Brasov Fortifications, Bastions, Gates and Towers

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Brașov Fortifications are military constructions with defensive character, built between XIII – XIX century, and destinated to protect the inhabitants of the city of Brasov against the invaders. The Turkish and Tartar invazions, more and more frequent in XIII – XV centuries, made the majority of the population who was not bounded to the fertile land from Bartholomeu area to move in the area located between Tâmpa, Șchei and the Warthe hill, where was a deep forest, and where in the middle of this forest was flowing a little river coming from the Solomon Stones. There where this little river was splitting in two, one part going to Blumăna area and the other part going to Brașovechi area, was a watching tower around which, starting with 1420, was built the City Hall. The place was not empty because the monks and nuns who came together with the teutonic knights had built two monasteries: the St. Laurent and the St. Catherina, that were destroyed by tartars in 1241.
 
After 1383, the new settlement was fortified with ditches, ground waves and palisades. At the end of XIV century, the premises are restored with stone and is starting the construction of the walls and bastions, which made the great reputation of Brasov all over Europe as „The Citadel of the Seven Bastions”. In total, the walls were 3000 m long, 12 m high and their width was between 1,70 m up to 2,20 m. Together with the bastions located at 110 m distance, the walls were also defended by 28 square shape powder towers. Today are preserved only 6, 2 at the north-west side and 4 at the south side of the fortress. The walls were double and sometimes, – on the north east side especially – triple, and between them existed ditches and ground waves. Between the walls were the so called „enclosures”, each one administrated by a guild.
 
The Brasov Citadel Bastions
 
Were built starting with the XV century by different guilds, who used them in time of peace for merchandise storage, and in time of siege or attack they were used as bastions. From the 8 initial bastions, today are totally preserved only three:
 
• The Weavers Bastion
• The Blacksmiths Bastion
• The Graft Bastion
 
Recently renovated bastions:
 
• The Rope Makers Bastion
• The Drapers Bastion
• The Furriers Bastion
 
Bastioans totally demolished:
 
• The Goldsmiths Bastion (in 1886)
• The Belt Makers Bastion (in 1887)
 
The Weavers Bastion
 
Documentary attested in 1522, The Weavers Bastion is located in the south west corner of the citadel and is stretching over 1.616 sqm. The walls have a width between 4 m at the basement and 1 m at the fourth level of the bastion.
 

 

Built on four levels by the weavers guild, with shooting holes, oil holes and two watching towers, the bastion has a unique architecture in the south east of Europe, and preserve its original shape because it was not touched by the big fire in 1689. The first building works were between 1421 and 1436, when were built the first two levels. Between 1570 and 1573 was built the third level, and between 1750 and 1910 were realized important resauration works, after the bastion partially collapsed in 1701.
 

 

In 1908, after was used a lot of time only as storehouse, the bastion obtained the nearby building (the guild headquarter), and was more often used for parties and especially for opera performances, because of its extraordinary acoustic qualities. In 1950, inside the bastion was settled the Museum of Barsa Country (the region of Brasov), where is exposed the maquette of the old citadel of Brasov and Șchei village as it was looking at the end of the XVII century, and also all kind of weapons and products of the weavers guild.
 
The Blacksmiths Bastion
 
Documentary attested in 1529, the Blacksmiths Bastion, is located in the north-west corner of the citadel, has a pentagonal shape, and is built on three levels, with oil holes and shooting holes where can be installed small caliber cannons. At the beginning, on the location of the Blacksmiths Bastion was a tower, mentioned in 1521, destroyed by the flood in 1526, and then rebuilt în 1527, when are mentioned for the first time the ruins of the blacksmiths tower. The bastion will be extended in two stages, in 1526 and in 1668. A „blalcksmith tower” is mentioned in the list of the armament in 1562, as being located in „Catherina” district, between the Potters Tower and the Loaf Makers Tower, unidentified today.
 

 

At July 30, 1667, another flood, caused by a heavy rain, distroyed the fortifications from this place, and in 1668 the Blacksmiths Bastion got its final shape. The big fire from April 21, 1689, has also transformed this fortification in a ruin, being rebuilt only in 1709, when were added brick arcades. In the interior, the bastion had wooden galleries supported by consoles. After 1734, will be used just in non military purposes, as grain storage house and for housing. In 1820, on the location of the blacksmiths tower was built a smaller gate, finished by the master builder Joseph Jani – and having the Brasov coat of arms on the frontispiece. Because it was slowing down the traffic a lot, this gate was demolished in 1874. In 1923 inside the bastion were brought the Archives of Brasov that were in the City Hall, and the archive will remain here since then. In 1938 the building was renovated, getting the shape that it has today.
 
