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About Brasov (Maps)

Situated in the heart of Romania, the city of Brasov benefits from the influence of an ancient history.. At the beginning 13th century the Saxons (German population coming from the region of Rhein and Mosel) colonised the region of Brasov, finding here a strong Romanian community. The genuine character of the city will come from the mixture of two different cultures and mentalities. The origins of Brasov as a town are lost in the dark times of medieval age. However it is known that it developed as different communities living here decided to come together into a city. The first written documents on Brasov go back to 1235, when the city was mentioned as CORONA, situated on the present location of the Black Church. Later on the city was known also as Brasco, Brasso, Stephanopolis, Kronstadt, and Brasov. However the most popular names of the city are the last two ones.
The 14th century found the Turkish armies just South of the Danube River. They were frequently attacking the region of Brasov. This situation determined the citizens of Brasov to start building a strong defensive city wall, fortresses and towers; the work will last till the 18th century. The town will be now one of the strongest cities in Transylvania. The various guilds had each its own towers and fortresses that they would have to maintain and defend throughout the centuries. Today you may see parts of the old city walls or visit the Weavers' Fortress (currently a museum). The culture of Brasov will also develop during this period. Johannes Honterus, a great German humanist will work for most of the time in Brasov, and the deacon Coresi will print the first Romanian books here. Therefore in the 16th century Brasov will host several schools, libraries, and printing houses.
The 19th century, the age of progress, as we all know it, will mean a lot for Brasov. The city walls will be partly taken down, allowing a fast development. Manufacturers and factories will replace the old, conservative guilds. Once freed by medieval restraints, the trade will be better than ever for Brasov. This also helped a lot the development of education and media. "Gazeta de Transilvania", the first Romanian political newspaper in Transylvania, was founded in 1838. This would be the main paper to fight for the independence of Transylvania, which was occupied at the time by the Austro-Hungarian Empire. It was also issuing a literary review that will promote the Romanian writers and poets living in Transylvania.
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