Iași is one of the largest cities and a municipality in Romania. Located in the historical Moldavia region, Iași has traditionally been one of the leading centres of Romanian social, cultural, academic and artistic life. The city was the capital of the Principality of Moldavia from 1564 to 1859, then of the United Principalities from 1859 to 1862, and the capital of Romania from 1916 to 1918.
Known as The Cultural Capital of Romania, Iași is a symbol in Romanian history. The historian Nicolae Iorga said "There should be no Romanian who does not know of it". Still referred to as The Moldavian Capital, Iași is the seat of Iași County and the main economic centre of the Romanian region of Moldavia.
Archaeological investigations attest the presence of human communities on the present territory of the city and around it as far back as the prehistoric age. Later settlements included those of the Cucuteni-Trypillian culture, a late Neolithic archaeological culture.
The name of the city is first officially mentioned in a document about commercial privilege granted by the Moldavian Prince (Voivode) Alexandru cel Bun to the Polish merchants of Lvov in 1408. However, as buildings older than 1408 existed and still exist (for example the Armenian Church originally believed to be built in 1395), it is believed that the city existed long before its first mentioning.
|Iași National Theatre|
Deeply rooted in history, Iasi has been the main centre of Moldavian culture since 1408. The city prides itself with publishing the first Romanian newspaper and establishing the first Romanian university. Today, Iasi is home to five universities.
Over the past 500 years, history, culture and religious life have molded the city's unique character. Iasi boasts an impressive number of Orthodox churches, almost 100, most of them located in the so-called Golden Plateau (Platoul de Aur). The oldest, the Princely Saint Nicholas Church, dates from the reign of Stephen the Great (Stefan cel Mare, 1457-1504). The finest, however, are the 17th century St. Paraschiva Metropolitan Cathedral and Trei Ierarhi Church, the last a curious example of Byzantine art, erected in 1635-1639 by Vasile Lupu. Its outer walls and twin towers are intricately carved in what many think of as stone lace.
|The Great Synagogue|
Most popular discos and clubs are full until morning during during University periods. You can find a lot of bars in front of the "Copou Park", as there are a lot of student housing there and is only natural there are a lot of leisure places. These bars usually are mainstream with popular music you can hear on the radio. Sometimes they have karaoke nights during the week.
There are bars almost every where, however, if you just need to get a quick drink, you can always go into one of the many pizza restaurants as the prices are the same.
- The Metropolitan Cathedral. located at 16 Ştefan cel Mare şi Sfânt Boulevard, is the seat of the Romanian Orthodox Archbishop of Iaşi and Metropolitan of Moldavia and Bukovina, and the largest Orthodox church in Romania. It is dedicated to Saint Paraschiva, to the Presentation of Jesus and to Saint George. Two churches previously stood on the site: the White Church (15th century) and the Presentation Church (17th century). On 8 August 1826, prince Ioan Sturdza signed a decree ordering construction of the cathedral; Metropolitan Veniamin Costachi laid the cornerstone on 3 July 1833 and guided construction in its early years. Work began in 1833, using a neo-classical design by Viennese architects Johann and Gustav Freiwald, and continued at a rapid pace until 1841, in the latter years under the Russian architect Sungurov. Construction stopped in 1842 when Veniamin had to retire. In 1839, serious cracks had appeared on the large central arch, which collapsed on 23 May 1857, taking the interior columns with it. Various solutions were attempted (in 1840 Sungurov replaced the brick ceiling with wood, for example), but the building remained unfinished for almost four decades. The cathedral was finally consecrated on 23 April 1887, in the presence of King Carol I and Queen Elisabeth, who had donated large sums for the project.
- The Golia Monastery Located in the middle of the old Moldavian capital and raised on the foundation of the church erected, in the 16th century, by the boyar Ioan Golia, the monastery was rebuilt on a greater scale by Prince Vasile Lupu, between 1650 and 1653, and completed by his son Ştefăniţă. The monastery is surrounded by tall walls, with corner turrets and a 30 m (98.43 ft) height tower with 120 steps, one of city’s symbols, and houses the Ion Creangă Museum (the writer was curate of the church) and Doxologia Cultural Missionary Centre of the Metropolis of Moldavia and Bukovina. The monastery is listed in the National Register of Historic Monuments.
- The Iaşi National Theatre is the oldest national theatre and one of the most prestigious theatrical institutions in Romania. In 1956, it was given the name of the renowned Romanian playwright and poet Vasile Alecsandri. The National Theatre was founded on 15 May 1840, as the Great Theatre of Moldavia, when the Romanian language troupe, led by Costache Caragiali, was united with the French troupe, under a single direction of Vasile Alecsandri and the management of Costache Caragiali. With a Neoclassic exterior and a richly decorated interior in Rococo and Baroque styles, the building is considered one of the most elegant in Romania.
- The Great Synagogue of Iaşi was built in 1671 and is the oldest surviving synagogue in Romania. The building has round-arched windows, and two wings. One wing is two-stories high and capped by a barrel-vaulted ceiling. The other is a tall, single-story hall with and a 32'diameter dome capped with a lantern. The dome was added to the building in the early 20th-century. Of the more than 110 synagogues in Iaşi before World War II, only the Great Synagogue remains. It is a free standing building in a small garden off Cucu Street (once called Sinagogilor Street for the many synagogues located on it) just north of the city center in the old Jewish neighbourhood of Targu Cucului. The synagogue underwent major renovations in 1761, 1822 and 1864. It was partly restored in the 1970's and a major restoration was begun in 2010. The Women's gallery houses a small museum of the Jewish community of Iaşi. The synagogue is one of only two which continues to serve the dwindling Jewish community of Iaşi.
- The Palace of Culture The building served as Administrative Palace and then Palace of Justice until 1955, when its destination was changed again, being assigned to the four museums nowadays united under the name of Moldova National Museum Complex. Also, the building houses the Cultural Heritage Conservation-Restoration Centre, the main branch of the Gheorghe Asachi Iaşi County Library and hosts various exhibitions and other events. The Palace of Culture is listed in the National Register of Historic Monuments. The construction, started in 1906, was partly built on the old ruins of the mediaeval Royal Court of Moldavia (1434), and partly on top of the foundations of the former neoclassical style palace, dated to the time of Prince Alexandru Moruzi (1806), rebuilt by Prince Mihail Sturdza and dismantled in 1904. It was from this latter building that the Palace inherited the legend of the 365 rooms, as many as the days within one year.
Palace of Culture