I may not be much of an architecture buff, but I love a quirky building feature like Strada Sforii in Brasov, Romania. Within the walled city of
At its narrowest point, Strada Sforii is just 111cm (about 4 feet/44 inches) wide – so narrow that you can easily reach out your arms and touch it on both sides. If you’re claustrophobic, you might want to skip out on the 80m long street all together!
The History of Strada Sforii
Brasov has a number of architectural quirks thanks to its strategic design as a city of great trade and defensive importance. Strada Sforii – which roughly translates to “Rope Street” – was built in the 15th century to allow firefighters to easily get around the city. Fire was a huge problem in Brasov (and much of Europe really), as evidenced by the still-singed Black Church in the Main Square.
If you’re like me, you might be wondering why it is called “Rope Street” if it was built for firemen. Well, in days gone by the area around Strada Sforii was home to a guild of rope-makers (I love guilds. They’re like unions, but cooler!), hence the name. Thanks to Brasov Walkabout Tours for this piece of information!
While the street was built for firefighters, there are many legends and myths about the street. One of the main ones is that for centuries, lovers would meet in the street to have some privacy (ooooh). This was especially the case for lovers whose families did not approve of their relationship. Therefore, it’s quite a romantic place!
Is Strada Sforii the narrowest street in Europe?
I have read a few sources that say that Strada Sforii is the narrowest street in Europe – this is incorrect! Although it is the narrowest street in Romania, and probably in Eastern Europe, there are several narrower ones elsewhere in Europe. This includes Mårten Trotzigs Gränd in Stockholm, Sweden (35 inches), Parliament Street in Exeter, the UK (25 inches) and Spreuerhofstraße in
Finding Strada Sforii in Brasov
Strada Sforii links Cerbului Street with Poarta Schei Street, and is just a short walk away from the Main Square, behind the Black Church, and near Şchei Gate. It runs perpendicular to Strada Cerbului (Stag Street).
Here is a map to show you the location:
I visited Strada Sforii as part of the Brasov Walkabout Tour, which I highly recommend. It was one of the later stops on the tour, hence why my photos kind of suck. My fingers were really cold, but I learnt a lot on the tour and definitely recommend it.
What to Expect from Strada Sforii
Alright, so I’m going to manage expectations a little – at the end of the day, Strada Sforii is just a street – even if it’s a very narrow one! It’s not really somewhere that you need to spend hours and hours at.
That said, it is a pretty cool place to walk through. I particularly liked the old beautiful lanterns, which have been in the same style for centuries. It really does have a lovely Medieval vibe, so it’s well worth visiting in my opinion.
If you’re looking to take some pictures, you’ll need to be patient! Rope Street has definitely become quite the tourist attraction, so it can get quite crowded. I was there during low season, and still found it tricky to get a snap without lots of people!
The street is narrow but not uncomfortable, however if you are super claustrophobic, you may like to skip it and just peer in from one of the adjoining streets instead!
What Else to Do in the Area
Rope Street is well located to visit other attractions in Brasov like the Black Church, Stag Street or Catherine’s Gate. It’s an easy stop on an overall Brasov city itinerary.
One place that’s definitely worth a stop is the Rope Street Museum just at the end of Strada Sforii. Despite its name, it’s more of an art gallery/cafe than a museum – but I really enjoyed it! It was freezing when I visited, so stopping to warm up with a nice coffee (9 lei) was appreciated!
They also sell some cute souvenirs, and all of the decor inside features rope everywhere! The owner is very friendly and the service is great, so I definitely recommend a stop. You can also browse the exhibitions (free) and find out more about Brasov and Rope Street.
Strada Sforii, or Rope Street, is one of the quirkier sights in Brasov, Romania – and it’s well worth a quick stop. It really helped you to appreciate how “walled in” Brasov must have once felt; and it’s easy to imagine walking through it in Medieval times. Plus, it’s central location makes it an easy place to drop by.