The Graft Bastion
 
The Graft Bastion or the Gate Bastion as was called because of its shape, was built between 1515 – 1521, defended and administrated on the expenses of the Saddle Makers guild, being destinated to make the connection between the soldiers from the citadel and the White Tower. Its location, close to the middle of the north west side of the citadel, made the defensive power of this area to increase. In the XVI century the north west wall is doubled by another external wall. In the same time is collected the water coming from Șchei in a channel (Graft in German), that was flowing near the new built wall. The Graft Bastion was designed as a bridge overt this channel. It has at the basement a width of around 4 meters and was structured on two levels and a mansard, which had shooting holes and oil holes preserved until today. The access to the White Tower was ensured by a bridge that was climbing the ramp to the entrance of the White Tower from where the defenders were descending a ladder to allow the entrance inside the tower.
 

 

Because a big flood, after a heavy rain at August 24, 1809, the external wall of the premises was a lot weakened after the washing of the foundations (because of the walls of the citadel, all the rainfalls water coming from Șchei had to flow along the Graft channel). This is why the architects of the city found a solution by constructing three support arcades, over the channel, in 1822. In the XX century, when the wall was pierced for providing a new exit for the Corso cinema (today Royal) and with the occasion of the construction of a house for the manufacturer Friederich Czell, two of the arcades were lost, together with the wall part that was supporting them. The inscription from the north wall of the Graft Bastion, initially in eight rows and – today – most of it illegible, couldn’t be restored, because no copy of it was identified. Renovated in 2004 – 2005, inside the bastion was organized one section of the Brasov County History Museum with the topic „The Artisan Guilds from Brașov – the defenders of the citadel”. The exhibition, located at the second floor of the bastion, consists of weapons, armors and ammunition used for the defense of the citadel, informative pannels with facsimiles from documents and photos / lithographs of the medieval fortifications of the citadel of Brasov. Also, was rebuilt the route to the White Tower, using stone stairs that are climbing abruptly the Warthe hill.
 
The Rope Makers Bastion
 
The Rope Makers Bastion from Brasov is the first bastion mentioned in documents, in 1416. Having hexagonal shape, the bastion was initially 10-12 m tall and has shooting holes for mobile weapons. The flat brick arches, whose remains still can be seen today, were constructed later.
 

 

The bastion has suffered a lot of damages because of the fires from 1461 and 1689, the latest causing big damages of the initial architecture. Rebuilt, the Rope Makers bastion was used as a storehouse for materials. The house, that can be still seen today, was built in 1794 by the guild who was administrating the fortification. In 1894, the bastion was sold with 2.000 fiorini, an important amount of money at that time. The bastion was restored in 2006.
 
The Drapers Bastion
 
The Drapers Bastion, located in the north east corner of the citadel, was built and defended by the Goldsmith Guild, between 1450 and 1455. They enriched it with weapons from Prague, three small cannons and 16 harquebuses. In 1521 and 1522 are realized construction works at the bastion. In 1640, the defensive location was taken over by the drapers.
 

 

Built on four levels of wooden galleries, with an elliptical shape with the diameter of 16 m, the bastion was 20 m tall. The walls were 2 m wide at the basement and had at the first level holes for the small cannons. The Drapers Bastion was preserved well until today, being consolidated between 1961 – 1962 and restored in 2005.
 
The Furriers Bastion
 
Mentioned later than the rest of the fortifications from the Brasov citadel, The Furriers Bastion or The Tanners Bastion as it is also called, was built around 1452 and given for defense to the guild of the „red tanners”. It had a shape of half circled tower, with an open part towards the Drapers Bastion.
 

 

At the beginning it has only shooting holes and molten pitch holes. The brick arches that can still be seen today were made later. The fortification is communicating with the Drapers Bastion through a gallery along the external wall. Was restored in 2005.
 
