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From 1950 to 1960, during part of the Communist period in Romania, the city was called Orașul Stalin (Stalin City), after the Soviet leader Joseph Stalin.The oldest traces of human activity and settlements in Brașov date back to the Neolithic age (about 9500 BCE).The German name Kronstadt means "Crown City" and is reflected in the city's coat of arms as well as in its Medieval Latin name, Corona.The two names of the city, Kronstadt and Corona, were used simultaneously in the Middle Ages, along with the Medieval Latin Brassovia.

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.

In 1838 they established the first Romanian language newspaper Gazeta Transilvaniei and the first Romanian institutions of higher education (Școlile Centrale Greco-Ortodoxe - "The Greek-Orthodox Central Schools", today named after Andrei Șaguna).

The Holy Roman Emperor and sovereign of Transylvania Joseph II awarded Romanians citizenship rights for a brief period during the latter decades of the 18th century.

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 Katharinentor) and Poarta Șchei (or Waisenhausgässertor), are still in existence.