Brașov

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Brașov
City
Brașov - medieval city
Brașov - medieval city
Coat of arms of Brașov
Coat of arms
Location of Brașov
Location of Brașov
Brașov is located in Braşov County
Brașov
Brașov
Location of Brașov
Coordinates: 45°40′N 25°37′E / 45.667°N 25.617°E / 45.667; 25.617Coordinates: 45°40′N 25°37′E / 45.667°N 25.617°E / 45.667; 25.617
Country  Romania
County Brașov County
Status County capital
Founded 1234
Government
 • Mayor George Scripcaru (Democratic Liberal Party)
Area
 • City 267.32 km2 (103.21 sq mi)
 • Metro 1,368.5 km2 (528.4 sq mi)
Elevation 600 m (2,000 ft)
Population (2011 census[1])
 • City 253,200
 • Density 853/km2 (2,210/sq mi)
 • Metro 369,896
Demonym brașoveanbrașoveancă (ro)
Population by ethnicity
 • Romanians 91.3%
 • Hungarians 7.1%
 • Germans 0.5%
 • Gypsies 0.4%
 • Jews 0.05%
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
 • Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)
Postal code RO 500xxx
Area code(s) (+40) 268
Vehicle registration BV
Website http://www.brasovcity.ro

Brașov (Romanian pronunciation: [braˈʃov] ( ); German: Kronstadt; Hungarian: Brassó, Hungarian pronunciation: [ˈbrɒʃʃoː]; Medieval Latin: Brassovia or Corona; 1950–1960: Orașul Stalin) is a city in Romania and the administrative centre of Brașov County.

According to the last Romanian census, from 2011, there were 253,200 people living within the city of Brașov, making it the 7th most populous city in Romania, and the metropolitan area is home to 369,896 residents.[1]

Brașov is located in the central part of the country, about 166 kilometres (103 miles) north of Bucharest and 380 km (236 mi) from the Black Sea. It is surrounded by the Southern Carpathians and is part of the Transylvania region.

The city is notable for being the birthplace of the national anthem of Romania and for hosting the Golden Stag International Music Festival.

Etymology[edit]

The city was first attested in 1235 AD under the name Corona, a Latin word meaning "crown", a name given by the German colonists. According to Binder, the current Romanian and Hungarian names are derived from the Turkic word barasu, meaning "white water" with a Slavic suffix -ov.[2] Other linguists proposed various etymologies including an Old Slavic anthroponym Brasa[3][4]

The first attested mention of Brașov is Terra Saxonum de Barasu ("Saxon Land of Baras") in a 1252 document. The German name Kronstadt means "Crown City" and is reflected in the city's coat of arms as well as in its Medieval Latin name, Corona. The two names of the city, Kronstadt and Corona, were used simultaneously in the Middle Ages.

From 1950 to 1960, during part of the Communist period in Romania, the city was called Orașul Stalin (Stalin City), after the Soviet leader Joseph Stalin.[5]

History[edit]

The oldest traces of human activity and settlements in Brașov date back to the Neolithic age (about 9500 BCE). Archaeologists working from the last half of the 19th century discovered continuous traces of human settlements in areas situated in Brașov: Valea Cetăţii, Pietrele lui Solomon, Șprenghi, Tâmpa, Dealul Melcilor, and Noua. The first three locations show traces of Dacian citadels; Șprenghi Hill housed a Roman-style construction. The last two locations had their names applied to Bronze Age cultures—Schneckenberg ‘Hill of the Snails’ (Early Bronze Age[6]) and Noua 'The New’ (Late Bronze Age[7]).

German colonists known as the Transylvanian Saxons played a decisive role in Brașov's development. These Germans were invited by Hungarian kings to develop towns, build mines, and cultivate the land of Transylvania at different stages between 1141 and 1300. The settlers came primarily from the Rhineland, Flanders, and the Moselle region, with others from Thuringia, Bavaria, Wallonia, and even France.

