Located in Central Romania, fringed by the Southern Carpathian Mountains and abundant in historical attractions, Brasov is one of the most visited places in Romania. Founded by the Teutonic Knights in 1211 on an ancient Dacian site and settled by the Saxons as one of the seven walled citadels, Brasov’s architectural monuments impress with their beauty and mixture of styles: Renaissance, Neo - Baroque, Classic, Empire, Gothic, Eclectic, Art- Nouveau and Romanesque
Bran Castle Built between 1377 and 1388, Bran Castle was a strategic site overlooking a heavily trafficked mountain pass between Transylvania and Wallachia. It is a medieval castle where it is believed that Vlad the Impaler was once held prisoner.The infamous Romanian ruler was the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel “Dracula” and is the reason why Bran Castle is well known around the world as Dracula’s Castle. Rasnov Fortress Situated on a rocky hilltop in the Carpathian Mountains, 650ft above the town Rasnov, the fortress was built as part of a defence system against outside invasions and included nine towers, two bastions and a drawbridge. The inner rooms are maze-like, with several wooden ladders linking them and a few secret passages. Black Church One of Brasov’s symbols, the 15th century Gothic Church got its name after the great fire in 1698 that blackened its outer walls. Over 600 years old is the largest hall-church east of Vienna and one of the biggest medieval churches from this part of Europe with a capacity of 5000 people and walls of 21 meters height. Council Square Located in the centre or Brasov, has been the place for weekly and annual markets since 1364. It is surrounded by 18th-19th century houses and has witnessed a few executions and witch trials. The Square is a great spot to grab lunch at the nearby cafes and restaurants. Tâmpa Mountain The site of the Hollywood-inspired Brasov sign, Tâmpa Mountain rises 400m above the city, offering amazing views. Most of the mountain is declared nature reserve due to rare animal species (bears,birds,butterflies-35% of the Romanian species) and plant species (a rare Liverleaf variety, Transylvanian Windgrass). Hiking enthusiasts can choose between trails of different levels of difficulty or you can enjoy the beautiful landscape from the cable car. Poiana Brasov It sits at an elevation of 1020m and offers 80 hectares of ski area and a 23,9 km long slope.With its mountain climate (air rich in ozone), artificial lake, marked trails, variety of accommodation units and the modern tourist facilities justify the international reputation. Old Town Hall Built in the 13th century, has served as meeting place for the town councillors, known as centurions.On top of the building sits the Trumpeter’s Tower used during the Middle Ages as a watch over for warning the citadel inhabitants of approaching danger. Today, the old City Hall houses the Brasov History Museum. Libearty Bear Sanctuary, Zarnesti Created in the 90, covering 70 hectares of oak and hazel forest, the sanctuary has become the home for over 70 rescued bears. Brasov’s Defensive Fortifications In the Middle Ages, the city of Brasov was one of the most important fortresses in Transylvania, destined to defend the province from the attackers coming from the south.The construction of the defending wall has begun in the 14th century and completed in the 17th century, when the 12m high and 2m thick walls stretched for 3km. Graft Bastion - newly restored, has four levels accessible through interior staircases. Levels two to four host an array of medieval artefacts, while level one serves as a rest area for visitors. White tower - located near the Graft Bastion, a wooden staircase up four levels offers a great view of the old town. Black Tower- standing atop a rock on Starja Hill, has received its name from a severe fire in 1559 when it was struck by lightning. Recently renovated, boasts a pyramid - shaped glass roof and it houses a small war - related artefacts museum.From the top offers a panoramic view of the Black Church. Blacksmith’s Bastion - home to the Brasov Archives which hosts over 100000 old and rare documents, including the oldest letter in the Romanian language, written in 1521. Catherine’s Gate - the only medieval gate that has survived from medieval times. Schei Gate - also known as Porta Valacce, the only entrance that Romanians living in Schei were allowed to use. Brasov Fortress - located on a hill overlooking the town, today serves as a restaurant. Art Museum The ground and first floors of the museum feature a national gallery of canvases, starting with anonymous Transylvanian painters of the 18th century up to the who's who of Romanian 20th century artists, including Theodor Pallady, Nicolae Grigorescu, Stefan Luchian and Horia Bernea. The museum also displays works by Brasov-born Janos Mattis-Teutsch (1884-1960), one of the most influential Romanian artists, as well as sculptures by Corneliu Medrea, Ion Jalea, Frederic Storck and