The Goldsmith Bastion
 
In 1612, the city Judge, Michael Weiss, decided the construction of another external wall of the citadel. The plan remained unrealized because of the death of the Judge in the Feldioara battle (October 16, 1612) against the prince tyrant Gabriel Bathory. In 1632, some goldsmith masters resumed the ideea of Michael Weiss to build a new bastion, on the location between the Custom Gate and the Main Gate. The Goldsmith Guild had to defend the Drapers Bastion from today, but, in 1639, they have taken another location of the walls and fortified it. Built in two years, The Goldsmith Bastion was located approximately at the middle of the northern side and north-eastern side of the citadel. The inhabitants from the „Citadel” and from districts Șchei and Blumăna worked themselves at the construction of the wall and of the bastion.
 

 

On October 20, 1646, the Brasov Council gave the new bastion, and also the nearby defensive location, „for maintenance and defense forever” to the goldsmith guild. With a shape of hexagon, similar to the Rope Makers Bastion, the Goldsmiths Bastion was 22 m tall. It has shooting holes for small caliber cannons and, because of its location, an excellent visibility far away to Blumăna and Brasovechi. It seems it was the only bastion with the Brasov coat of arms on the frontispiece, under which it was indicated the construction period: 1639 – 1641 and the name of the city Judges Christian Hirscher and Michael Goldschmidt. In 1728, a fire started at the Main Gate extended to the bastion, and damaged it. In 1871, the goldsmith guild, greatly diminished in number of people, sold the bastion and the nearby defensive place to the city. The bastion was demolished in 1886, to let other constructions to be erected.
 
The Belt Makers Bastion
 
Located in the norh west of the citadel, The Belt Makers Bastion has a horseshoe form, and was more than 40 m long and 14 up to 17 m wide. The external perimeter was of 102 m, and the walls were 15 m high. The walls were at the basement more than 4 m wide, up to two meters at the top. According to the citadel weapons inventory armamentului in 1562, in The Belt Makers Bastion existed at that time 31 big rifles (bombards), 5 handguns, a small cannon and 1½ quintals of powder.
 

 

The first documentary attestation of the fortification is from 1525. Similar to the Weavers Bastion and the Blacksmith Bastion, the Belt Makers Bastion has three levels and one watching tower. The fire from 1689 left this fortification untouched. Ruined in most part, it was demolished in 1887, on its location being built a house.
 
The Brasov Citadel Gates
 
The Brasov Citadel has four gates:
 
• The Ekaterina Gate towards Șchei
• The Custom Gate (Monastery Gate)
• The Main Gate (of the Braziers)
• The Black Street Gate
 
In the XIX century were built three new gates:
 
• The Șchei Gate, between the Ekaterina Gate and the Weavers Bastion
• The Horses Fair Gate, between the Ekaterina Gate and the Blacksmith Bastion
• The New Custom Gate, on the same location where it was the Custom Gate (Monastery Gate).
 
The last two gates were demolished at the end of the same century, because of the city development. Even if it was known about the existence of an exit towards the Tâmpa mountain, for the cattle that was going to the pasture located near the mountain during siege, it was assumed that this gate was at the Rope Makers Bastion. After the diggings related to the restoration of the southern wall, the gate was found under one of the powder towers located between the Rope Makers Bastion and the Weavers Bastion:
 
• The Gate towards Tâmpa
 
The Ekaterina Gate
 
The Ekaterina Gate (in German Katharinentor) was built at the middle of the side between the Weavers Bastion and The Blacksmiths Bastion, on the location of an old gate from the XIV century destroyed by the flood from August 24, 1526, and also after the Turkish invasions. Being located at the end of the Ekaterina street – that has taken its name from the nuns monastery that was there – the gate received the name of Ekaterina. In 1559 was erected the gate tower, that can also be seen today. With a square shape, on three levels, the construction has in its upper part four small towers that symbolized „Jus Gladii”, a medieval privilege that gave the leaders of the Brasov citadel the power to use the ultimate punishment.
 

 

The tower vault is painted in the Renaissance style, and its architecture is unique in the world, making it a precious artistic jewel. The documents are mentioning that for each of the eight shooting holes of the tower were brought heavy rifles from Prague. The Gate Tower – today most of it in the ground – has suffered important damages because of the earthquakes and fires in 1689 and 1738. Because it was not corresponding with the necessities of the merchants from Șchei, the gate (with the exception of the tower) was demolished in 1827, one year later being built the existing Șchei Gate.
 
