To protect the borders of Transylvania against invasions, develop the local economy, and enclose the Romanian population, King Andrew II of Hungary let the Germans colonize areas of Transylvania. They started to build small towns in this area. The citadel of Brasov, Kronstadt in German, was one of them. The first mention of Brasov is recorded in 1234, known as Corona.
Later, the Germans started to enforce their town at the beginning of the 14th century, during the reign of Louis Anjou I. The works had continued for the next century, but unfortunately, the Ottomans attacked the citadel in 1421 when the citadel was not finished yet. Throughout the years, the citadel was constructed, modified, and renovated many times by the inhabitants of Brasov. Today, the citadel of Brasov lost its defensive role, many of its walls and towers being destroyed. The initial walls were 12m (39ft) high, and its base was 6m (20ft) wide. The corners of the citadel were protected by massive bastions, while the walls were protected by towers located 60m (197ft) from each other, excepting the southern side where they were located 110m (360ft) from each other. In the beginning, the citadel had just three gates. The fourth one was added later. The whole northern fortification was protected by two towers located 30m (98ft) above the citadel of Brasov. Later they were named the Black Tower and the White Tower. The whole citadel was surrounded by a ditch that was crossed by the small artificial river Graft on the northern side of it.
Each guild had to take care of a tower. Today among the most impressive are the Drapers’ Tower located in the south-eastern corner, The Ropers’ Bastion, the Blacksmith Bastion, which in 1923 became the headquarter of the archives, and the Graft Bastion located on the northern side.
A walking tour on the streets of the old citadel is like a travel in time. Towers, tall and thick walls, bastions and gates, old houses with roofs made of ceramic tiles, and cobblestone streets or alleys add a real medieval atmosphere that is hard to forget. Of course, the Black Church is the main historical attraction of Brasov.