Ecaterina’s Gate, the original city gate to have survived from medieval times
Ecaterina/Catherine’s Gate, one of the oldest gates of Brasov City, is considered the most beautiful gates that has kept its original state. It was built in 1559 for defensive purposes instead of an old gate destroyed by the flood in 1526. The fairy-tale tower we see today was part of a bigger structure, which unfortunately, was demolished in 1827.
Square-shaped, the construction was built on three levels having four towers symbolizing ‘Jus Gladii’ on the upper side, a privilege for Brasov medieval rulers who had the right to decide on capital punishment.
The documents of that time attested that for each of the eight shooting holes of the tower bombards were brought all the way from Prague. Bombard was an artillery weapon initially made of a bronze pipe reinforced with steel loops through which they threw balls of metal or stone onto other besieged fortresses, using gunpowder to propel projectiles.
Catherine’s Gate was named Porta Superior, Porta Corpus Christi or Porta Sanctae Catherine, the latter being used today. Above the entrance you can still see the blazon of the city and, next to the gate, there is a part of the old city wall. After opening the gates for the Horses Fair in 1820 and Schei in 1828, Catherine’s Gate was walled and used as a warehouse until 1955. Between 1971 and 1973 it was restored preserving its original facet.
The Old Town has preserved medieval houses, towers, bastions and two gates from the old fortifications: Schei Gate and Catherine Gate, two of the most important tourist attractions in Brasov. Today, the revamped tower gate houses regular exhibitions of art and history. It is also a museum.