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Brasov (German – Kronstadt, Hungarian – Brassó) is the capital and largest city of the county with the same name. It lies in the center of the country, 161 km from Bucharest, in the Brasov Depression, in the internal curvature of the Carpathians, bounded on the S and SE sides by 2 massifs: Postăvaru and Piatra Mare. The city is located at an altitude of 625 m and covers an area of ​​267.32 km ².

Brasov city includes in its administrative territory a nature reserve, Mount Tampa, and a mountain peak, peak Postăvaru. Mount Tampa Nature Reserve (203.4 ha) protects several rare and endemic plant species, of which are small areas of steppe vegetation.

According to the 2011 census, the city has a population of 227.961 inhabitants (decreasing in the last 2 decades) and is one of the largest cities in the country. Patron of the city is considered to be the Virgin Mary, whose statue is on one of the buttresses of the most famous church in the city, the Black Church.


History of the city

Although archaeological discoveries show that life existed here since the Bronze Age, Brasov was first mentioned under the name of “Corona” in 1235, when the Saxon population settled here. Later, the city was known as Brasco, Brasso, Kronstadt, the citadel Brassovia and Stalin (between September 8, 1950 and December 24, 1960).

Because of its geographical location, to the boundary between Moldavia and Wallachia, Brașov has had a rapid economic growth, becoming one of the most important markets in Transylvania. In the fourteenth century, Brasov has become one of the biggest cities  in Southeast Europe (from political and economic point of view) and, in the sixteenth century, became an important cultural center.

As expected, the city had a troubled history. Brasov city walls (part of which is still standing and can be visited) were built between the fifteenth and seventeenth centuries, due to repeated invasions from the east and south.

In 1688, when the Austrian army conquered Transylvania, Brasov was the last city left standing but the year 1689 was one of the toughest years in the history of Brasov. On April 21 1689, a major fire destroyed most of the town and killed 3,000 people. Most houses were destroyed and the church of St. Mary, blackened by smoke, became the Black Church. The city was quickly rebuilt by its citizens.

In the period following World War I, Brasov became a powerful economic center in Europe, but the city was partially destroyed during the Second World War. It was rebuilt and the historical buildings were restored. During the second half of the twentieth century, the communist government forced the industrialization of the city, bringing here worker from outside the city and forcing German and Jewish population to leave the city in large groups.

Currently, Brasov is the economic and cultural center of its region and, with the resort Poiana Brasov, one of the major tourist destination in Romania. Every year thousands of tourists from Romania and abroad visit the city to admire the historic Black Church, old city fortifications or relax in the surrounding resorts.

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    Brasov, Romania

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