The Custom Gate
 
The Custom Gate or the Monastery Gate, the first acces gate from the three gates of the citadel, situated at the end of Mureseni street from today (in that time the Custom street), was composed from a veritable round shape bastion and a tower, being realized a long complex of around 100 m. Constructed in the XVI century, the gate was consolidated with heavy oak tree pillars, that were inserted with their ends inside two holes in the wall. The tower gate – the oldest part of the fortification, dating from the XIV century – was embattled, on the side towards the city having a solar dial. On the frontispiece, the Custom Gate was presenting a large painting in colors with the image of the Sigismund emperor, who orderet at March 10, 1395, for the fortification of the citadel.
 

 

The defensive system was represented by rostrums and molten pitch holes and a mobile chained bridge, that was removed during the night. Inside the bastion wall with the horseshoe shape, near the tower, was a small gate for people. To the interior of the city was a vaulted corridor, 30 m long. The water ditch in front of the bastion was crossed by a mobile wooden bridge. Along the interior corridor, the acces could be blocked by many gates and bars, that made the bastion to be invincible. On the way from the exterior gate to the city center, the way could be blocked by many gates and bars, so the entire complex was practically invincible.
 

 

In 1562 it has 33 rifles, 10 praguese rifles and 7 small cannons. In time of peace, the guard was provided by a „gate captain”, with eight soldiers. Through this gate entered inside the citadel, on March 1st, 1600, Michael the Brave. Also through this gate Michael the Brave left the city on July 1st, 1600, after closing the victorious campaign in Moldova. The beauty of the gate was seriously affected by the 1738 earthquake, when practically collapsed. It was finaly demolished only in 1836.
 
The Main Gate
 
The Main Gate of the citadel was at the end of the Braziers Street, named later the Gate Street, and today the Republicii Street. The fire in 1519 destroy partially the gate, that will be reconstructed between 1522 and 1524 in semicircular bastion shape, being 100 m long, with shooting holes and molten pitch holes. In 1537, to the gate is added a tower, replaced in 1650 – 1651. This tower had a big clock and was decorated with beautiful frescoes. Under the tower could pass carriages and people turning in a right angle through a dark gang. Then it was a 100 m long corridor that could be barricaded in many places. In the evening, on the both sides of the tower were closed the heavy oak tree gates, moved on iron rails.
 

 

Similar to the Custom Gate, the Braziers Gate or later the Main Gate had a mobile bridge over the water. In mai to august 1613, the gate was consolidated to face a siege from the troups of Gabriel Bathory. The gate was seriously damaged by the fires and earthquakes from 1650 – 1651, 1689 and 1718 (being reconstructed between 1724-1725), but the earthquake from 1802 was decisive for its future. Being in danger to collapse, the gate was demolished in 1857.
 
The Black Street Gate
 
One less known and used acces way inside the fortress of Brasov was The Black Street Gate, today Nicolae Bălcescu. Mentioned in 1464, under the name of „Swarczgas”, and then in 1578, the gate was closed by a wall. Put again into use after many years, in 1785, the gate was again closed by a wall between 1788-1789. In 1873, the tower but also the external bastion of the gate were demolished to allow a better access inside the „Black” barrack, built on this street.
 

 

The Șchei Gate
 
The Șchei Gate was built between 1827 – 1828 for the fluidisation of the circulation between the Frotress of Brașov and the Upper Suburb, with the financial contribution of the Romanian merchants, to fulfill the needs of the people from Șchei. Built in neoclassic style by mason master Joseph Jani, the Șchei Gate has three arches: two smaller for people, and one big, centrally located, for vehicles, and was restored after the earthquake from March 4, 1977 and repaired several times, last time being in 2004.
 

 

The Horses Fair Gate
 
In 1803 the citizens from Șchei raised to the authorities from the citadel of Brasov the problem of the construction of a new gate because the old gate of Ekaterina was not enough for their necessities, and asked to the magistrate of the city the opening of a new gate. The demand was rejected several times because of „lack of funds”. The Romanian merchants from Șchei proposed then to build a gate with their funds.
 

