The Black Church

The parochial church Saint Mary within „Brasov’s Stronghold” has been erected presumably starting with 1383, following the initiative of the priest Thomas Sander, on the spot of an ancient halidom. The structure, which was given the name The Black Church after the big fire of 1689, is the most representative gothic monument of this part of Europe.  The homogenous conception of the architecture and sculpture church’s chorus – the ancient part of the monument -, with statues of saints decorating the arched buttress, pertains to the Central-European typology of the constructions specific to Parler’s stone masons family. 
The construction of the church, interrupted by the Turkish invasion of 1421, has been resumed towards the mid-XVth century, when it was erected the hall-like construction with three aisles, lateral stands and two towers on the west side, of which only the southern one overpasses the building’s height.  During this phase there have been also built the five portals of carved stone, created by the stone masons brought from the building yard of Saint Elisabeth Church of Košice (Slovakia), the western one being considered a reference of the late Gothic of the South-Eastern Europe.  In the tympanum of the south-eastern access is conserved the image of Virgin Mary with the Child, between Saint Catherine and Saint Barbara, a masterpiece of art of King Mathias Corvinul’s epoch (1458-1490), whom coat of arms is conserved in the inferior part of the representation, near the blazonry of his wife, Beatrix of Aragon. The painting is protected by a threshold which wooden door bears the inscription 1477, the year marking the conclusion of the works on the building yard. 
After the devastating fire of 1689, the interior of the Black Church has been rebuilt in Baroque style; this is how there were achieved the arches, the lateral stands with arcades richly adorned with sculptures, the painted wooden pulpit and choirs pertaining to the artisans’ guilds. 
The church also conserves in the choir, the aisle and outside, above the south-western access, fragments of mural medieval paintings; its inventory includes the bronze baptistery in Gothic style, ordered by the parson priest Johannes Reudel at Sighișoara (1472), panels of the altar of Feldioara, signed Jonas Norembergensis (1495), the big pipe organ (1839), the little pipe organ (1861) and the most important collection of Oriental carpets of Europe outside the Turkish borders.