The Black Church

Location: Romania, Brasov County, the centre of Brasov City, the north- west side of the Town Square, the yard of Johannes Honterus no. 2.

Access: it is located in the centre of Brasov, in the yard of Johannes Honterus High school, near the Council Square.

The Black Church, famous through its dimensions, is the most representative historical monument of Brasov. Being over 500 years old, the Black Church is considered the biggest halidom, built in gothic style, in the south-east Europe. It measures 89 meters in length, 25-37 meters wide and a height of 42 meters; the height of the cross tower is 65 meters. The Black Church can shelter inside it approximately 5.000 people. The construction works of the church started in the year 1384 and were finalized in 1477. Within the walls of the church there is an inscription attesting as the first founder of it parish Thomas Sander. Initially the church was called Holy Mary, but after the fire in 1689, due to the color of the burnt walls, it got the name of the Black Church. Seriously damaged during the fire, the Black Church was rebuilt by handymen who came from Danzig City, because the local handymen did not know how to close such big arches. The new arches are built though in baroque style and not gothic, how they were initially. After the fire the present roof was also built, roof which is 20 meters tall. The gothic style unveiled by the 5 portals, richly decorated, executed in the second half of the 15th century. The renovation of the Black Church lasted almost 100 years.

The Black Church is famous not only through its dimensions but also through the patrimony elements it owns: an important collection of oriental rugs, over 100 of them, the pews inside, a renowned organ installed in 1839, one of the biggest in Europe, which has 4.000 tubes. Inside the bell tower there is the biggest bell in Romania, made out of bronze, which weights 6, 3 tons.

The oriental rugs collection of the black church is one of the richest collections of its kind in Romania. The rugs come from the regions of Brussa, Usak and Ghiordes in Asia Minor, from the 17th-18th century and were donated, by the guilds of craftsmen in the city, by tradesmen and citizens.

Priceless values of the Black Church are also the furniture pieces and cult objects located inside the church: the bronze font, made by local craftsmen, surrounded by a grid made of forged iron, made by the blacksmith Meensen Hannes; the pews from the lateral naves, belonging to the 17th – 18th century. Created with ornaments in baroque style, carved out of wood; the pews in the choir in neo-gothic style date back to the year 1866; a canvas painted in oil depicting “The Wedding of Cana”, work of painter Hans Eder exhibited on the frontal wall of the lateral nave from the north side; a series of statues, the most representative being the Statue of Saint John the Baptizer and the statue of a child which seems to be near falling, the second being exposed on the counter fort of the northern side of the Black Church.

Attraction point for thousands of tourists, the old area of Brasov is dominated, by the greatest halidom in south-east Europe – the Black Church.

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Written by Paul

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