Iasi City

Iasi City is one of the oldest and one of the most important sites of the country, where there has always been strongly pulsated authentic Romanian life. The City, which is the Moldavian Capital, gave inestimable material and spiritual values to national patrimony, and has drawn glorious pages in the history of the country, lasting remained in people conscience.

General information about Iasi Town
Situated closely to the East bounds of Romania , Iasi will be after the integration, a main development pole of the East part of European Union.
Strongly University Centre, with over 60.000 students annually in 5 public Universities and 3 private Universities (Al.I.Cuza University being one of the oldest from the country).
Strongly Cultural Centre (“Cultural Capital of Romania” saying frequently used) and Historical Centre (in 2008 will be celebrated 600 years of Iasi documentary attestation).
City with an impressive cultural and religious patrimony – over 50 churches, e.g. The “Three Hierarchies” Church, symbol of the City (Nicolae Iorga said that: “ Iasi is first of all, a church – The churches Church of our past”).
Multicultural City , where numerous Foreign Cultural Centers activates (French centre, German centre, Centre of Latin America, British Council) and also there can be found the Italian Community, Jewish Community.

Geographical co-ordinates – Iasi Town, point of regional interest:

  • 160 km, from Chişinău to Iasi ;
  • 410 km, towards Bucharest ;
  • 460 km, towards  Constanţa .


  • International Airport  – 8 km from City Centre
  • Railway Station–very closely to the City Centre.
  • Main Road  – DN 24 and DN 28.

Population of Iasi town (2006) 305.978 inhabitants from which:

  1. 145.077 – males
  2. 160.901 – females

Depending on gender term, it is determined (established) a certain female predominance (52,5% from the total(whole) towards male’s predominance (47,4%).

The Cultural Capital of Romania: memorial houses, cultural centers, theaters, opera, philharmonic, museums, monuments, libraries, and mass-media, all of them sketching an activity of international level.
Iasi is a strong mass-media pole who incorporates (includes) all kinds of media from this century. Through its deep cultural characteristic, Iasi recognizes its impressive past and it looks for a favorable (advantageous) development direction (aim).

On October the 9-th, 1942 Institution with permanent artistically activity,  the public “ Moldova ” Philharmonics from Iasi had the inauguration concert , under George Enescu baguette.
The building belonged to Alecu Bals treasurer, had been raised up around 1815’s, and it was built in a neo-classical style specific to the end of XVIII century and the beginning of XIXth century.

“Vasile Alecsandri” National Theater
Built up in Iasi , between 1894 and 1896, on the place of the old City Hall, the building of National Theater is considered to be the oldest and the most beautiful bezel of this kind from the whole country.
The building plans belong to the famous Viennese architects Fellner and Helmer, who designed similar buildings in Vienna, Prague, Odessa, Zurich .
Inaugurated once with the theater, the electrical factory of this theater marked the beginning of the electrical lighting in Iasi .
In 1956, with 140 anniversary cause (occasion) since the first Romanian entertainment in Romanian language, the theater receives the great poet’s name, dramatist and cultural person Vasile Alecsandri.

Opera from Iasi started to function (to work) very early, even from the beginning of XIX-th century. On December 1833 took place the first Performance tour “La Dame Blanche” by Francois Adrien Boieldieu, play from French Theater, in staging Baptiste and Joseph Fourreaux brothers. On February the 20 th, 1838 took place the premiere in Romanian, with V.Bellini’s “Norma” only after 7 years from the absolute first-night.

Cultural Palace
Even it is not build over the ancient basements, as it was supposed to be at the beginning of  the XX-th century, the Palace’s documentary mentioned in 1434 is raising in part, over the medieval ruins of lordly courts,. There were also partially used the old palace basements, from the ruler Alexandru Moruzi (1806-1812) time, restored by Mihail Sturza (1841-1843) . From the beginnings, the Palace inherited the legend of those 365 rooms, corresponding to the days of the year.
The Edifice raised between 1906 and 1925 represents the most significant creation of Romanian architect I.D. Berindei, trained up at Parisian school. From decorative point of view, it is remarked in the central hall a figurative mosaic, , where are concentrically disposed different gothic best arum representations: the two-headed, the eagle, the dragon, the griffin, the lion. It was founded a skylight over the hall, where it was initially arranged a glass house.
The building inauguration was realized on October the 11th, 1925 , and served as Justice Palace until 1955 when it was destined to some of the famous cultural institutions housing of Iasi City, integrated today under the name of National Museum Complex “Moldova”

Kogalniceanu Museum
The edifice, situated on Mihail Kogalniceanu Street, Nr.11 up to Mihai Eminescu College,where once Mihail Kogalniceacnu lived,  it is used as museum starting 1971, the actual presentation reconstituting the atmosphere of a noble house from XIX-th century, through exhibits bounded by the name and the family of this big personality. Trying to reproduce each room’s initial destination, there were rearranged, for visits, the anteroom, the saloon, the office, the guest room, the wife’s and the kids’ rooms, the dining room and the hall. This way there were exposed furniture pieces in Ludovic the XV-th and the XVI-th, Biedermier or oriental styles, porcelain of Sevres vessel , “Thomashek” piano and other objects who put in value the delicate(refined) taste of the owner.

