Braşov’s surviving city walls surround parts of the historic city center. Poarta Schei (Schei Gate) was built in 1827 to allow more traffic into the walled city. It has a large middle arch to allow for vehicles and two smaller arches for pedestrians on each side.
Poarta Schei was built near an older gate, Poarta Ecaterinei (Catherine’s Gate). It was built in 1559 and stood on the grounds of St. Catherine’s Monastery. It was originally the only gate that ethnic Bulgarians and Romanians were allowed to use to enter the walled city from Şchei, and they had to pay a toll to enter. The gate wasn’t used again after Poarta Schei was built.
It’s pleasant to walk along the walls to the northwest of the old town, with one section featuring a small shaded path next to a creek. A few towers and bastions sit along the walls.
The Graft Bastion sits in the middle of the path. It was built in 1515 and has a section of the city museum inside. Just outside is a steep staircase that leads up to the White Tower.
The five story White Tower, which was built in 1494, was essential to the city’s defense. A ladder was needed to enter the tower, and stones were dropped on attackers from the top. The views of the town from the White Tower are breathtaking. You can see the entire old town and Tâmpa Mountain in the background.
The Black Tower, built in the 14th century, is 11m high and holds temporary exhibitions. It functioned as a watchtower until 1756. It also has some unique views of the old town.
More towers line the base of Tâmpa Mountain to the south side of old town, but I didn’t make it to them. They’re named after the various guilds that built and maintained them.
Towering above Braşov is Tâmpa Mountain. This small mountain, which is 960m tall, has a Hollywood-style sign and a cable car that takes you up to the top. I wasn’t able to go up to the top because I always missed the 5pm cutoff, but I’m sure the views are breathtaking.