In 1211, by order of King Andrew II of Hungary, the Teutonic Knights fortified the Burzenland to defend the border of the Kingdom of Hungary. On the site of the village of Brașov, the Teutonic Knights built Kronstadt – the city of the crown.[8] Although the crusaders were evicted by 1225, the colonists they brought in remained, along with local population, as did three distinct settlements they founded on the site of Brașov:

  • Corona, around the Black Church (Biserica Neagră);
  • Martinsberg, west of Cetățuia Hill;
  • Bartholomä, on the eastern side of Sprenghi Hill.
Illustration of the walled city prior to the 1689 fire

Germans living in Brașov were mainly involved in trade and crafts. The location of the city at the intersection of trade routes linking the Ottoman Empire and Western Europe, together with certain tax exemptions, allowed Saxon merchants to obtain considerable wealth and exert a strong political influence. They contributed a great deal to the architectural flavor of the city. Fortifications around the city were erected and continually expanded, with several towers maintained by different craftsmen's guilds, according to medieval custom. Part of the fortification ensemble was recently restored using UNESCO funds, and other projects are ongoing. At least two entrances to the city, Poarta Ecaterinei (or Katharinentor) and Poarta Șchei (or Waisenhausgässertor), are still in existence. The city center is marked by the mayor's former office building (Casa Sfatului) and the surrounding square (piaţa), which includes one of the oldest buildings in Brașov, the Hirscher Haus. Nearby is the "Black Church" (Biserica Neagră), which some claim to be the largest Gothic style church in Southeastern Europe.

The cultural and religious importance of the Romanian church and school in Șchei is underlined by the generous donations received from more than thirty hospodars of Moldavia and Wallachia, as well as that from Elizabeth of Russia. In the 17th and 19th centuries, the Romanians in Șchei campaigned for national, political, and cultural rights, and were supported in their efforts by Romanians from all other provinces, as well as by the local Greek merchant community. In 1838 they established the first Romanian language newspaper Gazeta Transilvaniei and the first Romanian institutions of higher education (Școlile Centrale Greco-Ortodoxe - "The Greek-Orthodox Central Schools", today named after Andrei Șaguna). The Holy Roman Emperor and sovereign of Transylvania Joseph II awarded Romanians citizenship rights for a brief period during the latter decades of the 18th century.

In 1850 the town had 21,782 inhabitants: 8,874 (40.7%) Germans, 8,727 (40%) Romanians, 2,939 (13.4%) Hungarians.[9] In 1910 the town had 41,056 inhabitants: 10,841 (26.4%) Germans, 11,786 (28.7%) Romanians, 17,831 (43.4%) Hungarians. [9] In World War I, the town was occupied by Romanian troops between 16 August and 4 October in 1916 during Battle of Transylvania.

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

In 1918, after the Proclamation of union of Alba Iulia (adopted by the Deputies of the Romanians from Transylvania), Deputies of the Saxons from Transylavania supported it, with their vote to be part of Romania, and declared their allegiance to the new Romanian state. The inter-war period was a time of flourishing economic and cultural life in general, which included the Saxons in Brașov as well. However, at the end of World War II many ethnic Germans were forcibly deported to the Soviet Union, and many more emigrated to West Germany after Romania became a communist country.

Jews have lived in Brașov since 1807, when Aron Ben Jehuda was given permission to live in the city, a privilege until then granted only to Saxons. The Jewish community of Brașov was officially founded 19 years later, followed by the first Jewish school in 1864, and the building of the synagogue in 1901. The Jewish population of Brașov was 67 in 1850, but it expanded rapidly to 1,280 people in 1910 and 4,000 by 1940. Today the community has about 230 members, after many families left for Israel between World War II and 1989.

Like many other cities in Transylvania, Brașov is also home to a significant ethnic Hungarian minority.

During the communist period, industrial development was vastly accelerated. Under Nicolae Ceaușescu's rule, the city was the site of the 1987 Brașov strike. This was repressed by the authorities and resulted in numerous workers being imprisoned.

Economy[edit]

The city center (Piaţa Sfatului)

Industrial development in Brașov started in the inter-war period, with one of the largest factories being the airplane manufacturing plant (IAR Brașov), which produced the first Romanian fighter planes, which were used in World War II against the Soviets. After Communist rule was imposed, the plant was converted to manufacture of agricultural equipment, being renamed "Uzina Tractorul Brașov" (internationally known as Universal Tractor Brașov).

Industrialization was accelerated in the Communist era, with special emphasis being placed on heavy industry, attracting many workers from other parts of the country. Heavy industry is still abundant, including Roman, which manufactures MAN AG trucks as well as native-designed trucks and coaches. Although the industrial base has been in decline in recent years, Brașov is still a site for manufacturing agricultural tractors and machinery, hydraulic transmissions, auto parts, ball-bearings, helicopters (at the nearby IAR site in Ghimbav), building materials, tools, furniture, textiles, shoes and cosmetics. There are also chocolate factories and a large brewery. In particular, the pharmaceutical industry has undergone further development lately, with GlaxoSmithKline establishing a production site in Brașov.

