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General informations - Brasov

GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT BRASOV COUNTY
 
Short History of Braşov County
The first traces of human existence in the area are 60.000 years old. The inhabitants of the area undoubtedly crossed all the stages of ancient civilization. The Roman Camp in Râşnov, situated at the north-eastern border of the Roman Empire, stay witness.
Bârsa Land (Braşov and its surroundings) played an important part during the Middle Ages, as it had three strategic spots that ensured its economic, military and political development:
 
- the first was the fortified town of Făgăraş, the region being known as Făgăraş Country. For quite a long period it was under Romanian administration, preserving the old customs of the area. It was also a place of refuge in Transylvania for the rulers of the Romanian Province.
- the second spot was Bran Castle (located 30 km away from Braşov City on the E 574 European road to Piteşti) currently an ensemble of museum hosting three permanent exhibitions: one inside the castle, the castle within the Ethnography Museum (in the open), and the third within the building of the Old Customs House.
- the third spot was Braşov, first attested in documents in 1235, the most important Transylvanian city of the Middle Ages, an economic fortress during the 14th – 16th centuries.
Most of the villages inhabited by the Saxons (German population that colonized Transylvania during the 12 century) still preserve fortified churches, places of prayer and shelters at the same time. The largest church-fortress of Braşov County is located in Prejmer, but those of Viscri and homorod are equally interesting.
 
Geographical situation
It is placed in the central part of Romania, within the arch of the Carpathians, at the point where the Eastern Carpathians meet the Southern ones, on the middle course of the Olt river, it is crossed by the Meridian of 25° , eastern longitude and the Parallel of 46°, northern latitude.
 
Neighbours
In the north: Harghita and Mureş Counties, in the east: Buzău and Covasna Counties, in the west Sibiu County, in the south Argeş, Dâmboviţa and Prahova Counties.
 
Surface
5,363 square km (respectively 2,3% of the country’s territory).
 
Population
640,000 inhabitants.
 
Towns
Braşov, capital of the county, with 280,000 inhabitants, a place with a Medieval air, preserving many old buildings, an important crossroads, in the past it used to connect the tree Romanian countries. Braşov is situated in the depression with the same name, at an altitude of 520-650 m, at the foot of the Tampa Massif, with an annual activity, marked by The Golden Stag Festival. Other towns: Codlea, Făgăraş, Predeal, Râşnov, Rupea, Săcele, Victoria, Zărneşti, Ghimbav.
 
Relief
It is varied and consists of three major levels: the highest mountains in the country, including the northern slopes of the Făgăraş Mountains and prolongations of massifs Piatra Craiului, Leoata, Bucegi, Ciucaş and Bârsei (Piatra Mare and Postăvarul), the low mountains, Întorsura Buzăului, Dârste, Codlea, Perşani, the depressions of Braşov and Făgăraş and the hills in the south-east of the Hârtibaciului Plateau.
 
Climate
It is temperate continental, moderate, varying according to height. The rainfalls are variable, winds blow from west and north-west. The annual average temperature is situated between -2,5oC and 8,2oC, in January is 4 -10oC and in July is 6 -18oC.
 
Watercourses
The Middle Olt and its tributaries: Aita, Baraolt, Vârghiş, Homorod, Felmer, Ghimbav, Bârsa, Şercaia, Sebeş, Berivoi, Breaza, Viştea, Ucea, they all cross the county along with Tirlung, Timiş, Râşnov.
 
TOURISTIC ATRACTIONS
 
Mountains:
The Făgăraş Mountains (the Moldoveanu Peak, 2544 m, the highest altitude in Romania). These mountains offer the traveller an unforgettable show, their peaks are covered with snow for 8-9 months a year. The glacial structures, inside with the „iezer” (lakes) were formed, the vast spruce tree forests, the alpine meadows with rich flora and chamoises, complete the attractions of the Făgăraş Mountains and account for their turistic fame.
 
The Piatra Craiului Mountains, a point of attraction for many tourists (especially climbers) who are delighted with impressive views of precipices with vertical walls opening at their feet. It is here that the garden pink of the Piatra Craiului grows, plant declared monument of nature, unique in the world.
 