 

Despite of that, the problem solving was postponed until 1817, when the emperor Francisc I of Austria arrived in Brasov. The citizens from Șchei then addressed directly to the emperor, asking again the permission to open a larger gate. This initiative is showing results, so in 1820, instead of the blacksmiths tower, near the Horses Fair, will be erected a smaller gate – finished by the master builder Joseph Jani – having the Brasov coats of arms on the frontispiece. Because of its dimensions, the gate soon was too small, being necessary the construction of the Șchei Gate, seven years later. Finally, hindering a lot the circulation, The Horses Fair Gate was demolished in 1874.
 
The Gate towards Tâmpa
 
The diggings realized in 2005 – 2006 for the restoration of the wall located close to Tâmpa mountain revealed, at the basement of a ruined powder tower, a big gate closed by the wall. This gate was vaulted and large enough (2 meters wide and 3 meters tall) to allow the carriages to pass through it. The first estimations are placing the gate – tower construction in the XIV – XV centuries and is considered that around 1735 the gate was already closed by the wall. Probably by here the cattle was taken out to the pasture, in time of siege, on the slope located between the wall and the mountain (this fact is known, what is not known, or was just assumed, it was the place where the cattle was going out).
 
The External Towers of the Brasov Citadel
 
The Brasov Citadel had four external towers:
 
• The Black Tower
• The White Tower
• The Shoemakers Tower
• The Cutlerysts Tower
 
and initially the fifth, namely the Tower located in the place where is today Cetățuia (the Little Fortress). Before, in the City Hall Plaza of today, was only the nuns monastery of the premonstratense order and the watching tower that is today at the basement of the City Hall tower. Shall not be forgot the 28 powder towers, each of them defended by a guild, and located on the walls of the citadel.
 
The Black Tower
 
The Black Tower is one of the four watching towers, built like an independent fortification located outside the walls of the Citadel of Brasov, more than 11 metres tall. Located close to the Blacksmith Bastion, on a rock on Warthe hill, the Black Tower is dominating the Șchei area with its dimensions, this tower hindering the enemies to come closer to the citadel walls, that were here less than 5 m away from the rock (only in 1819 – 1820 the passage was enlarged). Stretching over 50 sqm, the tower is 11 m tall, and its walls are 2 m wide at the basement. It has six shoting walls on each side, disposed on three rows of attack. Inside it has three storeyed galleries and, at the beginning, the tower had a system that was connecting it with the Citadel through a mobile bridge that was lowered to the Blacksmiths Bastion. The tower dates from the XV century, being built in the same time with the White Tower.
 

 

However, the first documentary attestation of the tower dates from 1541. The initial roof was destroyed by thunder on July 23, 1559, and by the fire in 1689 – that blackened the walls of the tower and gave it the name it has today. It was destroyed again by thunder in 1696, but was rebuilt, as shows a stamp from 1735. During the epidemic plague in 1756, it seems that the Black Tower was used for the last time as shelter and guarding point for the guardians of the sanitary cordon around the city. In case of danger, a big iron chain between the rock and the bastion was stopping the communication with the lower walls. The roof, still existing at 1796, because of the time damages, was in 1827 the object of a restoration request, but, because it was not bringing revenues to the city of Brasov, the request was not approved. Only in 1900 the issue of the monument restoration was raised, and was done the walls consolidation at their upper part in 1901. In the night of 3 to 4 July, 1991, the southern wall of the tower collapsed after a heavy rain. The restoration was realized only in 1996. Today it holds a museum.
 
The White Tower
 
Built between 1460 and 1494, The White Tower is impressing by its massiveness and slenderness of its architectural lines as follows: open semicircular plan – more than 30 m level difference from the city walls, height – 20 m to the city and 18 m to the hill, the walls are 4 m wide at the base, and the diameter of the tower has 19 m. Along its walls, the tower has ramparts, holes for molten pitch and balconies sustained by consoles carved in stone. Being 59 m away from the citadel wall, the tower was communicating with them by a mobile bridge that was connecting the tower with the Graft Bastion. It has visibility to Blumăna and, with its 5 levels was the most upper fortification in Brasov.
 

 

Inside the tower was preserved the chimney from the above a fireplace, that could serve also for the heating of the guards and defenders – coppersmith guilders. In 1678, the coppersmith guild has redeemed the obligation for the tower defense, because the coppersmiths number was low. During the big fire in April 21, 1689, the fire carried by a strong wind touched also the White Tower, that burned, being renovated only in 1723. Other restoration actions were done in 1902, 1974, 2002 and 2005 – 2006. Today it holds a museum.
 
