Brasov - ROMANIA, 7-14 September 2006


The origins of Brasov as medieval town are lost in the dark times. Archaeological discoveries mention life on this land since the Bronze Age, 60,000 years ago. The most impressive monument of the Antiquity is the Dacian Sanctuary of Racos, hardly accessible to tourists. Another testimony of life on this land is the Roman camp discovered in Rasnov, the former Northeastern border of the Roman empire.

An inscription in stone reveals the ancient Dacian name of the land: Cumidava. The Dacian-Roman settlements (Brasov, Harman, Cristian, Feldioara) in this area stand proof that after the Romans retreat (the year 271) the inhabitants (Daco-Roman population) remained on this land. However the first documentary attestation dates back from the year 1234, when the town was mentioned as CORONA. At that time the town was situated on the present location of the Black Church. Later on the town was known as Brasco, Brasso, Kronstadt or Brassovia Citadel.

Due to its geographical position, at the crossroads of Moldavia and Valachia, Brasov has had a fast economic growth, becoming one of the most important markets in Transylvania. On the 14th century Brasov became one of the most economical and political strongholds in the Southeast of Europe and on the 16th century also a cultural center. Johannes Honterus, a great German humanist, worked most of the time in Brasov and Deaconu Coresi printed the first Romanian book also in Brasov.

On March, 1600, Mihai Viteazul visited Brasov and summoned "The Diet of Transylvania" recognizing the rights of Tara Birsei's inhabitants.

In 1688 when the Austrian army conquered Transylvania, Brasov was the last Bastion standing. 1689 was a one of the toughest years in the history of Brasov. On April, 21, a big fire destroyed most of the town and killed 3,000 people. Most of the houses were destroyed and the monument Saint Maria, smoked by the fire, will become "The Black Church". Still hopeful, the citizens rapidly rebuild the city.

In 1838 George Baritiu edited the first Romanian publications in Brasov: "Gazeta de Transilvania" and the "Paper for Mind, Heart and Literature". It was also issued a literary review that was promoting the Romanian writers and poets in Transylvania.

In the period following the 1st World War, Brasov became a strong economical center in Europe, but the town was partly destroyed during the 2nd World War. It was rebuilt and the historical buildings were repaired.