A large longwave broadcasting facility is located near Brașov, at Bod.

Demographics[edit]

Historical population of Brașov
Year Population  %±
1890 30,781
1900 34,511[10] 12.1%
1910 census 41,056 18.9%
1930 census 59,232 44.2%
1948 census 82,984 40%
1965 estimate 140,500[11] 69.3%
1975 estimate 206,156[12] 46.7%
1983 estimate 331,240[13] 60.6%
1992 census 323,736 −2.2%
2002 census 284,596 −12%
2011 census 253,200 −11.0%

Brașov has a total population of 253,200 (2011 census). Its ethnic composition includes:

In 2005, the Brașov metropolitan area was created. With its surrounding localities, Brașov had 369,896 inhabitants as of 2011.[1]

Education[edit]

Primary Schools

  • 30 Primary Schools

High Schools

Universities:

Transportation[edit]

The Brașov local transport network is well-developed, with around 50 bus and trolleybus lines. There is also a regular bus line serving Poiana Brașov, a nearby winter resort. All are operated by RAT Brașov. Because of its central location, the Brașov railway station is one of the busiest stations in Romania with trains to/from most destinations in the country served by rail.

The construction of Braşov Airport[14] was initiated by Intelcan Canada on April 15, 2008. Although construction was planned to be finalized in 24 to 30 months, works have lagged and there is no term by which it will be operational. The project consists of a terminal capable of handling 1 million passengers per year and a 2,800 meter-long runway. The A3 highway is also planned to pass the city. However, there is no foreseeable date for starting construction.

Tourism[edit]

Poiana Brașov, a possible bid for the Olympic Winter Games

With its central location, Brașov is a suitable location from which to explore Romania, and the distances to several tourist destinations (including the Black Sea resorts, the monasteries in northern Moldavia, and the wooden churches of Maramureș) are similar. It is also the largest city in a mountain resorts area. The old city is very well preserved and is best seen by taking the cable-car to the top of Tâmpa Mountain.

Temperatures from May to September fluctuate around 23 °C (73 °F). Brașov benefits from a winter tourism season centered on winter sports and other activities. Poiana Brașov is the most popular Romanian ski resort and an important tourist center preferred by many tourists from other European states.

The city also has several restaurants that serve local as well as international cuisine (e.g. Hungarian and Chinese). Some of these are situated in the city center.

Sights[edit]

Bran Castle, situated in the immediate vicinity of Brașov
  • Biserica Neagră ("The Black Church"), a celebrated Gothic site - the building dates from 1477, when it replaced an older church (demolished around 1385). Its acquired the name after being blackened by smoke from the 1689 great fire.
  • Casa Sfatului ("The mayor's former office building"). The administration for Brașov was here for more than 500 years.
  • Biserica Sf. Nicolae (St. Nicholas Church), dating back to the 14th century.
  • The First Romanian School, a museum with the first Romanian printing press among many other firsts.
  • The Rope Street, the narrowest street in Romania.
  • Șchei, the historically Bulgarian but then Romanian neighborhood outside of the old walled city.
  • Catherine's Gate, the only original city gate to have survived from medieval times.
  • Şchei Gate, next to Catherine's Gate, built in 1827.
  • The Orthodox church of the Dormition of the Theotokos, built in 1896.
  • Muzeul Prima Carte Românească, a museum exhibiting the first book printed in the Romanian language.
  • Tâmpa, a small mountain in the middle of the city (900m above sea level), a sightseeing spot near the old city center.
  • The "Brașov Citadel Fortress" - Cetățuia Brașovului
  • The nearby Bran Castle, attracting many fans of Dracula and often (but incorrectly) said to have been the home of Vlad the Impaler.
  • Poiana Brașov, mainly a ski resort but also a sightseeing spot.
  • Râșnov Fortress, above the nearby town of Râșnov, is a restored peasant fortress
  • Prejmer Fortress, in the nearby town of Prejmer

International relations[edit]

Twin towns – Sister cities[edit]

Brașov is twinned with:

Sport[edit]

The city has a long tradition in sports, the first sport associations being established at the end of the 19th century (Target shooting Association, Gymnastics School). The Transylvanian Sports Museum is among the oldest in the country and presents the evolution of consecrated sports in the city. During the communist period, universiades and daciades (derived from "dacian") were held, where local sportsmen were obliged to participate. Nowadays, the infrastructure of the city allows other sports to be practiced, such as football, rugby, tennis, cycling, handball, gliding, skiing, skating, mountain climbing, paintball, bowling, swimming, target shooting, basketball, martial arts, equestrian, volleyball or gymnastics. Annually, at "Olimpia" sports ground, the "Brașov Challenge Cup" tennis competition is held.