The Cutlerysts Tower and The Shoemakers Tower
 
Nearby the Brasov citadel, at the foot of Tâmpa mountain, were built in the XV century two watching towers, united with the citadel by one row of walls, that extended, also, from the towers to the mountaintop. Probably left in dereliction starting from the period of fireguns, the two watching towers were permanently removed in the XVIII century (two stamps from the same century are showing, each, Tâmpa mountain with and without them).
 

 

The Cutlerysts Tower, being near the Weavers Bastion, has visibility to Șchei. Today there is no trace from it. The Shoemakers Tower, located upper from the Weavers Bastion, was dominated Blumăna and Curmătura (the area between Tâmpa mountain and the Snails Hill). Today can be observed the platform on which was located and also a great part from the connection wall basesement that was going to the mountain.
 
Other fortifications in Brasov
 
• The Little Fortress (Cetățuia) from the Guard Hill
• The Fortress of Brasovia
• The Fortress from the Șprenghi Hill
• The Fortress from the Solomon Stones
• The Dacian Fortress from Răcădău
 

The Little Fortress (Cetățuia) from the Guard Hill
 
The Little Fortress (Cetățuia) from the Guard Hill, or the Fortress Hill (Martinsberg, Schlossberg) as it is called today, was an important defensive location, situated outside the citadel of Brasov. At the beginning of the XV cantury, here was only a watching tower, that was completed in 1524 with a wooden bastion with four towers. Destroyed in 1529 by the army of Petru Rareș, in his place a century later were erected stone walls and ditches were digged. A fire in 1618 caused big damages, so in 1625, the fortress was almost totally rebuilt. In 1627 was digged inside, a fountain 81 m deep. In 1630, the little fortress get its four corner bastions.
 


 

Loosing its importance in the XVII century, was used as storehouse and later as barraks for the frontier guards. This is why, for a period, the hill was called the Frontier Guards Hill. From the XVIII century until 1954 was used as prison, and then as storehouse for the Brasov Estate Archives until 1975, and after 1981, after an extensive restoration, to become a touristic complex with medieval specific.
 
The Fortress of Brasovia
 
The Fortress of Brassovia (or The Fortress of Brasovia) is a historical and architecture monument from the XIV – XV century. The fortress is located on the top of Tâmpa mountain and it was in the Middle Age the most important defensive location for Brașov. The fortified compound occupies an area of ​​approximately 23.000 sqm, with tall and wide walls of 1,70 to 1,80 m width. For the first time, the fortress is mentioned in a document from October 16, 1434. The dominant location of Tâmpa mountain, the isolation and slope gradients made the Brassovia fortress to be impossibile to be conquered and in the same time to be the „key” of the citadel of Brasov reign. The natural setting where it was built is one of the most favorable locations for this kind of constructions: on two sides the fortress was flanked by steep coasts, and on the third side is bounded by a steep slope with fortification possibilities. The architecture of the fortress is simple, generating the hypothesis that the fortress belong to the pre – romanic period.
 

 

Its stone enclosure, with almost triangular shape, shows a little polygonal bastion on the western side and ruins of some small rooms on the southern side. In the interior is a chapel and water tanks carved in stone. On the northern side, to the city, starting from the Great Tâmpa peak (960 m), and going down to the Small Tâmpa peak (925 m), there is a wall 0,80 m wide and almost 200 m long. Approximately at the middle, the wall is touched from the exterior by an old route, today barely recognizable, that was crossing in diagonal the Tâmpa mountain coming from Curmătură, between Tâmpa and Snails Hill. In this part of the wall there are four gate openings, two larger, of 116 cm and two smaller, of about 100 cm. Starting from Tâmpa peak, another 1,80 m wide wall is going to the south, to a small road that is coming from the Fortress Valley, and then, the wall is rounding to the west on a portion of 50 m to the rock that is above the cave on the southern side of Tâmpa. To the Tâmpa saddle, that is separating Tâmpa of the Păticel hill, the wall is following the level curve at 920 m, having the length of 150 m and also being 1,80 m wide. Adapted to the land situation, the wall has a corner getting out from the continuous line. On this side is the main gate for the entrance inside the fortress, at the end of a road with serpentine partially carved in rock. In 1933, the Saxon Museum of the Bârsa Country realized inside the fortress archeological diggings, that cleared the foundations of the St. Leonhard chapel close to the main gate of the fortress. The digging were continued in 1937 by Alfred Prox, who examined the tank that was inside the chappel. Then resulted that the tank with 6,8 m diameter was deepened inside the rock up to 5 m, where was discovered water, whicih is surprinsing for this altitude. The fact that from three sides the fortress was surrounded by abyss, and on the fourth side was well defended, made this fortress one of the most invincible fortresses in Transylvania and Europe (actually, it was never conquered but was occupied only due to some pacts).
 

