Brasov, Romania, is a Transylvanian city with an outstanding historic center. Founded by German settlers in the 13th century, the city is known in German as Kronstadt, meaning “crown city.” The crown in question is made up of the lovely central square, Piata Sfatului, and the streets that lead off its northern side.
The square is a great place to promenade or people-watch while also taking in the historical significance of the surrounding buildings. In the middle of the square stands the Council House. It was originally a watch tower but was converted into a city hall starting in 1420. The bottom floor of the building retains an original Gothic design, but the upper floor and tower have Baroque or Renaissance elements, due to various reconstruction efforts up to the 18th century. On the facade is a big, painted relief that shows Brasov’s city crest: a crown with tree roots sprouting out of the bottom. Today, the building contains a history museum that has good displays about the city’s crafts between the 15th and 19th centuries. There are also wooden chests, copper pans, weapons, medicine bottles, and folk art.
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foto Florin Ghinda, 2010