Back in time – Old churches in Brașov

St. Nicholas church in Schei (1495) was erected by the local people with the support of Neagoe Basarab, prince of Wallachia. It was established on the site of a former wooden church, documentary attested in 1292. By its impressive dimensions, the church dominates these parts of the city. Numerous bequests made by the Walachian and Moldovian voievodes as well as by other foreign princes and their families enriched the church: money, sacerdotal attire, canonicals, ecclesiastical objects made by precious metal, as well as an important collection of old icons. Catherine II, empress of Russia, is one of the church’s benefactors. In the nearby cemetery are buried important personalities of the national and local history.

St Nicholas church together with first Romanian school, built in the immediate neighbourhood, formed an important cultural and spiritual centre for the Romanians of Tara Barsei, their influence spreading over the whole Romanian space, especially after the deacon Coresi established himself in the area. It is here that he began to print the first theological books in Romanian language. The first Romanian school is now a museum, housing several exhibitions of great artistic and historical value.

The most ancient monument in Brasov, built by the Cistercian monks during the first decades of the 13th century in the style of Roman architecture is St. Bartholomew’s Church, a spectacular monument both in appearance and massiveness. Of great architectural value, it was also known as the Church of the three orphan maids, who, according to the legend, bequeathed their fortune to the church. Their tombs are sited under the altar. In the 14th century, when the town began to develop within the fortified walls, this area which was not fortified, remained open to the enemy attacks, so that its development was seriously affected. The frequent destructions caused by the Tatar or Turkish invasions during the 15th and 16th centuries required many restoration or modification works. Vast restoration works were carried out in 1842 when the tower of the belfry (collapsed in 1833) was also rebuilt. On the southern façade a solid solar dial stands out carrying the inscriptions”1652”. The church is surrounded by a low wall, which gives the whole structure the appearance of a fortress.

The Romanians from Scheii Brasovului village expressed their religious creed not only in the dedication with which thay built the three places of worship: St. Nicholas 1495, St Paraschiva 1787, St Trinity – Tocile – 1813 but also the 60 roadside crucifixes, placed at all points of intersection in town and on the outskirts. The first place of worship was documentary attested in 1292.

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