Dimitrie Paciurea. Brasov History Museum Housed in the Old Town Hall building, the History Museum of Brasov displays rare exhibits and collections showcasing Brasov's history from ancient to modern times: tools made in stone (Paleolithic age), painted ceramics discovered at Ariusd (Neolithic age), tools made in bronze and iron, armor, ancient weapons and farming tools. The exhibits also tell the history of the Saxon guilds, which dominated Brasov during medieval times. Ethnographic Museum The Ethnographic Museum exhibits silver jewelry crafted in Brasov during the 16th century, fur and sheepskin coats and other folk costumes; black and white photographs illustrate exactly how they were worn and by whom. The museum also presents the evolution of weaving from an old spinning wheel to a mechanized loom. Folk arts and crafts are available at the museum gift shop. First Romanian School Museum Housed on the grounds of St. Nicholas Church, this was for centuries one of the leading learning centres of the Romanian people. The printing press that opened here in 1556 produced some of the first books written in Romanian. The museum hosts a compelling legacy: more than 4,000 rare books (many printed or copied by hand right here), several hundreds rare documents, the oldest Bible (printed on goat's skin) and much more. Muresenilor Memorial Museum Quirky and charming would well-describe this unusual family museum situated across from Brasov's Council Square. Established in 1968 through family donations, the museum features letters, photographs, newspapers, rare books, paintings, sculptures, 19th century furniture, heirlooms and keepsakes of the musical and literary members and in-laws of the Mureseanus. Its 25,000 documents comprise the largest family archive in Romania. The Mureseanus were the founders and owners of a political newspaper, Gazeta de Transilvania, for more than half a century and corresponded with the most important politicians in Transylvania and other regions of Romania during the second half of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th centuries. Weaver’s Bastion Museum This small museum, housed inside the bastion, exhibits Middle Age documents, photographs of long-lost bastions, armor, impressive Turkish weapons decorated with Arabic inscriptions, tools used by local artisans, guild flags, a street lamp from the 16th century, pieces from an aqueduct, rare books and much more. Most impressive is the elaborate small-scale model of Brasov circa 1600, made in 1896 for the Millennium Exhibition in Budapest. Performing Arts venues Brasov Opera Brasov Philharmonic Sica Alexandrescu Theatre Arlechino Puppet Theatre Festivals & Events Brasov's Lads Annual Parade (first Sunday following the Orthodox Easter) The International Chamber Music Festival (September) Brasov OktoberFest - Beer Festival (September) The International Opera Festival (September) The Annual International Jazz Festival (November) The Contemporary Drama Festival (November) Piatra Craiului Mountains Considered the most beautiful sites in the Carpathian Mountains, it takes only an hour by car from Brasov to reach the foot of the Piatra Craiului Mountains.In 1938 came under law protection and became National Park, it extends on almost 9900 hectares and harbours 35 world unique species of invertebrates and 91 completely new species, 216 species of butterflies, more than 100 bird species and more than 40% of the mammal species from Romania.Piatra Craiului National Park is also a haven for many plant species, more than 180 being on the Red List of endangered species. This protected area is particularly rich in hiking trails of different difficulty levels. Short Hikes Because Brasov is located at the foot of Mount Tampa, there are several hiking trails that practically begin at the edge of the Old Town. Here are a few options for short hikes from Brasov to the top of Tampa (3,133 ft.) the highest observation point in Brasov: Trail name: Drumul Serpentinelor (The Crocky Trail) Trail marking: red triangle Length: half mile Aleea Brediceanu - Cablecar – Panoramic Restaurant – Peak Tampa Trail name: Drumul Cavalerilor (Knights’ Trail) Trail marking: Blue Band Length: 1.5 miles Bastionul Tesatorilor – Peak Tampa - the trail continues to Poiana Brasov ski town (three hours each way) Trail name: Dealul Melcilor (Snails’ Hill) Trail marking: Blue Triangle Length: 1.5 miles Dealul Melcilor – Saua Tampei – Peak Tampa Trail name: Treptele lui Gabony (Gabony’s Steps) Trail marking: Yellow Triangle Length: 1.8 miles (one hour) Bastionul Funarilor – Promenada Tampei – Drumul Scarilor - Peak Tampa This is the most demanding trail, with two steep ascents including a 167-step climb. However, it offers more spectacular panoramic views of the city of Brasov than any other trail.
As you can see, Brasov is suitable for all types of visitors, whether you are interested in discovering it's history, spending some time in nature or taking advantage of the many high quality ski slopes.