The Bucegi Mountains (Omu Peak, 2505 m), the most visited massif of the Romanian Carpathians, they offer good conditions for mountain tourism, for all range of tourists, in any season.
 
The Ciucas Mountains, make up a giant leisure due to the variety and beauty of the landscape, in a peaceful and pure environment, offering excellent conditions for the alpine tourism. The limestone rocks and conglomerates take the strangest forms: „Tigăile Ciucaşului” („The Ciucas Pans”), ”Babele la sfat” („The old women chatting”), „Mâna Dracului” („Devil’s Hand”), ”Sfinxul Bratocei” („Batroca’s Sphinx”).
 
The Rucăr-Bran Corridor it stretches between the Piatra Craiului and the Bucegi Mountains with varied and impressive views, dangerous winding roads and real satisfaction after crossing them.
 
Preserves and monuments of nature:
The Glades with Daffodils from Drumbava Vadului, floristic preserve located in the Sercaia village. These glades covered with a huge daffodils carpet (400 hectares, blossoming at the and of May), represent one of the Romania’s unique beauties, attracting numerous lovers of nature beauty.
 
The Bogăţii Forest, forest preserve situated in the Perşani Mountains, between Hoghiz and Măieruş, on a distance of 17 km, consisting mainly in beech trees and a rich fauna, but it is also a hunting preserve.
 
The Racoş Basalts, geological preserve situated in the western part of the Perşani Mountains, near Rupea (on the national road DN Braşov - Sighişoara), with spectacular volcanic basalt structures.
 
The Hărman Moors, botanical preserve (18 km north-east of Braşov), it hosts a rare flora and fauna among with numerous glacial relicts, carnivorous plants are present here as well.
 
Purcăreni, paleonthological and geological preserve in the Întorsurii Mountains (6 km away from Satulung), with a rich association of corals and crustaceans.
 
The Ormeniş Fossil point, paleonthological preserve in the east of the Perşani Mountains, world-wide known, the fossils belong to the Superior Cretaceous period.
 
Historical monuments:
 
Bărcut                                    
13th Century Evangelical church with the original bell bears the inscription “O rex glorie veni cum “ , Oh, come, King of glory.          
 
Drăuşeni                                  
One of the most traditional Romanian villages preserving architecture, customs, food and dress, untouched by influences of Saxons, Hungarians or contemporary society. The original 13th Century basilica was modified during fortification, however, Romanic ornaments preserved are the western portal and twin windows.
 
Feldioara                                  
Village dating back to the Neolithic period with ruins of the Feldioara Fortress and a 13th Century fortified church with unusual scenes from the New Testament and iconography.
 
Poiana Mărului                                  
Perched on a hill off the beaten track, a good base for day trips to Zărneşti, Bârsa Valley, Piatra Craiului National Park, Măgura, Făgăraş, Sâmbata de Sus, Făgăraş Mountains, Şinca. 
 
Cetatea Râşnov                                  
Massive peasant fortress built in the 13th Century has a 143 m deep well built by Turkish soldiers captured during battle. Perched on a rocky mountain, the fortress offers spectacular views and is a good starting point for hiking.
 
Sâmbăta de Sus                                
Spectacular painted monastery with a workshop for icon painting, museum, and historically significant antique book collection. Nearby village of Lisa produces traditional carpets. Also nearby is a fish farm, and stables where the famed Lipizzaner horses are bred.
 
Vama Buzăului                                  
Peaceful agricultural village with traditional farmhouses and shepherd camps, and the former Customs House into Moldova. Trail heads for hiking the majestic pine forests of Ciucaş Mountains, 3 nearby waterfalls and the opportunity to enjoy nature and escape from the noise and pollution of city life.
 
Zărneşti                                  
Starting point for hiking in the Piatra Craiului National Park, exploring gorges and caves, and observing wildlife, and visiting the traditional villages  of Măgura and Poiana Mărului.
 