1. Central Universitary Library “ Mihai Eminescu”
The edifice, built between 1930-1934, had been designed by  Constantin Jotzu architect and built up by the engineer Emil Prager. Initially, the building had to serve as residence for the University Foundation Ferdinand -Ferdinand I Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen, king of Romania during 1914-1927. On September the 1-st 1945, the building had been gave it away to the Central University Library, founded institution in 1839. In 1948, the Romanian state decided the administration of the entire Foundation patrimony by the Iasi University .
At the moment, the Central University Library which is one of the fourth central libraries from Romania and it owns one of the most impressive collection of old books.
2. “Gheorghe Asachi” County Library
3. The Library of Technical University “Gheorghe Asachi”
The library was founded in 1973 and since then has been served as research purpose, information and documentation for beneficiaries. Build as a technical library it includes almost 1.000.000 volumes, covering in this way a huge number of themes from science, technology, economy and legislation fields.
4. University Central Library of Medicine and Pharmacy “Gr.T.Popa”

Iasi Cultural Centers:

  • British Council Library
  • Cultural House of Iasi Town
  • Students Cultural House
  • Centre Culturel Francais de Iasi
  • German Cultural Centre Goethe, Cultural Society Romana-German
  • British Council Centre
  • Latin America and Carribean Cultural Centre
  • Hellenic Cultural Centre

Tourism – churches and monasteries
The Metropolitan Cathedral
Bishop Veniamin Costache is the one who had the idea of building in Iasi a monumental church. The plan for this church was designed by the architects Johann Freywald and Bucher. The works took place first between 1833-1839 and then between 1880-1887, this time following the plans of the Romanian architect, Alexandru Orascu. The painting of the cathedral was done by Gheorghe Tattarescu. It was inaugurated on 23 of April 1887, at this event also taking part King Carol I and Bishop Iosif Naniescu. In 1889 the relics of Saint Paraschiva were brought from Three Hierarchs Church to the new cathedral.

The Catholic Cathedral
The building of the old cathedral was first built from wood in 1753, on the place of an older church. Between 1782-1789, the church was rebuilt from brick and it remained so until these days. By the time, it suffered some restoration works, especially after the 1802’s earthquake and the blaze in 1827.
In 1861, at the initiative of bishop Iosif Salandri, some new works of restoration and extension were made and the interior of the church was painted by Giuseppe Carta from Palermo . White marble altars and via cruces icons were also brought. Today, near the old cathedral, one can see a new church, a very modern building, circular and which has in its central part an oblong spire finished by a cross.

The Great Synagogue
It was built between 1659-1670, is the oldest of Jewish praying houses in Romania and one of the oldest in Europe. If in exterior it is very simple, without any decorations, the interior is as sophisticated as possible, decorated and gifted with valuable objects: chandeliers, candlesticks.

The Armenian Church
A true historical monument, this church testifies the existence of an important Armenian community in these parts of Romania . Restored in 1803, this halidom lodges an array of rocks with inscriptions, one of them certifying the beginnings of the building in 1385 by Macar.
In 1451 the church was endowed with a Gospel written and illustrated in Caffa from Crimeea, 100 years before.

Barboi Church
Barboi Church was built between 1841-1844 on the foundation of an old church dating from 1615. The Byzantine interior was built from rock and brick. The portico, held by Doric columns, is created in Classical style, while the spire presents neo-Gothic Roman elements. Because of its form and dimensions, Barboi Church is the Moldavian replica of some similar buildings on Mount Athos. Writer Alecu Russo and sovereign Ioan Sandu Sturdza were buried in the church’s court, and in the tower was found the library of writer Costache Conachi. At this church Ion Creanga was curate during 1863-1865.

