Through my eyes

living my life without regrets

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Black Church of Brasov ( Kronstadt )

BlackChurch of Brasov   

Plum Thief 
Oh, we are good in diddling in the morning. We had a leisurely breakfast, sat on ‘our’ veranda, read some world news and I ate some self-picked, ripe plums from the tree in the garden. The owner even helped me pick them, they had too many plums.

Orthodox Church And Grave Yard
When we could sit no longer we sauntered over to the cemetery near the hotel and paid our respects to the dead. Inside the cemetery was a small Orthodox Church where a lonely cleaning lady spends her morning tiding up after the church service. She was very intent on her polishing, sweeping and must do it often. It looked odd to me, thinking of her life compared to my life. I would never even think of doing what she does and I am sure she does not get paid for it either. People are very different. I wonder many times if it is fear that makes them behave like this, meaning do they do things to earn a good performance star in their catalog of life?  They were told to be good in this life so they have a better next life; but the ones telling them that story don’t know what the next life will be, no matter how much they read or learn, etc. Nobody knows the future, especially after we join all the folks in the ground, in this cemetery or another piece of land, just like it. I had a philosophical moment.

WW 1 Graves Of Siebenburger 
Across the street was a small park, covered with old grave stones too. Most of the dead there are from 1915 and 1916, so WW 1 casualties. We looked for the old cemetery of the middle ages, but did not find that one. I wanted to read the German names, wanted to know from what part of Germany those Siebenbürger came from. In German, the family name gives sometimes a clue as to the region where they originated.

But, like I said, those old graves no longer existed; at least we could not find them.

Tampa Promenade
Brasov, Romania 
Since our hotel was a bit outside the old city walls we had to walk through the gates to get into town. On this day, we did not go immediately into town, but walked the outside perimeter of one long wall, the Tampa Promenade of Brasov. The layout of Brasov was a bit strange. This wall was adjacent to a mountain. And the Linen Weavers of Brasov were in charge of this section of the town’s defense and also the maintenance of this section of the wall. The corner tower, the bastion, is still called the Weavers Bastion. The mountain loomed over the town and if you climbed the mountain you had a great view of Brasov, but in times of war, you could also shoot from the high position right into town. Why the town folks chose this location for a town and why they built a wall against the mountain seemed very strange; and then to put weavers in charge of the defense? Sure the wall was large, impressive even, yet it was not impenetrable. The small moat they dug sure would not have made much of a difference in the defense of the city. Who designed this defense in 1421? Or was it more of a show of power, rather than a war installation? Sometimes I wish I could talk to the people who were around when things were decided upon, sometimes I wonder if the people in charge have any real practical ideas as to why they do things the way they do. So much money and energy was and is spent on foolish things that it boggles my mind. This wall, this town might be one of those towns I do not understand.

Narrowest European Street

We walked a lot today. Carol read about a street, an official street named Strada Sforii which is supposedly the narrowest street in Europe. Aptly called the Rope Street, it is a scant 3 feet wide. I felt a bit strange walking this lane, it was long and narrow, and it just connected 2 major roads. It was good for foot traffic, but not even good to carry things in your hands or for the use of a horse or a wheel barrow. When you met someone going the other way you had to stand sideways to let them pass. I could not see much practicality in having a path like that. Sure, if it would be a bit wider, then it made sense, but this was not a walk way in the middle ages. Maybe it was, like the name indicated a strip of land where rope was made. Nobody walked there in the Middle Ages; it was just a narrow and long section to make ropes. Now that would make sense. Just because I see things in today’s terms, does not mean it was that way when it was installed. Today however, this lane is an official ‘street’ and used as an oddity. Photographers love it; it is in many wedding pictures, too.

The Black Church Dominates The Town Of Brasov

Still Charred From The Fire Of Years Ago 
The BlackChurch, a building that dominates the town, is called that because many of the stones on the outside are singed with soot. After a town fire  caused by invading Hapsburg forces, the town folks just called it the Black Church, never mind that it is officially St. Mary’s Church. 

The history of the building is impressive, but I came to see the Buchholz organ. A 4000 pipe organ built by the Berlin, Germany factory and brought to Brasov and installed around 1840. Many Organ Concerts are given on this unique and masterfully built instrument. We were lucky to get tickets for a performance tonight. 

Some Of The Buchholz Organ Pipes

The range from bass to piccolo is simply awesome. Listening to music played with the acoustics of a church was worth the trip to Brasov.      
Since this Church is so old and since it was a part of the culture for centuries, it has an impressive collection of old carpets. Some examples hung on the church balcony railings and the details, the colors, the motifs showed clearly the artistry it takes to make them. Those carpets must be the envy of serious collectors. I met a few of those collectors the last time I was in Istanbul; they would give a fortune to call those carpets their own.

Just Love To See Other People Work 
The day was interesting, informative and well spent. Not so much in volume but in value. We did walk quite a bit, but also took our breaks, had a coffee in an outside café, watched roofers install a new roof, watched small children play in the market square and just experienced Brasov the way it is today.

The next time we would take a hotel inside the old city, though. Our hotel, as nice as it was, was too far from town. 

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