located on a hill is from Roman times, from 1524 which is fenced by a wall and fortress for the defense was built later. The courtyard is located 81 meters deep well. Over the centuries, this building served as a prison and quarantine for the sick people, during epidemics ( 2 ). Today the usage of this fortress is quiet different than in the past – there’s a restaurant with an outdoor terrace . We were very lucky in the time of our stay, we became part of the local festival under which was presented local crafts, local cuisine and a group of enthusiasts are modeled knight in armor fighting and archery. We tasted typical Romanian food – Mititei ( read „mich“). Since there are many Hungarians in Brasov, we could buy here a typical Hungarian sweet cakes. After down, we witnessed the amazing fire show in the rhythm of medieval music.
Brasov is a beautiful historic city that u can not miss on your wanders around Romania. We have stayed here for 5 days and we did not have enough of this city. Romanians are very nice and helpful people, curious and always smiled. They are happy for every tourist who visit their town.
One Day In Brasov:
Your typical day in Brasov may look something like this. Morning wake up and take a coffee at the Town Hall Square (Piata Sfatului). Then go to the city, make a picture with Black Church (Biserica Neagră) and for lunch go up the stairs to the restaurant in local fortress (Cetăţuia Brasov). After lunch, walk the path to the mountain Tampa or take a lift. Enjoy spectacular views and see the Hollywood sign „BRASOV“ from near – amaze you with its monumentality. Along the way, certainly will not miss the old city walls that are surrounded around Brasov. Early evening spend in the center, use the public chess tables where you can play chess with local pensioners who train their chess art every day. Do not forget the ice cream in the evening and enjoy sunset on the square.
Our journey will continue towards a small village Bran about an hour bus ride from Brasov. This village is mainly famous for Bran Castle, which is one of those where Vlad III, Prince of Wallachia lived, also known as Vlad The Impaler, or even better known as Count Dracula :)
Milan Bardún 2014
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