While you visit Romania, do not miss some of the most beautiful medieval cities in Transylvania, where the saxon heritage is still very present.
Was first attested in documents around the XIII th century and it is considered one of the most beautiful medieval towns in Transylvania.
Once a very important economical center, and enhabited by the saxons, Brasov is one of these places that one must visit and discover.
With its central location, Brașov is a suitable location from which to explore Romania, and the distances to several tourist destinations (including the Black Sea resorts, the monasteries in northern Moldavia, and the wooden churches of Maramureș) are similar. It is also the largest city in a mountain resorts area. The old city is very well preserved and is best seen by taking the cable-car to the top of Tâmpa Mountain.
THINGS TO SEE
The Black Church – built around the XIV th century, one of the most impressive Gothic buildings in Europe.
The Rope street – the narrowest street in Europe.
The first Romanian school – a museum with the first Romanian printing press among many other firsts.
Poiana Brasov – the famous ski resort, just a few kilometres away from the city.
Catherine’s Gate – the only original city gate to have survived from medieval times.
The Council Square – the hot spot for promenade and sightseeing in Brasov.
The Bran Castle – also known as Dracula’s Castle, just one hour drive from the city.
The fortress of Brasov – built around the XIV th century.
The trip in Transylvania must include a stop in Sighisoara, another small and beautiful medieval town, the place where Vlad the Impaler was born.
Located in Mures county, Sighisoara is definitely a place to visit.
THINGS TO SEE
The Clock Tower – the biggest defence tower in the old Sighisoara fortress. It is famous for the complex clock mechanism built in the XVII th century.
The house of Vlad the Impaler – the place where Vlad was born.
The Covered staircase – built in 1642, it had initially 300 steps. It was designed to protect the children who would go to the school from the hill, from bad weather.
The Church from the hill – built between 1345 and 1525, is an evangelical church, Gothic style.
Former capital of Transylvania in the XIX th century, Sibiu was ranked number 8 on the list of the most beautiful cities to live in, by Forbes.
In 2007, the city was the European Capital of Culture. This was the most important cultural event that has ever happened in the city, and a great number of tourists came, both domestic and foreign.
Sibiu was, like the other medieval cities in Transylvania, once enhabited by german colonists and their heritage can still be observed in the architecture of the buildings and the construction of the old fortress (burg).
THINGS TO SEE
The Big Square – is, as its name suggests, the largest square of the city, and has been the center of the city since the XV th century. With 142 m long and 93 m wide, it is one of the largest ones in Transylvania.
The Lesser Square – as its name implies, is a smaller square situated in the northern part of the Upper Town. After the 2007 rehabilitation there has been an increase in the number of small businesses such as pubs and restaurants in this area.
The square is connected to the other two squares and to other streets by small, narrow passages. The main access from the Lower City is through Ocnei Street, which divides the square in two. The street passes under the Liar’s Bridge – the first bridge in Romania to have been cast in iron (1859).
To the right of the bridge is another symbol of the city, The House of the Arts, an XIV th century arched building formerly belonging to the Butchers’ Guild. On the left side of the bridge is the Luxemburg House, a Baroque four-storey building.
The Brukenthal Museum – is a museum erected in the late of XVIII th century, housed in the palace of Samuel Von Brukenthal, who was governor of Transylvania and who established its first collections around 1790. The collections were officially opened to the public in 1817, making it the oldest institution of its kind in Romania.
It is a complex of six museums, which, without being separate administrative entities, are situated in different locations around the city and have their own distinct cultural programmes.
The Art Galleries are located inside the Brukenthal Palace and include a number of about 1,200 works belonging to the main European schools of painting, from the XV th to the XVIII th century: Flemish – Dutch, German and Austrian, Italian, Spanish and French Schools. The Galleries also include collections of engravings, books, numismatics, and minerals.
The Passage of the Stairs, leads down to the lower section of Sibiu. It descends along some fortifications under the support arches. It is the most picturesque of the several passages linking the two sides of the city.
Paltinis – a very nice ski resort, half an hour drive from the city.