Brasov History

The origins of Brasov as a medieval town are lost in the dark times. Archaeological discoveries mention life on this land since the Bronze Age, 60,000 years ago. The most impressive monument of the Antiquity is the Dacian Sanctuary of Racos, though, hardly accessible to tourists. Another testimony of life on this land is the Roman camp discovered in Rasnov, the former Northeastern border of the Roman empire. An inscription in stone reveals the ancient Dacian name of the land: Cumidava. The Dacian-Roman settlements (Brasov, Harman, Cristian, Feldioara) in this area stand proof that after the Romans retreat (the year 271) the inhabitants (Daco-Roman population) remained on this land.

Brasov was first mentioned as “Corona” ( which means, crown, hence the coat of arms of the city which is a crown with oak roots) in 1235, when the Saxon population settled here. Later on the town was known as Brasco, Brasso, Kronstadt, Brassovia Citadel and Stalin.

For centuries, the city was (and still is) Transylvania’s gateway towards the South and East. As the renowned Harvard professor Samuel Huntington shows in his work “The Clash of Civilizations”, this is where (ideologically) Europe ends. The fault line between the western and the eastern civilization runs indeed through Brasov, separating Transylvania from the rest of Romania.

Due to its geographical position, at the crossroads of Moldavia and Wallachia, Brasov has had a fast economic growth, becoming one of the most important markets in Transylvania. On the 14th century Brasov became one of the most economical and political strongholds in the Southeast of Europe and on the 16th century also a cultural center. Johannes Honterus, a great German humanist, worked most of the time in Brasov and Deaconu Coresi printed the first Romanian book also in Brasov.

As one might expect, the city had a troubled history. The Brasov defense fortifications were built between the 15th and the 17th centuries, as a consequence of the repeated invaders coming from the east and south. A significant part of the citadel walls are still standing.

On March, 1600, Mihai Viteazu visited Brasov and summoned “The Diet of Transylvania” recognizing the rights of Tara Birsei’s inhabitants.

In 1688 when the Austrian army conquered Transylvania, Brasov was the last Bastion standing. 1689 was a one of the toughest years in the history of Brasov. On April, 21, a big fire destroyed most of the town and killed 3,000 people. Most of the houses were destroyed and Saint Maria Church, smoked by the fire, would become “The Black Church”. The citizens rapidly rebuild the city.

In 1838 George Baritiu edited the first Romanian publications in Brasov: “Gazeta de Transilvania” and the “Paper for Mind, Heart and Literature”. It was also issued a literary review that was promoting the Romanian writers and poets in Transylvania.

In the period following the 1st World War, Brasov became a strong economical center in Europe, but the town was partly destroyed during the 2nd World War. It was rebuilt and the historical buildings were restored. During the second half of the 20th century, the communist administration forcefully industrialized the city, bringing here workers from the rest of Romania, and determining population of German or Jewish origin to leave the city in droves.

History Calendar

The first documentary attestation of Brasov under the name Corona

The Tartars invaders destroyed the town

The next Tartar invasion

The founding license of the town of Brasov, the oldest document kept by Brasov’s Archives

The first works for the erection of the Roman – Catholic parish church – nowadays the Black Church – finished in 1477

The first documentary mention of a school in Brasov

The first documentary mention of a Romanian church in Brasov

The first Turkish invasion in the Barsa County

St. Bartholomew’s Church first mentioned by a document (although built since the 13th century)

The Turkish invasion in the Barsa County. Brasov was partially destroyed and the town’s counselors were taken hostages.

A new Turkish invasion in the Barsa County: the town was declared in a state of siege, but it wasn’t conquered.

1448 – 1453
The Brasovia Citadel was pulled down from the Tampa mountain by the order of the governor Ioan de Hunedoara.

The first documentary attestation of the Black Street and of the Black Street’s Gate.

Strong earthquake in Brasov and Transylvania

The first documentary attestation of a doctor in Brasov Dr. Petrus.

The first documentary attestation of the school by the side of Saint Bartholomew’s Church.

The first documentary attestation of Brasov’s chemist’s shop

1512- 1515
Saint Nicholas Church was built in stone

A driving rain produced a flood in Brasov: the enclosure walls on the Western side crumbled down

The first theatrical performance

It was written the “Constitution of Brasov’s school”, the first and oldest Romanian school statute

The building of the Citadel located on “Cetatuia” hill

The black plague causes the death of almost 4,000 people in Brasov

The first documentary attestation of the Hungarian School in Brasov

Caterina’s Gate was built

The building of the exteriors walls of Brasov’s citadel

The archbishop Vasile wrote the first chronicle with a Romanian topic

The Goldsmiths’s bastion was built (the last of Brasov’s protective walls)

The Tartars invasion in Barsa County. Michael Hermann, the mayor of the town, succeeds in putting out the fire

1689 April, 21
The biggest fire Brasov had ever seen. The fire destroyed most of the town and killed almost 3,000 people. It was the greatest calamity over the entire history of Brasov. The parish church burnt and blackened with smoke is called “The Black Church”

The Black Street’s Gate was opened (it had been demolished in 1873)

The Citadel’s streets were illuminated by oil

The building of Horses Fair’s Gate (demolished in 1873).

1827 -1828
The Schei Gate was erected

1836 – 1838
The new gate of the Customs Street was erected

The first publication of “Transylvanian Gazette” and the “Paper for Mind, Heart and Literature” was edited by George Baritiu

George Ucenescu adjusted the melody of “Desteapta-te romane” to the verses of the poet Andrei Muresianu. Nowadays it is the Romanian anthem.

Telegraphy was brought in Brasov

The first oil distillery was built in Brasov

The founding of Brasov’s “Astra” cultural organization

1873, March, 30
The opening of the railway station in Brasov

1879, June, 10
The opening of Brasov-Predeal railroad

The opening of a telephone exchange with 22 telephone sets

The opening of the steam tram in Brasov, from the Horses Fair to Bartholomew district

The printing of the cultural magazine “Die Charpathen” (The Carpathians) edited by Adolf Meschendorfer

1910, August, 29
The Romanian army entered Brasov; Dr. Gheorghe Baiulescu was the first Romanian mayor appointed in Brasov

1916, October 7,8
The German and Austro-Hungarian troops conquered back the town

1918, Nov 9 – Dec 30
The publication of the “Voice of Transylvania”, the paper of the Union

1918, December, 7
The Romanian troops entered Brasov, after Transylvania’s union with Romania on the last of December 1915.