Top Moments in History That Shaped Brasov

The central area, with the Black Church in the lower-left, looking north towards the fortress on Straja hill, in 1906

Brașov is a city in Transylvania, Romania, and the governmental center of Brașov County.

History of Brasov

The earliest records of human settlements and activity in Brașov date back to the Neolithic age (about 9000 BCE). Archaeologists working from the latter half of the 19th century CE found constant traces of human settlements in regions situated in Brașov: Pietrele lui Solomon, Valea Cetății, Tâmpa, Șprenghi, Noua, and Dealul Melcilor. The first three sites show evidence of Dacian citadels; Șprenghi Hill housed a Roman-style construction.

Transylvanian Saxons played a crucial role in Brașov’s expansion and were invited by Hungarian kings to build mines, develop towns, and cultivate the land of Transylvania at various stages between 1141 CE and 1300 CE. The settlers came originally from the Rhineland, Flanders, and the Moselle region, with others from Bavaria, Thuringia, France (yes, France), and Wallonia.

Germans residing in Brașov were largely involved in crafts and trade. The location of the town at the intersection of trade routes linking Western Europe and the Ottoman Empire, together with some tax exemptions, allowed Saxon traders to acquire considerable wealth and exercise a strong political influence.

They offered a great deal to the architectural flavor of the town. According to medieval custom, fortifications around the town were erected and steadily expanded, with several towers maintained by various craftsmen’s guilds. Part of the castle ensemble was recently repaired using UNESCO funds, and other large-scale projects are ongoing.

In 1689 CE, a great fire ravaged the walled city almost entirely, and its rebuilding lasted numerous decades.

Besides the Saxon (German) population living in the town and in the northern suburbs, Brașov also had a significant Bulgarian and Romanian population (residing in the Șchei district) and also some Hungarian population (residing in the Blumăna district).

The religious and cultural importance of the Romanian church and school in Șchei is marked by the charitable donations received from more than thirty hospices of Wallachia and Moldavia and that from Elizabeth of Russia.

On 29 August 1916 CE, during the First World War, the Romanian Army seized Brașov. Romanian troops penetrated the town at around five o’clock p.m. and paraded towards the town square. Romanian rule over the town lasted until early October, when the Central Powers retook the region in the Battle of Brassó (7-9 October 1916 CE).

After the collapse of Austria-Hungary, the 1 December 1918 CE Proclamation of the Union of Alba Iulia, utilized by deputies of the Romanians from Banat, Transylvania, Maramureș, and Crișana, declared the union of Transylvania into the Romanian state.

Brașov was permanently absorbed by Romanian forces on 7 December of the same year, as Hungarians slowly withdrew northwards.

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