Brasov, Transylvania, Romania

Brasov, Transylvania, Romania
Brasov, Transylvania, Romania
Parcul Central - Brasov, Transylvania, Romania
Parcul Central - Brasov, Transylvania, Romania
Traditional Romanian Meal  (Tripe Soup, Egg Salad, & Stuffed Cabbage) - Brasov, Romania
Traditional Romanian Meal
 (Tripe Soup, Egg Salad, & Stuffed Cabbage)
 - Brasov, Romania

Brasov, Transylvania, Romania
Brasov, Transylvania, Romania
Piata Stafalui, Brasov, Romania
Piata Stafalui - Brasov, Romania
Strad Sforii (Robe Street) - Brasov
Strad Sforii (Robe Street),
Most Narrow Street in Europe
 - Brasov, Romania
Brasov, Transylvania, Romania (5/16-20/2011) - Welcome to Transylvania, the land of Dracula! 

Arriving to Brasov in a deluge of rain and thunder, it was hard to remember that the story of Dracula is just a legend. Did we hear werewolves or was it dogs howling at the thunder?

The sun came out the next day for us to explore this charming red-roofed medieval city. Brasov, with its pronounced Saxon background, has one of the prettiest town centers (Piata Sfatului) we have visited in Eastern Europe. 

On the end of the square is Brasov’s main sight, the gothic Black Church (Biserica Neagra). Dating back to 1477, it is said to be one of the largest Gothic churches in Southern Europe. Named Black Church because of a fire, Biserica Neagra is now restored and displays 180 old Turkish rugs given to the church over the centuries by Ottoman merchants. The bell in the clock tower is the largest in Romania.

We walked down Brasov's Strada Sforii (Rope Street), a four-foot wide street claimed to be the narrowest in Europe – see the photo and you be the judge. In the old Schei District, we lit candles in the Saint Nicholas Orthodox Church, Transylvania’s first Orthodox church finished in 1564. 

Our ride up Brasov's cable car (Telecabina Tampa) and short hike to the Terasa Belvedere lookout point gave us a wonderful view of Brasov as well as a lovely rest in the forest with spring flowers.

Brasov makes an excellent base to explore other main sights in the area (i.e. Sighisoara, Bran (Dracula’s) Castle, Peles Palace, and Rasnov). We describe these places, along with the legion of Dracula, in our Romania Transylvania Dracula's Castle travel blog post.

Transylvania is the largest and probably best-known region of Romania. Even though we may associate the name with tales of bloodthirsty vampires (it played host to Bram Stoker's novel Dracula), Transylvania is actually known as one of the most beautiful natural regions in Europe circled by the Carpathian Mountains. There are about 100 castles and fortresses and about 70 fortified churches built between the 13th and 15th centuries, seven of which have been designated as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

map of romania
Map of Romania
Some history… Transylvania was an integral part of Kingdom of Hungary (950-1526), an independent Transylvanian Principality (1526-1690), and from 1868 it was part of the Austrian-Hungarian empire that used Romania as a buffer against constant Turkish invasion. After World War I Transylvania became part of Greater Romania and after WWII, a strict communist government was set up. The 1989 revolution finally ended the communist rule but corruption has slowed Romania’s economic potential. Romania with a population of 22 million is one of the most recent members of the European Union.

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