Because Brasov and the surrounding region were repeatedly raided by the Turks and Tartars the residents of Brasov decided to fortify their city with thick stone walls with strong bastions, two outer watch towers and a Citadel, in order to defend themselves. The defense wall was once 12 meters high and two meters thick and stretched for 3 km. Today parts of the walls, one Bastion, the two towers and the Citadel are left standing.
On the west side of the old town, where the old walls are still standing, you can walk down picturesque Strada Dupa Ziduri (Behind the Walls) to catch a glimpse of the White and Black towers, built in the 15th century to watch over and defend the town.
The Black Tower
The tower was built in 1494 on a rock on Starja Hill, near the Blacksmiths’ bastion. It has a square shape and it is 9 m high. In 1599 the tower was destroyed by lightning. So, it’s got it’s name from its walls being blackened by the fire caused by the lightning. Today, it is no longer black.
Recently renovated to it’s former glory, with its pyramid shaped roof, the Black Tower houses a museum. There are four floors inside, each reached by a narrow wooden ladder. Each floor has a small display of war related artifacts.
From the top you do get a nice view of the Black Church but you get almost the same view from the iron balcony surrounding the tower.
The White Tower
The White Tower is located 60 m far from the citadel’s walls, near the Graft bastion. It is high up on the hill and you’ll have to climb some 200 steps up to it. The construction was erected between 1460-1494. It has a semicircular shape and it is 14m high. A wooden staircase spirals up four levels. If you reach the top floor, you won’t be deceived by the view over the old town.
Confusingly, both towers are white. In spite of their different shapes and locations, it’s only the black pyramid glass top on the Black Tower that allows even the locals to tell them apart.