Crizbav                                  
Ruins of the Fortress of Heroes, this 13th Century citadel rests on one of the highest peaks of the Perşani Mountains at almost 1.000 meters. Access to the citadel is on a small bridge over a mountain cleft 7 m wide and 10 m deep. The fortress once had a tunnel connecting the fortress to the village church.
 
Făgăraş                                  
Făgăraş is best know for its enormous 14th Century citadel. The area is full of traditional Romanian villages and is a common starting points for hiking and outdoor adventures in the Făgăraş Massif.
 
Fundata – Moieciu – Peştera – Şirnea                            
Storybook landscapes of rolling hills characterized by pastoral highlands and breathtaking views across the Carpathians. Highland and forested hiking trails.    
 
Prejmer                                  
Excellent representation of a Saxon village, Prejmer has the most impressive fortified church in Transylvania, which holds the distinction of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The town also hosts an unusually large population of storks.
 
Rupea                                    
Ruins of three citadels atop a hill, built between the 14th and 17th centuries, once home to a Roman camp (Ramidava) during the time Dacia was conquered by Romans.
 
Şinca Veche                                  
Mystical Temple of the Fates, reputed to be approximately 2.000 years old, holds ceremonial chambers and altars with mysterious carvings, including the Yin – Yang symbol within the Star of David. At least 5 stories of the temple’s origins – from Christianity to Paganism circulate. The Temple is said to attract energy into an underground tunnel connecting the temple with the fortress of Râşnov.
 
Viscri                                    
Charming, well-preserved Saxon village founded more than 800 years ago continues to observe traditional ways of life, thanks in large part to difficult access to the main road.
Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, blue Saxon houses lend an air of distinction to the already picturesque surroundings and the beautiful white fortified church from 1230.
 
Buneşti                                  
14th Century fortified church with wooden altar painted in tempera colours, and linked to the Rococo pipe organ.            
 
Caţa                                    
13th Century church with two fortifying walls, continues to use the „Tower of Bacon” to store bacon and smoked meat.            
 
Cincşor                                  
13th Century fortified church with one of the oldest and most beautiful Saxon pipe organs in Transylvania.              
 
Cincu                                    
Exceptional medieval architecture, this 13th Century church’s altar depicts the lack of faith of Thomas the Apostle (doubting Thomas) with a stone inscription “Domin meus et Deus meu –  Toma quia vidisti beati qui non viderunt et credierunt” . Blessed are those that did not see and still believed!
 
Codlea                                  
The only church in the Bârsa area without tower, the 13th Century fortified Gothic Transylvanian style church has a Renaissance ceiling of 252 panels, each representing another version of Luther’s rose, the most recognized symbol of Lutheran religion.
 
Felmer                                    
Built in the 13th Century as a Romanic basilica, the church in Felmer was fortified three centuries later. Unlike other altars dedicated to images of Christ, the altar of this church is dedicated to both Christ and an Angel.
 
Ghimbav                                  
13th Century Gothic church whose altar depicts Christ overlooking the globe, and whose defence towers are atypically built outside the fortification walls.    
 
Hărman                                  
13th Century Saxon ecclesiastical citadel has seven defence towers and refuge chambers built into the fortification walls. Although it fell under siege 47 times it never surrendered.
 
Homorod                                  
13th Century citadel whose double fortification walls prevented it from being captured. The altar and choir have an unusual placement in the south of the fortification.  
 
Ioneşti                                    
One of the oldest Unitarian churches in Transylvania (where Unitarianism originated) dating back to the 12th Century.            
 
Măieruş                                  
15th Century church rebuilt in the late 18th Century combining Gothic, Neoclassical, Baroque and Renaissance styles.            
 
Rotbav                                    
Fortified church dating to the 13th Century that burned and was rebuilt in the 18th Century. Special features include a pipe organ from Pecs, Hungary and a sermon chair sculpted in stone.
 
Sânpetru                                  
Rebuilt several times, the fortified church dates to the 13th Century with mural paintings including Michael Archangel leading angels into the mouth of Leviathan.  
 
Şoarş                                    
15th Century fortified church with bells decorated with dragons, fantastic animals, evangelists and crucifixes.
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September 3 2011, 20:55 Pomul Verde 8, M-Ciuc, România
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