Sibiu – Transfagarasan – Brasov
We will start our trip towards Brasov early in the morning. We will drive along the Fagaras Mountains and beautiful scenery of the medieval villages and forest. We will enter the heart of the Fagaras Mountains by driving on to the Transfagarasan mountain road, one of the most spectacular roads in the world.
The Transfagarasan road was built between 1970 and 1974 by military forces. After the 1968 invasion of Czechoslovakia by the Soviets, Nicolae Ceausescu had it built as a strategic military route to cross the mountains in the event the Soviets attempted a similar move into Romania. The builders used 6000 tons of dynamite to clear a path for the road on the northern side of the mountains (this is the most spectacular) and on the tunnel. 40 soldiers lost their lives during construction.
On the top of the mountain we will stop to admire the Balea Lake situated at 2034 metres altitude. Here every winter The Hotel of Ice is (re)built every year using four-feet long ‘bricks’ made from ice from the nearby Balea Lake. Every year this unique hotel features a new design.
Between late autumn and spring we will take the cable car from Balea waterfall to Balea Lake and admire the breathtaking scenery from a higher view.
The ice church near the hotel completes the ice complex. The altar is decorated with ice sculptures in high-relief. The most comfortable way to get to the Hotel of Ice in winter is the cable car, due to the rough weather conditions and to the amount of snow falling in Fagaras Mountains.
After this we will head towards city of Brasov. Founded by the Teutonic Knights in 1211 on an ancient Dacian site and settled by the Saxons as one of the seven walled citadels, Brasov exudes a distinct medieval ambiance .
Fringed by the peaks of the Southern Carpathian Mountains and resplendent with gothique, baroque and renaissance architecture, as well as a wealth of historical attractions, Brasov is one of the most visited places in Romania.
Stroll around the old Town Hall Square (Piata Sfatului) where you can admire colourful painted and ornately trimmed baroque structures. Take a peek inside the Black Church (Biserica Neagra), the largest gothic church in Romania. Its name derives from damage caused by the Great Fire of 1689, when flames and smoke blackened its walls. The interior is impressive and well-kept and houses one of the largest organs in Eastern Europe.