The triangular expanse of Council Square (Piata Sfatului) has been the focus of life in Braşov since medieval times; at the heart of the city’s Saxon, medieval Old Town, it can rival the Rynek in Krakow for sheer beauty. The piazza is lined with a jumble of stately Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque townhouses – now mostly restaurants and cafés – and is overshadowed by the Old Town Hall, a Gothic masterpiece dating from 1420 and whose landmark Trumpet Tower was originally a watchtower against approaching invaders. Formerly the hub of civic activity in Braşov, today the Old Town Hall houses the tourist office and the city’s History Museum
Braşov’s monumental Black Church (Biserica Neagră) stands at the southwestern end of the square and is the largest Gothic-style church in central Europe; its origins lie in the 14th century but much of the church was destroyed in the fire of 1689 and subsequently rebuilt. The ornate Byzantine Orthodox church stands opposite the Old Town Hall and the Renaissance-style Hirscher House abuts the square; it was constructed in 1547 as the city’s trading hall and is now a traditional Romanian restaurant. A pretty fountain in the middle of Piata Sfatului is a popular meeting point for residents and visitors alike.
The Tourist Information Office is open in summer Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and in winter Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The History Museum is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., with winter hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Adult admission costs 7 lei, while children's admission costs 1.50 lei.