Photographer's Note

Don’t you just love it when they slap a KFC sign on beautiful Baroque façades like this? Perhaps the next initiative of the Council here will to be remove the cross on the silver cupola to make way for some golden arches.

This is picturesque Piaţa Sfatului (which translated has the somewhat more inelegant name of ‘Council Square’) in the centre of Braşov, which my Lonely Planet guidebook tells me was “where witches were once burned and prisoners tortured in the Council House”.

My guidebook also mentioned that the setting sun puts a golden hue on Braşov, so I timed my arrival in Braşov for the late afternoon, and was rewarded with this lovely warm light on the beautiful medieval buildings around the square.

Founded by the Teutonic Knights in 1211, Braşov, in central Romania, has been known by many names through the ages including Corona, Brasco, Brasso, Stephanopolis and Kronstadt, and has some of the best preserved buildings from the late Middle Ages of any city in Europe.

Wikipedia describes Braşov as the ‘capital’ of Transylvania and “possessing an almost Disney-esque charm” – a description with which I have to agree, at least as far as the old Germanic town in the middle of the city is concerned. The rest of Braşov is a sprawling industrial city with not-too-many and not-too-clear roadsigns which resulted in me driving around in circles trying to find the highway north to Sighişoara. I ended up on the Sfântu Gheorghe highway instead, so had to cut across country through Hărman and Bod to join the Sighişoara highway. This turned out to be a delightful drive, through old Saxon villages where the main mode of transport is horse and cart. You feel like you have gone back hundreds of years in time, so the difficulty I had in finding my way out of Braşov turned out to be an opportunity to see a part of rural Romania that few travelers seem to visit.

PP: The foreground of this shot was in heavy shadow and the people were virtually black silhouettes. I lightened the shadows a little in Photoshop, but not too much as I wanted to avoid having too much detail in the foreground which would take the eye away from the colourful façades of the buildings. I guess some will say I should have left the people as silhouettes, others may say I should have brought out more detail from the shadows – I tried to find a compromise that I was comfortable with.

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Additional Photos by David Astley (banyanman) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1231 W: 108 N: 2568] (7797)
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