Photographer's Note

The Black Church - view from SW

In the heart of our country, in an environment of a rare beauty Brasov - capital of the region with the same name - regards a history of nearly 800 years; nowadays it is throbbing of modern life. At the foot of the Carpathians on the old highways of migrations between the Lower Danube and the Carpathian basin her site decided her roll as a center of industry, commerce and culture not only for Transylvania but also for Moldavia and Valahia. Amongst the cultural monuments of our country the "Black Church" - has a predominant position; it dominates the medieval building in the center of Brasov - got this name ofter the great fire in 1689. It was then that the old walls got their tint by smoke and fire, which could not destroy the magnificence of the old building. The "Black Church" with a length of 89 m is the largest church between Vienna and Constantinople.

The Gothic building began in 1383 under the vicar Thomas Sander on the place of an elder romanic church dating from the first half of the 13th century. In 1421 it was nearly finished but almost destroyed by the 1st Turkish invasion. The building was essentially completed in 1477. Out of 2 towers projected only one of the south was constructed.

The Black Church belongs to the so-called "Hallenkirchen" having naves of equal height thus differing from the "Basilicas" with naves of various heights. The choir also - a work of the mature phase of the Gothic style - has 3 naves as an uprising hall. The rich architectural forms and sculptural decorations on its outer buttresses remind of those of the choir of the Lutheran church in Sebes. They show the influence of the famous architectural school of the Parler family - whose culmination were St. Sebald in Nurnberg and St. Vit in Prague. This influence is stronger in Brasov than in Sebes. The high and well shaped windows give way to the full day light which renders the choir large and bright. The 6 portals - beautifully and originally shaped - are characteristic for the outer image of the Black Church. Special attention should be given to the western and northern portals. The wooden oak door of the southern portal bears the date 1477. In 1542 under the reformer Johannes Honterus the service in German was introduced in this church. A painting of Fritz Schullerus (1866-1898) on the Town's Council the new constitution *(1543).

In 1689 the church was nearly destroyed by the great fire. The restoration took about 100 years. It was then that the Black Church received his appearance with his characteristic roof of 20 m height. The roof covers also the gallery of tracery that formerly went around the church at the height where the roof begins. By the restoration the interior lost a good deal of his Gothic character.


Photo info:

Taken from the Johannes Honterus Yard before nightfall with use of a tripod. The Black Church is surrounded by medieval houses and the stairs in the foreground lead to the entrance to the Johannes Honterus Highschool. I hope you like it!

Here is the EXIF:

ISOSpeedRatings - 100
ShutterSpeedValue - 15 seconds
ApertureValue - F 11.00
ExposureBiasValue - 0.00
MeteringMode - Multi-segment
Flash - Not fired, compulsory flash mode
FocalLength - 17 mm
ColorSpace - sRGB
ExposureMode - Manual
White Balance - Auto

Post Processing:

- RAW to TIF to JPG;
- corrected perspective, cropped, resized and applied signature in CS2;

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Additional Photos by Eduard Baak (snowfalken) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 164 W: 4 N: 219] (1116)
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