Medieval Braşov and Bran Castle

I think it was a good idea to leave Bucharest after two days, first I thought about staying three days. As I already wrote, my next destination was Braşov. It’s a city with about 280.000 inhabitants, in the central part of Romania, called Transylvania. Transylvania was settled by German colonists (the Transylvanian Saxons) in medieval times, Braşov was one of their settlements. Transylvania is called „Siebenbürgen“ in German, Braşov „Kronstadt“. The German population was very strong until the Second World War, you still can see many inscriptions in German language.
When I arrived in Braşov it was still raining and cold, therefore I just had a short walk around the city centre and searched for a coffee-shop where I can get dry and do stuff on the internet (Free Wireless Lan rules). I had to wait several hours until I could go to my CouchSurfers. The next morning it was very foggy, but in the afternoon the sun came out.
Braşov has a beautiful city centre, consisting of old houses. It reminds me on my hometown, Graz. It’s still surrounded by the original fortification walls on several places and some defense towers. On three sides the city centre is separated by hills from the outlying districts – which are not worth to see anyway as they were built in communist times and consist of block buildings.
One of the most impressive sights was the Black Church (built in 14th-15th century), the biggest Gothic church in Romania. It’s a protestant church, therefore everything is written in German language, even the new works of the children.

Before leaving to Sighişoara I went to see the Bran Castle – said to be one of the most famous castles in Romania. In my guide book it says that it’s „a bit of an anti-climax inside, elbowing your way through tourist groups“. I think it was a good idea to go there in January, it was really calm and I just met a bunch of other people (and a lot of cleaning personnel). It’s definitely worth the 1,50 EUR entrance fee for students (it wouldn’t be worth 10 EUR), it’s totally rambled, you can dream about hidden rooms and staircases. Outside there’s a village museum, displaying old farm houses of the surrounding area. Sadly you can’t see them from inside.

As I said, next is Sighişoara, UNESCO World Heritage Site, and then Sibiu (Hermannstadt) one of the two Cultural Capitals of Europe in 2007. I hope you liked my text and my pictures.

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