The “Alley behind the Walls” provides a spectacular scenery of the western part of Brasov’s former fortified complex. This part of the walls as also restored and the alley rides along the “Spurcata” river. Narrow passages provide a breathtaking experience during both day and nighttime. Depending on which tour your choose, this route also leads to three other important landmarks of the former Medieval city. The spectacular defense towers that were located outside of the walls: the Black Tower and the White Tower, as well as the Graft Bastion.
The Black Tower
The fortified complex of Brasov had four (4) observation and defense towers placed outside of the walls They acted as independent fortifications. The Black Tower is one of them and has been preserved up to this day. It has a height of 11 meters and was built in the XVth century on a cliff of the Warthe hill. It’s accessible from the behind the walls alley after a 5-minute long walk. More details available here.
The Graft Bastion
It’s erected towards the middle of the north-western side of the fortified city and is also know as the “Gate Bastion” because of its shape.
In the XVIth century the north-western wall of the city is doubled by a secondary wall on the outside. In the same time locals redirected all waters collected in the Schei district into a single graft that was flowing down at the base of the newly erected wall. That’s why the Graft Bastion, built between 1515 and 1521 , has an arched shape and the base thickness of its walls is 4 meters. It was assigned to the Shearer’s Guild and it served as a bridge for troops from the fortified city and the White Tower. The bastion is also designed with embrasures and crevices for pouring down hot tar.
Because the above mentioned graft was the only way rainwater would flow down from Schei, the unavoidable happened in 1809. On the 24th of August a great flood has weakened the outside wall. Architects decided to build three additional arcades to consolidate the north-western walls. Two of them have been demolished in the XX century, while one of them has been preserved and can be admired today, right next to the bastion.
The Graft Bastion has been restored in 2004-2005. Nowadays it hosts a permanent exhibition about weapons, armory and shells used for defending the city.
The White Tower
Although it was built between 1460 and 1494 the White Tower continues to impress because of its massiveness and it complex architectural lines. It has a semi-circular shape and reigns 30 meters above the city walls. It’s height is 20 meters facing the city and 18 meters when facing the hill. It’s 5 floors made the tower the highest fortification point from Brasov. The base wall thickness is 4 meters and the diameter of the tower measures 19 meters. It’s designed with embrasures and holes for pouring down hot tar. It also comes with balconies that are sustained by stone carved blocks.
The White Tower is 59 meters away from the city walls and troops communicated with the help of a mobile bridge that was linked to the Graft Bastion. The tower was operated by the Tinsmiths’ and Armasters’ guilds. The first ones buying the exclusive rights in 1678. The big fire of the 21st of April 1689 damaged the White Tower too because of the strong winds. This defensive position was restored only in 1723.
In the north-western part of the fortified old city!