The Black Church (Die Schwarze Kirche in German, Fekete Templom in Hungarian) is an evangelic church situated in the middle of Brasov City. It was built around 1380 (probably starting from 1377) in the Gothic style. The church, catholic initially, was first called Saint Mary's Church (Marienkirche). The building was partially destroyed after the big fire from 1689 when it got the name from today.
The Black Church is one of the most representative Gothic architecture monuments from Romania, dating back to the 14th-15th centuries. The major construction began in 1384 and was completed in 1477. An inscription discovered in the church's walls attests Thomas as first founder of whom we know he died in 1410.
The Church's Vaults
Seriously damaged by that fire, the Black Church was rehabilitated with the help of some experts coming from the Hanseatic town Danzig, because the local experts did not know how to close such big vaults. Yet the new vaults are in Baroque style instead of Gothic. The architects used the plan of a basilica with three naves, equal in height, belonging to the type of hall-church building preferred in the 15th-16th centuries within the German territory some of the architects and experts belonged to. This is the biggest cult monument built in the Gothic style in the South-East Europe. It measures 89 meters length and 38 meters width. The church has a capacity of nearly 5000 persons.
The Six Tons Bell
The bell tower houses the biggest bell from Romania, made of bronze and weighting 6 tons. The loft supported by exterior abutments adorned with edicoles inside of which there are saint statues, is one of the few examples of this kind in Transylvania. Another treasure the Black Church possesses is the collection of oriental carpets, the richest of this kind in Romania.
The Biggest Organ
The main organ of the church was built by Carl August Buchholz of Berlin in the period 1836-1839 and it is the biggest from all the 140 organs made by the skilful members of the Buchholz family. The organ has 4 manuals with 56 keys each and a pedal board with 27 notes and 63 tonal ranges. It was opened on April 17th 1839, having Buchholz himself as organist who performed improvised pieces and anthems composed by Friedrich Schneider and Johann Lucas Hedwig. The organ was restored during the period 1997-2001. All its 3993 pipes (the biggest having 13 meters height) were then dismantled and restored. The organ falls in the category of Baroque organs and it has survived almost unchanged since its construction until present day. The second organ was built by Carl Hesse and it has one manual, a pedal board and 8 tonal ranges. It was restored in 1997. Starting from 1953 organ recitals have been given here and this has become a tradition started by organist Victor Bickerich and continued by Hans Eckart Schlandt. (Source: Wikipedia)