Catherine’s Gate and St. Nicholas Church in Brasov, Romania

Brasov is a wonderful town in the Carpathian mountains of Transylvania in Romania. For the people of Romania it is a destination to get away and, depending on the season, either go hiking or go skiing at one of the resorts nearby. There are several interesting sites to see when visiting Brasov and among them are Catherine’s Gate and St. Nicholas Church. They are both located in the same part of the historic area of Brasov and each features some fascinating architectural details.

St. Nicholas Church
Turrets and the Coat of Arms on Catherine’s Gate
Walking Toward St. Nicholas Church and It’s Gated Wall

We walked from our hotel that was located on the town square into the historic area of Brasov in order to see Catherine’s Gate. The gate was built in 1559 after the original gate was destroyed by a flood. St. Catherine’s Monastery was previously on the site, which is how the gate received its name. As with most medieval towns, the gate was there to protect the town from invaders as well as to collect taxes from citizens who entered into the town. The four small corner turrets that surround the central turret symbolize the fact that they had an autonomous judicial system and self-rule. Above the gate is the town’s coat of arms, which is a crown on an oak tree with the roots exposed.

Catherine’s Gate
Murals on the Stone Wall Inside of the Church Gate
St. Nicholas Above the Main Door

We continued on to see St. Nicholas Church, whose bell tower could be seen throughout the old town area. The church sits atop a small hill that is just large enough to let it rise above the other nearby buildings. To get to the church, you pass through a gated wall with murals painted on the inner wall. The church itself was originally established in 1292 and the stone church was erected in the late 1400’s. Above the main door and just below the actual bell tower, is a colorful mural of St. Nicholas, for whom the church is named. Adjacent to the church is a large cemetery with many large headstones.

Cemetery Gate
Church Towers from the Cemetery
Mural of the Church

We really enjoyed our time in Brasov and took the time to get into the countryside to see many interesting historic sites. The people of the town were extremely friendly and we enjoyed walking the streets and eating at some of the many restaurants located there. If you get the opportunity to visit Brasov, you should definitely take time to see Catherine’s Gate and St. Nicholas Church.

Brasov, Romania – Charming Town in the Carpathian Mountains

When visiting Transylvania in Romania, Brasov is the perfect city to stay while touring the surrounding area. It is only a few hours by train from the capital of Bucharest and the people are friendly, there are plenty of local restaurants, and the town has a few wonderful sightseeing options. Although we visited in the winter, it is perfect place to go during the summer when you can go hiking in the surrounding mountains. One of our favorite things about Brasov is the unique architecture that you can find throughout the historic city. Whether it is the town hall, the Black Church, the White Tower, or Saint Nicholas Church, it is almost as if you can find a different architectural style around every corner.

Historic Area with Saint Nicholas Church
One of the Historic Churches
Town Square with the Black Church in the Distance
Town Hall

The hotel that we stayed at during our visit was located right in the central square where the town hall is located. We arrived just shortly after Christmas and the market had just ended, but the large tree in the square was still lit at night creating an almost magical atmosphere. The Biserica Neagră, or Black Church, dominates the skyline of the town and is definitely not your typical gothic cathedral. Built in the 14th century by the German community that lived in the area at the time, it is one of the largest churches in the country. Most striking is the bell tower with colorful clocks on two of its sides.

Bell Tower of the Black Church
Black Church
Christmas Tree at Night
Church Looming over the Town

To see some truly interesting architecture, you should definitely go to Catherine’s Gate and Saint Nicholas Church. Catherine’s Gate was built as part of the town’s fortification in 1559 after the original gate was destroyed by a flood in 1529. It is named after a monastery that existed in the area and is one of the many medieval structures that still exist in Brasov today. Although not as large as the Black Church, Saint Nicholas Church is truly fascinating to see. Built in the 15th century and then later decorated in the Baroque style, it looks as if it could have come directly out of a fairy tale.

Saint Nicholas Church
Catherine’s Gate
Saint Nicholas Church Tower
Courtyard near Saint Nicholas

In addition to enjoying the charm of Brasov, there are plenty of things to do in the surrounding area. From Bran Castle, which is reportedly associated with Vlad the Impaler, to the Church Fortifications, and the mountain resorts with skiing and hiking, Brasov is the perfect location to use to explore Transylvania. Be sure to go to a local restaurant and enjoy some of the cabbage rolls that the region is known for. Our time in Brasov was definitely the highlight of our trip to Romania.

Medieval Architecture
White Tower above Brasov
Restaurants in the Courtyard
Downtown Brasov
Cabbage Rolls

Reminiscing About Romania

Looking back at our time in Europe, one of the most interesting places that we visited was Romania. It was unique for a variety of reasons, but it was definitely extremely interesting. Although we spent a couple of days in Bucharest, the highlight of our trip was the time that we spent in Brasov. It is nestled in the Carpathian mountain region and apparently has a variety of ski resorts nearby, although we didn’t do any skiing on our trip. Our hotel was located right in the city center and our room overlooked the main square with its brightly decorated Christmas tree. We really enjoyed the architecture as it was different than most of the other places that we visited. For this week’s Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge that must start with the letter R, we thought we would revisit Romania through photos. If you ever get a chance to visit Romania, we would certainly recommend spending a few days in Brasov.

Frozen Trees in Romania

Bran Castle in Romania

Unique Architecture in Brasov, Romania

Cemetery in Brasov, Romania

Christmas Tree in Brasov, Romania