The big fire in the end of the 17th century caused much damage to the cathedral in the centre of the town. Blackened with smoke, it was thenceforth called "The Black Church". This name would be for it even if it had not fallen prey to the flames, for the stone of which it is built, sandy and easy to carve, is of a rather dark colour. It is different from the white marble of the Milan Dome or the rosy stone of the fair cathedral of Freiburg im Breisgau. One year after the printing of Serban Voda's Bible, the fire consumed most of Brasov in four hours and forever destroyed the initial vision of the architect of this Gothic monument. For almost one century Saint Mary's church remained in ruins, with its roof crumbled, mended only with planks to stop rain getting into our Lord's house. The new tiled roof was built in the late 18th century, but it did not equal the old one, which left the later galleries open, showing the latticework of the carved stone. This new one covered the whole church with huge rafters. With a length of 89 meters and a width of 38 meters, the roof is 42 meters high on top of 21 meters of wall; the tower, at 65 meters is scarcely higher than the wall and the roof. These figures show us clearly that the proportions of this building are far from being perfect.
Sextil Puscariu ,"Brasov of Long Ago",1977
houses a big organ, the second biggest in the whole Austro-Hungarian
empire. It has four keyboards with 56 keys each, 76 stops and 4000 pipes.
The church also has a very beautiful altar in Gothic style (carved wood,
made by Prof. Fr. Schonthaler of Vienna in 1866), as well as priestly
attire and chalices, which are both worth seeing. Inside the church
there are also very interesting ancient tombstones of the famous judges,
vicars and patricians of yore. In the bulky but simple tower, 44 metres
high, there is one of the heaviest bells in the whole country. It bells
in the whole country. It weighs about 7 tons.
can be visited every day from noon until one o'clock in the afternoon;
the only thing that the foreigners have to do is ask the sexton to show
them the way; the sexton can be found at no.8 Honterus Square, and his
services will be rewarded with 40 kreuzers for 1 and 2 persons and with
1 florin for 3 or more persons. It is always through the agency of the
sexton that organ concerts can be organized; these are performed in
July and August only on Saturdays and Sundays at noon; in as far the
other months are concerned, concerts can be organized on any day at
any hour (although noon and 6 o'clock in the afternoon are preferable
(- with the permission of the parish priest.
of Schei have two churches: one in Tocile Street, built in 1813 out
of wood and later, in 1825 of stone, and the second, older, is the well-known
church which has St. Nicholas as its patron saint. The latter is one
of the most prominent Romanian churches of Transylvania, both in its
age and for other reasons. It lies in the middle of yard, planted with
trees like a park. On its both walls there are many painted icons of
the saints and local worthies, among which there is also Saint Nicholas.
Inside, the building is beautifully adorned with gilded decorative patterns.
This church was built in 1392 of wood, and one century later, in 1495
rebuilt using stone, with the support of Wallachia's voivode, Negoe
Basarab, who along with other Wallachian princes always supported the
cultural endeavours of Brasov's Romanians, who had direct commercial
and cultural relations with the Romanian Principalities. As time went
by, the church was several times renewed and embellished. The most important
change happened last century, in 1730 and in 1739, when it was enlarged,
repainted and decked inside with gilded ornaments.
church is one of the oldest churches in Transylvania and even in the
country, and it stands for the history of this region as the triumph
of the opposition against Catholicism.
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