Brasov is Romania's seventh largest city, and the capital of Brasov County, with a population of about 300,000. People from Brasov are known, in English, as Brasovean. Brasov is located in the central part of the country, about 166 km from capital Bucharest. It is surrounded by the Southern Carpathians, and is part of the Transylvania region.
The oldest traces of human activity and settlements in Brasov date back to the Neolithic period. Archaeologists have discovered continuous traces of human settlements in and around Brasov.
German colonists known as the Transylvanian Saxons played a decisive role in Brasov's development. They were invited by King Géza II of Hungary to develop towns, build mines, and cultivate the land of Transylvania at different stages between 1141 and 1162.
Germans living in Brasov were mainly involved in trade and crafts. The location of the city at the intersection of trade routes linking the Ottoman Empire and Western Europe, together with certain tax exemptions, allowed Saxon merchants to obtain considerable wealth and exert a strong political influence. They contributed a great deal to the architectural flavor of the city. Fortifications around the city were erected and continually expanded, with several towers maintained by different craftsmen's guilds, according to medieval custom. Part of the fortification ensemble was recently restored using UNESCO funds, and other projects are ongoing. At least two entrances to the city, Poarta Ecaterinei (or Ekaterinentor) and Poarta Schei are still in existence. The city center is marked by the mayor's former office building (Casa Sfatului) and the surrounding square (piaţa), which includes one of the oldest buildings in Brasov, the Hirscher Haus, owned by a wealthy merchant. Nearby is the 'Black Church' (Biserica Neagră), which some claim to be the largest Gothic style church in South-Eastern Europe.
In 1918, Transylvania became part of Romania. The inter-war period saw a flourishing of economic and cultural life in general. Industrial development started then; one of the largest factories was the airplane-manufacturing plant (IAR Brasov), which produced the first Romanian fighter planes, used in World War II against the Soviets. After Communist rule was imposed, this plant was converted to manufacture of agricultural equipment. During the communist period, industrial development was vastly accelerated. Special emphasis was placed on heavy industry, attracting many workers from other parts of the country. Heavy industry is still abundant. Although the industrial base has been in decline in recent years, Brasov is still a site for manufacturing agricultural tractors and machinery, hydraulic transmissions, auto parts, ball-bearings, helicopters, building materials, tools, furniture, textiles, shoes and cosmetics. There are also chocolate factories and a large brewery. In particular, the pharmaceutical industry has undergone further development lately. Nonetheless, in 1967, the city made headlines because of the great Brasov strike. This was repressed by the authorities and resulted in numerous workers being imprisoned. Significant growth in real estate prices continues today, along with other major Romanian cities, as investor sentiment remains high thanks to the recent accession to the European Union. Like most of Romania, cities like Brasov are predicted to exhibit strong growth for many years to come.
The Brasov local transport network is well-developed, with around 50 bus and trolleybus lines. There is also a regular bus line connecting Brasov to Poiana Brasov, a nearby winter resort.
Poiana Brasov is the most popular Romanian ski resort and an important tourist center preferred by many tourists not only from Romania, but also from Italy, France, Germany, Switzerland and other European countries.
It is located at about 1,200 m above sea level near the city of Brasov in Romania and it is easily accessible by road. There are regular buses operated by Brasov Transit (RAT Brasov) which ply the 12 km route between Brasov and Poiana Brasov. The resort also runs minibuses to take visitors from hotels to the base of the ski runs from where they can hike or take a cable car to Cristianu Mare or Postăvaru summits. Poiana Brasov is surrounded by four mountains: the already mentioned Postăvaru (1,799 m), Piatra Craiului (2,238 m), Bucegi (2,505 m) and Piatra Mare (1,848 m).
Poiana Brasov has a temperate-continental climate. The average temperature in summer is 20 °C and in winter -4 °C. There is a snow cover of about 50-60 cm which lasts from mid-November until mid-March, for about 120 days a year. However one can expect snowfalls since the end of September.
The 22nd European Youth Team Championships will be hosted at the Piatra Mare hotel.
A bus transfer from Bucharest Airport to Poiana Brasov and back will be provided by the Organizing Committee for national delegations, on condition that the NBO will inform the organizers about the flight schedule and the number of people.