Iasi

Iasi is the second most populous city in Romania, located in the northeast Romania. Located in the historical Moldavia region, Iasi has traditionally been one of the leading centers of Romanian social, cultural, academic and artistic life. The city of Iasi 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. Home to the first Romanian university and to the first engineering school, Iasi is the second largest university center in Romania which accommodates over 75,000 students in 5 public and 7 private universities.

Iasi was for many centuries the crossing point of the most important trading routes linking Poland, Hungary, Russia and Constantinople. Featuring rich history, Iasi has been the main center of Moldavian culture since 1408 and boasts almost 100 Orthodox churches, most of them located in the so-called Golden Plateau. 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 Saint 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. Cultural life gravitates around the National Theater (the oldest in Romania), the Opera House, the Iași State Philharmonic, the Tătărași Atheneum, Palace of Culture, a famous Botanical Garden (the oldest and largest in Romania), the Central University Library (the oldest in Romania), an array of museums and memorial houses, an independent theater and several student organizations. This remarkable construction (1906-1925), built in flamboyant Neo-gothic style, stands partly on the ruins of a medieval royal court mentioned in documents dating from 1434. Today, the 365-room palace houses the Gheorghe Asachi Library and four of the city’s museums: the Moldavian History Museum, the Ethnographic Museum, the Museum of Art and the Museum of Science and Technology. St. Paraschiva Metropolitan Cathedral of Iasi is the largest Orthodox church in Romania.

 

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