Golia Monastery
Old foundation from the 16 century of chancellor Ioan Golia, the church was restored at other dimensions by sovereign Vasile Lupu between 1650-1653 and finished by his son, Stefanita Voda.
The monastery is surrounded by a high wall, with spires at the corners raised in 1667 and a steeple tower restored in 1900.
The tower of Golia is 30 m height. The visitor who wants to have a panorama of the city has to climb 120 stairs. The tower is one of city’s symbols.
During 1943-1947 restoration works took place at Golia, the monastery’s church being reopened after that.
In 1955, in two rooms on the Eastern part of the precinct, “Creanga” Museum was inaugurated, with documentary materials regarding the life of the great writer which was curate of monastery’s church.

Cetatuia Monastery
Cetatuia Monastery was built by sovereign Gheorghe Duca between 1669-1672. At the beginning, the church was surrounded by high rock walls, with bulwarks and a guard road, entrance and corner towers.
What makes Cetatuia unique is that it has maintained the whole ensemble of monastic architecture. On the Southern part of the precinct stands the Gothic Room “Doamna Anastasia”. The royal palace is a fortified building from the 17 century. The steeple tower and the massiveness of the walls are proving the fact that the monastery was conceived also as a refuge place, being in case of need, a real fortress.
The monastery’s church is specific for the religious Moldavian architecture of the 17century.
The monastic ensemble which was restored in the inter-war period at Nicolae Iorga’s request also includes a museum with numerous religious objects.

“Three Hierarchs” Monastery
“Three Hierarchs” Monastery is the most beautiful foundation of sovereign of Vasile Lupu, prince of Moldavia , built between 1637-1639.
During 1882-1904 restoration works took place under the supervision of the French architect Lecomte de Nouy. The exterior decorations completely covering the building were gilded at the beginning, and combine Turkish, Arab, Georgian, Armenian and Persian elements with Romanian architectural motives in a wonderful rock lace. Over 30 registers of decorative motifs can be noticed.
Inside the monastery, members of Vasile Lupu’s family, Dimitrie Cantemir and Alexandru Ioan Cuza are buried.

Frumoasa Monastery
It was built between 1726-1733 in the traditional style.
It became a unitary ensemble, created in the Classical style, during four decades. In 1753 Matei Ghica founded on Frumoasa hill a monastery in the precinct of which there were a church, a royal palace and a steeple tower included in the walls.
The today’s church was built between 1833-1836 at Grigore Ghica’s request. The steeple tower with extremely beautiful elements marks the entrance in Frumoasa Monastery’s precinct.

Galata Monastery
The church was built between 1579-1584 by prince Petre Schiopul.
The first church of the monastery was ruined after a short time, this fact determining the founder to build a second church on the hill dominating Nicolina river valley, in 1583. As regards the name of the monastery, some historians believe that it comes from the name of Galata neighbourhood in Constantinople . The interior painting was destroyed in 1762 during a blaze and it was repainted in 1811 by Vasile Dubrovski.
The palace founded by Petru Schiopu was kept in the monastery’s precinct in a good form after the restoration.

Barnovschi Church
Barnovschi Church was built in 1672 by Miron Barnovschi. From the old buildings, only the church with specific Moldavian architecture, the steeple tower and the parochial house are still preserved.
The interior painting of the church dates from 1880. The 1786, 1836, 1880’s intervention works did not bring just little modification, but also some restorations. The porch is, for sure, a Baroque addition from the 18 century.

“Saint Sava” Church
The first information concerning it dates from 1583 when a little church was built with the help of sprince Petru Schiopu. In 1625, boyar Enache Caragea built the present “Saint Sava” church, in Oriental style. Between 1676-1678, during prince Antonie Russet, the wall surrendering the monastery was built. Destroyed by time, the church was restored in two important steps: in 1820, when it was completely rebuilt and in 1844, when it was renewed. However, the monastery preserved its original Byzantine character of the 17, unique in the Moldavian architecture.

“Saint Spiridon” Church
Today’s “Saint Spiridon” Church was built between 1805-1807 on the place of an older and smaller church which was seriously damaged by the earthquake on 26th October 1802 . according to the rotive in the church porch, written in Romanian with Cyrillic letters and dating from 1847, on this place were also built, in time, other three churches. These ones suffered either because of some natural phenomena, either because of foreign occupation. The steeple tower of the church dates from 1786. Its architecture was influenced by the decorative elements of the Russian Baroque. In the inferior part of the steeple tower there are two water pumps with the sovereign’s mark on their frontispiece.

“Saint Nicholas” Church
It was built at the initiative of sovereign Stefan cel Mare between of June 1491- of August 1492. It is considered the oldest religious edifice preserved in Iasi until now.
The today’s church is that of 1904. The restoration works were led by the French architect Lecomte du Nouy. He tried to keep both the style and the characteristics of the church built by Stefan cel Mare.