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.
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.
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.
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.