Brasov is another important Saxon town with a rich heritage. This is the town hall where the city leadership in the mid 16th century joined the Protestant movement so the town became Lutheran.
Saint Nicholas housed the first Romanian school.
The local Orthodox priest gave me a tour of the first classroom and with a smile on his face pointed out the computer, the abacus and the iPad, the small chalk board, and the pedagogical method, the big stick!
There is an extensive collection of books and this is a translation of Saint Ephrem from Syriac into Old Church Slavonic. Of course it attracted my attention.
A beautiful cover for the Book of the Gospels
At a time when they had no wood, they wrote icons on glass.
Father was very proud to demonstrate the printing press and the impact it had on the dissemination of Romanian language and literature.
Father pointed out the remains of exterior frescoes that once covered the church. However when the town embraced the Protestant movement, the Lutherans, like the Muslims, whitewashed iconography thus destroying a precious aspect of Romanian heritage.
The walls are covered with fragments. As I walked around thinking of this destruction my thoughts turned to an article in the British paper, the Telegraph which stated that Thomas Cromwell under Henry VIII embraced the Protestant movement and in his fanaticism destroyed what is estimated to be 97% of English art. This thug hacked statues, smashed frescoes, pulverized mosaics, shredded manuscripts and burned carvings. The Telegraph pointed out that his obliteration of a religious heritage has strong parallels to what we are witnessing in the middle east today. There are a lot of thugs in history whose fanaticism destroys what is so precious: art inspired by religious faith. Gazing on the fragments I was heartbroken over the destruction, then as well as now, of the cultural patrimony of our humanity.
Yet what remains witnesses that history proves where wisdom lies.
This is an example of one of the wall paintings been revealed centuries after the Lutherans white washed them.
The Romanian school
Saint Catherine Gate
This church that was dedicated to the Virgin Mary is called the Black Church because of a fire.
In the mid 16th century it became Lutheran and as the signage points out the Catholic elements such as the high altar were destroyed so little remains except a beautiful Gothic structure that soars to heaven.
A wonderful panorama of the town square recently restored.