The Black Church is the most important sight in Braşov and the largest Gothic – style church in Transylvania, with a capacity of approximately 5000 people. It is also the biggest hall church east of Vienna and one of the largest medieval churches between St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna and Hagia Sophia in Istanbul.
The actual church rises on the spot of an older Romanic church from the 13th century. Its construction started in 1383, when Braşov had a period of cultural and economic development, being the most important commercial and industrial city in the region. Works ended in 1477, as Ottoman invasions and natural causes stopped the church’s building for almost a century. Chronicles mention a new organ being placed inside the church in 1499, and some restoration works to the tower in 1514, when a clock and bells were added.
The great fire in April 21st 1689 destroyed the church’s roof and interior furniture. The church’s actual name comes from the colour of its wall after this event, but it wasn’t until the 19th century that this name was officially accepted. The restoration works, which ended in 1722, gave the church its Baroque aspect. In this period were added the church’s galleries, so that the increasing numbers of parishioners could attend the services. The bell tower was also added the biggest portable bell in Romania, weighing around 6,000kg.
Inside the church, visitors can discover numerous art objects, such as the baptismal font (1472), the mural painting depicting the Virgin Mary (1476), 18th – 19th century pews, the Neo-Gothic altar (1866) and many other gold objects and funerary stones. The church is famous for the four thousand pipes Buchholz organ, one of the biggest in Europe, built in late Romantic style, and for the collection of Anatolian carpets. Except for Turkey, the Black Church in Braşov holds the largest collection of oriental carpets in Europe, dating from the 15th – 16th centuries. The church’s treasure also contains numerous statues, paintings and icons.
Summer schedule (June 15th – September 15th)
Monday – Saturday 10:00 – 17:00
In June and September inside the church there are organ concerts every Tuesday, between 18:00 and 18:30. In July and August, these are organized every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, in the same time frame. Ticket price is 6 lei for adults and 3 lei for children.
Winter schedule (September 16th – June 14th)
Monday – Saturday 10:00 – 15:30
Adults: 6 lei
Students: 3 lei
Children: 2 lei
Persons with disabilities: free entrance
Tel.: +40 268 511 824
Fax.: +40 268511 825
How to get there:
The Black Church is situated very close from Braşov’s city centre, only 5 minutes walking distance from Council Square.
By bus: From the train station, take bus #51 to the Black Church station.