Iasi Sights and Landmarks Guide, Romania
Iasi is the historic capital of Moldavia region and one of the largest cities in Romania. Many of Iasi sights speak of Moldavia’s past in medieval and modern times and represent real monuments of Romanian spirituality, culture and national identity. Far from the Bucharest, Iasi still represents the traditional Romania (unlike Timisoara which, at the opposite corner of the country, is considered by many to be the most occidental city in Romania).
Iasi Sights – Museums and Historical Landmarks
Iasi museums cover all sorts of domains, from history and science to theatre and ethnography. If you are interested in the history of Moldavia, the recommended places to visit are the Museum of Moldova and the Moldavian History Museum. Art-buffs will enjoy the exhibitions hosted by the Art Museum, Theatre Museum and Moldavian Ethnographic Museum. As for ‘brainiacs’, their inventory of Iasi sights must definitely include the Natural History Museum and the Science and Technology Museum. Notice that four of these museums are hosted in the same building, a Neogothic palace built in early 20th century. Formally known as ‘Palatul Culturii’ (‘Palace of Culture’), this impressive construction has become a symbol of the city, together with its 365 rooms, one for each day of the year.
The Palace of Culture is only exceeded in popularity by the ‘Trei Ierarhi’ Church, made famous by its exterior decorations that were once said to be covered in gold. Actually, Iasi has no less than 100 Orthodox churches, with Golia Monastery, the Princely Saint Nicholas Church, St. Paraschiva Metropolitan Church or Galata Monastery receiving the greatest number of visitors. Many old buildings are spread around Iasi’s historic districts like Copou and Ticau.
Iasi Sights – Cultural Institutions
Especially during the 19th century, Iasi played a tremendous role in the Romanian culture, breeding entire generations of artists, writers and academicians. The National Theater in Iasi is one of the best in the country. Alexandru Bals House is now home to Moldova Philharmonic House. Iasi is an important academic centre, hosting not only an impressive number of students, but also some distinguished pieces of architecture, like the Old University Palace, the University on Copou Hill and the Central University Library. There is an impressive number of memorial houses in Iasi (the most famous is probably the house of Ion Creanga in Copou, known as “Bojdeuca lui Creanga”).
Casa Pogor was the headquarters of ‘Junimea’ Literary Society, an association where the most prominent intellectuals of the 19th century were formed. The Romantic poet Mihai Eminescu, considered by most the greatest Romanian poet of all times, left Iasi many reminiscences of his passage like ‘Teiul lui Eminescu’ (Eminescu’s lime-tree), Mihai Eminescu Museum or ‘Plopii fara sot’. Other Iasi sights that are worth seeing are some parks and public gardens like the Copou Park and the Botanical Garden.
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