Things you probably didn’t know about the Black Church in Brasov

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The 500-year-old Black Church is the most representative monuments in Brasov and the largest Gothic church in Transylvania. The construction of this Gothic Evangelic church initially called Saint Mary’s Church, began around 1380 and was finalized in 1477.

  • The first priest of this new church was a man named Thomas Sander. He died in 1410 and his grave can be found inside the church, in the choir area.
  • It was a Roman-Catholic Church for more than a century and a half and later after the reformation extension all over Europe, it became a Lutheran one. Service is still held today, on Sundays, for the small German community in Brasov.
  • The Black Church, the largest holly place in Gothic style in south-eastern Europe, has a capacity of 5,000 people, is 90 meters long and 37 meters high and the cross’ tower measures 65 meters.
  • Buchholtz mechanical organ in the Black Church is the largest, unique and functional organ in southeastern Europe. The organ has 3993 pipes and 76 registers.
  • The Black Church has the richest collection of Anatolian carpets across Europe. Most of them date from the 17th and 18th centuries. The majority of the existing carpets are donations from visitors.
  • The church windows have recently been fit out with special UV-filtering glass to protect the 119 fabulous carpets.
  • To restore the church’s vault, craftsmen were brought from abroad because the ones in the area lacked the necessary knowledge for its revamping.
  • The original name of the church, known today as the Black Church was the Church of Saint Mary.  Black Church’s name comes from the 1689 fire.
  • In 1689, the church was partially destroyed after the fire. Its reconstruction lasted for almost 100 years. During this period of time, the roof expanded and the interior lost its Gothic influences, gaining a Baroque touch.
  • In the original plans, the church was provided with two towers but the lack of funds hindered the second tower from being built. The first and only tower was completed 37 years later than the rest of the building, in 1514.
  • On one of the church’s exterior pillars, on the edge of the roof, there is an odd statue of a boy leaning forward. No one knows exactly why the statue was built there, but there are three legends linked to the boy-statue. Some say the boy was the son of a priest and because he didn’t behave, he sent him in the attic. As the great fire started, the boy got trapped, thus explaining the odd statue of a boy trying to escape the flames. Another legend has it that the boy was helping with the construction of the church, leaned over the walls and fell. His boss felt guilty and to honor him, built a statue. Others say that this boy was so good working at the construction of the church that a fellow worker got so jealous that he pushed him off the walls. The other workers decided to erect the statue in the boy’s memory.

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