Brașov is a city in the central part of Romania and, after Cluj, it is the most important city in the province of Transylvania.
It has area of 267 square kilometres, and with 253,000 inhabitants (according to the 2011 census), it is the seventh largest city in Romania.
Cooperation agreement (at the level of twinning agreement) between Brașov and Bijeljina was signed in 2018.
The history of Brașov as a town began in the first half of the 13th century, when the German Teutonic Order, in scope of fortifying the south Carpathian border of the Kingdom of Hungary towards the Turkish Empire, at the location of the village of Brașov built a fortified town of Kronstadt. They were followed by German colonisers, also known as the Transylvanian Saxons, who gave an important contribution to the town development up to the modern ages, and the Saxon architecture style is visible in Brașov even today.
The first mention of the name Brașov was in 1252.
In addition to Germans within the town walls, during the first centuries of existence of Brașov, the suburbs were inhabited by Romanians, Bulgarians (who were mostly naturalised over time) and Hungarians.
Favourable position of Brașov between Turkey and Hungary enabled the Saxon traders to get rich, and with them the whole town, which became an important centre of Romanian culture and education in 17th century. In 1835, the first newspaper was printed and the first higher education institution in the Romanian language was established there.
During the First World War, Brașov was liberated for a short period for the first time in 1916, and in 1918, together with Transylvania, it was united into the Kingdom of Romania, which was supported by the Germans from Brașov. The period between the two world wars was a time of economic and cultural prosperity of Brașov.
From 1950 to 1960 Brașov was called Orașul Stalin, and the period after the Second World War was a period of accelerated industrialisation.
Today, Brașov is a commercial centre of the southern part of Transylvania, and the most significant industrial facilities produce trucks, hydraulic gearboxes, car parts, ball bearings, building materials, hand tools, furniture, textiles, footwear and beer.
The city is an important tourist destination thanks to the preserved old town centre with numerous churches, shops, palaces and parks, as well as the best Romanian winter complexes located nearby, of which Pojana Brașov is the best known.
Transylvania University is located in Brașov.
CULTURAL AND HISTORICAL SIGHTS
The most famous sight of Brașov is the Protestant Church “Black Church”, believed to be the largest Gothic style church between Constantinople and Vienna. It was built between 1383 and 1840, and it was named after the fire of 1689, in which it burnt and got its current colour.
The oldest Orthodox temple is the Saint Nicholas Church, built in the late 15th century over the foundation of the older church from the 13th century.
The old town hall was built in the 14th century and it was the office of mayors for 500 years. There is a popular Bran Castle near Brașov, which was owned by Duke Tepes, who was an inspiration for Bram Stoker’s character Count Dracula.
Brașov hosts the Romanian most popular music festival Golden Stag (Cerbul de Aur). It was held in 1968 for the first time, and since then, it has been organised 18 times, and many world famous music stars performed on the stage of this festival.
Some other events worth mentioning are several cycling events, Romanian version of Oktoberfest in September, traditional music festival Flori în Ţara Bârse in March, and rock music festival RockStadt Extreme Fest in August.
In addition to Bijeljina, Brașov is a sister city / twin town of sixteen more cities/towns: Tempere (Finland), Tours (France), Győr (Hungary), Rishon LeZion (Israel), Holstebro (Denmark), Musashino (Japan), Kroonstad (South Africa), Ghent (Belgium), Leeds (United Kingdom), Minsk (Belarus), Trikala (Greece), Venaria Reale (Italy), Cleveland (United States), Nuremberg (Germany), Erbil (Kurdistan Region), and Linz (Austria).