The only football champion team based in the city was Colţea Brașov, winning the championship in 1928 and managing second place in 1927, in only 10 years of existence (1921–1931). Is was succeeded by Brașovia Brașov. Brașov hosted the Group A fixtures of the 2008 IIHF World Championship Division II ice hockey tournament. There were 15 games held between April 3 and April 13.

Brașov hosted the 2013 European Youth Winter Olympic Festival.

As of 2012, Brasov is hosting two trail semi-marathons: Semimaraton "Intersport Brasov" and Brasov Marathon.

In November 2013, Brasov submitted their for the 2020 Winter Youth Olympics. They are up against Lausanne, Switzerland to be awarded the event. In December that year, the city was signed the Youth Olympic Game Candidature Procedure. The host city will be announced in May 2015[18]

Local teams[edit]

Sports venues[edit]

  • Planned
    • Brașov Arena (23,000 seats) – planned football stadium on the site of the former Municipal Stadium
  • Existing
  • Demolished
    • Municipal Stadium (30,000 capacity) – built in 1975, used for 1 May and 23 August parades, rarely used for football matches (demolished in 2008)
  • Others
    • Paradisul Acvatic - aquatic complex with 40m long swimming pool and three jumping platform (1m, 3m, 5.20m).

Gallery[edit]

Panoramic view of Brașov from Tâmpa Mountain

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Population at 20 October 2011" (in Romanian). INSSE. 5 July 2013. Retrieved 5 July 2013. 
  2. ^ Alexandru Madgearu, "Români şi pecenegi în sudul Transilvaniei", Editura Economică, 2005, ISBN 973-709-158-2
  3. ^ Draganu Nicolae "Români in veacurile IX—XIV pe baza toponimiei si a onomasticei” (The Romanians in the 9th - 14th Centuries According to Toponymy and Onomastics), Imprimeria Nationala, 1933, Bucuresti, p.560
  4. ^ Austerlitz, Robert ""Brasov-Brasso'-Kronstadt-Berries and Bushes," in Xenia Slavica; Papers Presented to Gojko Ruzicic on the Occasion of his Seventy-Fifth Birthday, 2 February 1969, Rado Lencek and Boris O. Unbegaun, eds. (The Hague: Mouton, 1957),p.19
  5. ^ Brasov | Travel To Romania
  6. ^ Coles & Harding 1979, p. 140.
  7. ^ Coles & Harding 1979, p. 410.
  8. ^ Mediaeval studies, Volumes 17-18, Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, 1955, Toronto, Canada, An annual journal of scholarship, History, ISSN 0076–5872
  9. ^ a b Erdély etnikai és felekezeti statisztikája
  10. ^ Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition
  11. ^ Dictionar Enciclopedic Roman vol.IV, Editura Politica Bucuresti, 1966 (Romanian)
  12. ^ Statele Lumii, Editura Stiintifica si Enciclopedica Bucuresti, 1976 (Romanian)
  13. ^ Statele Lumii, Editura Stiintifica si Enciclopedica Bucuresti, 1985 (Romanian)
  14. ^ Website of the Braşov Airport
  15. ^ Tampere - Finlanda
  16. ^ "Sister Cities International (SCI)". Sister-cities.org. Retrieved 2013-04-21. 
  17. ^ News Report concerning the Twinning with Linz
  18. ^ 2020 Winter Youth Olympics#Bra.C8.99ov.2C Romania

References[edit]

  • Coles, John; Harding, A.F. (1979). The Bronze Age in Europe pages 140’'. Routledge. ISBN 978-0-416-70650-5. 
  • "O istorie a Brașovului" ("A history of Brasov") - Ion Dumitrașcu, Mariana Maximescu, Phoenix, Brașov, 2001
  • "Fortificația dacică de la Brașov - Pietrele lui Solomon" ("The Dacian citadel from Brașov - Pietrele lui Solomon"), Fl. Costea, CumidavaXX, Braşov, 1996
  • "Săpăturile de salvare de pe dealul Șprenghi" ("The diggings for saving [the archaeological evidences] from Șprenghi Hill" - the hill was a quarry) A. Alexandrescu, N. Constantinescu, București, 1959
  • "Die spätneolitischen Ansiedlungen mit bemalter Keramik aus oberem Laufe des Altflusses", J. Teutsch, Mitteilungen der Prehistorischen Komision, I, Wien.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]