 

The fortress was supplied from an area in Schei down the valley, area called Cătun, and connected with it by the Kinghts Road. In 1241 only several families from Brasov have time to shelter inside the fortress after the Tartars invasion. In 1395, before starting the war with the Turks, Mircea the Old sheltered his family inside the fortress. After 26 years, in 1421, the fortress become shelter for the population of Brasov, threatened by the sultan Murad the 2nd. In the same year, the fortress is given as a guarantee to the sultan, and the Turks dominted the city of Brasov from the fortress. Realizing the danger quickly, the people from Brasov recovered the fortress with the help of Iancu of Hunedoara. When Iancu arrived in Brasov in november-december 1447, he visited personally the „castrum Brassoviense” and could realize the difficulties appeared to defend and maintain this fortress. This is why he is ordering the demolition of the fortress and asked that the stones resulted after the demolition to be used to the fortification of the city from the valley. In the spring of 1455, the fortress was already demolished, but remained untouched the chapel of the fortress dedicated to St. Leonhard, and threatened by decay due to her leaving and due to the leaving of the fortress. This is why the archbishop Strigoniu agreed also with the demolition of this chapel, and decided that in compensation to be raised an altar dedicated to St. Leonhard inside the parish church (today the Black Church). With the occasion of the works related to the construction of the Tâmpa rope way (1970) and of the restaurant „Panoramic”, was created another access route, after o part of the main gate bastion was demolished.
 
The Fortress from the Șprenghi Hill
 
The origin of the Șprenghi fortress, seems to be in the time of the Roman Empire, when it is assumed that in this place was a castrum. Before the second half of the XIII century, on the hill was built a little fortress, formed by earth walls and palisades. The Tartar invasion in 1335, who destroyed the fortification, made that, after the first half of the XIV century, to appear an oval ring of walls, 1,80 m wide. In the interior was raised a building for shelter in time of danger and was also created a water tank. In the XV century, at the gate of this fortress was built a hexagonal tower, to increase its defensive strenght. Conquered by Turks in 1421, gradually the fortress will loose its importance, becoming ruins. In front of this fortress was built by the teutonic knights the Church of Saint Bartholomeu (1225).
In the XIX century the Șprengi Hill was transformed in stone pit, today being excavated most of it. In the XX century dissapeared together with the rock of the hill a big part from the fortress remains. Today in this place is a topmast with the Romanian flag, in the memory of the Romanian soldiers who died in the death trench located here (on October 8, 1916).
 
The Fortress from the Solomon Stones
 
The Fortress from the Solomon Stones is an antique fortification in the Brasov city area. It is located in the area called „Între Chietri” (between stones), with direct visibility to the north east of Tâmpa and the Stejeriș hill, in both places being found other Dacian vestiges. It has a role of refuge for the dacian population from this area and it was continuously inhabited during all the neolithic period, during the bronze age and during the iron age. The fortress was consisting of a surrounded enclosure with dacian walls, ground wave and palisades, having role of round road for guards or platform for battles. Inside the fortification was a tower with places for living. After a while the constructions multiplied after the terracing of an area of the enclosure where were discovered regular but also luxury ceramic objects, and also iron objects. In the same time was discovered the existence of a water and food tank carved in the rock. Also using archeological methods it was established the end of the fortress, during the wars between the dacains and the romans.
 
The Dacian Fortress from Răcădău
 
Valea Cetății (the Fortress Valley) is a district in the south of Brasov. Called also Răcădău, here existed dacian fortifications, demolsihed in 1980 when it was built a new town district. The losses for the history of Brasov and for the dacian culture are priceless. Today, even if there is no big commercial venue, Valea Cetății is considered a luxury district, because of the spacious apartments and due to the proximity with the green areas of Brasov.

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