11 Places you should visit in Iasi

Iași, the former capital of Moldova is a city full of history, every step you take.

If you ever come to Iasi, you should not miss the Palace of Culture, that can be admired from all 7 hills of the city, especially since its tower has a height of 55 meters. The Palace can be admired in all its splendour, displaying an interesting blend of several architectural styles: neo-classic, neo-gothic, romantic and neo-baroque. Besides, on every exact time, the eight bells of the horologe in the tower, toll on the Hora Unirii rhythm.

Palace of Culture

From the Palace of Culture, the stroll could continue in the suburb Țicău, to Bojdeuca lui Creangă (Creangă’s Crib), the first memorial house in Romania, inaugurated on April 15th 1918. Just a look around, and you feel like surrounded by the spell of past times, and you could almost see Creangă writing Childhood Memories or The Woman with Three Daughters in Law! The small crib had everything the writer needed: a solid bed, in hard wood, a stove with chimney, similar to that in the house at Humulești, the three legged-table in the small kitchen, the icon kept as souvenir from his mother, the bookshelf and the table in the room where he worked. Besides, the veranda behind the crib was a real oasis of relaxation for Creangă, allowing him to endlessly admire the Ciric and Șorogari hills.

Creangă’s Crib

Alexandru Ioan Cuza” University is another landmark of maximum importance. Founded in 1860, shortly after the coming into being of the United Principalities, it is known from the very beginning as the first modern university of Romania. The ruler himself, Alexandru Ioan Cuza inaugurated the university that at the beginning would encompass only three faculties: Literature, Theology and Law. Currently, it hosts 15 faculties and numerous research centres.

Another spot that must not be misses when you go strolling in Iasi is the Copou Hill, packed in spring, with the smell of linden trees. It is good to know that one of the main symbols of Iași is represented by the old linden trees, themselves. It’s not in vain that the great Romanian poet, Mihai Eminescu, was so much inspired by them and left behind, right in the middle of Copou Park, the famous Eminescu’s Linden Tree! That is a silver linden tree over 500 years old. Besides this, Copou Park also hosts the Lion Obelisk, one of the oldest monuments in modern history of the country, erected following the plans of Gheorghe Asachi, together with Aleea Junimiștilor (the Alley of Junimea followers), a stretch lined-up with the busts of Junimea literary society personalities.

If you don’t feel like parting from this green oasis, then the next stop should be at the Botanical Garden, the oldest botanical garden in Romania. It was founded in 1856 by doctor Anastasie Fătu, on a property he had bought. In autumn, the chrysanthemums perform an amazing show, thus making it a destination that no flower lover could ever miss!

Botanical Garden

The stroll can continue on Lăpușneanu Street, that in the past was some sort of a “mall street”, being at the time the delight of shopping lovers. A permanent razzle-dazzle, air of celebration and cheerfulness that can be found only amidst a crowd wishing for shop-keeping. Products were there for everyone and to suit all tastes, and the agile sellers would even pay house visits to the close clients to show their latest arrivals. Today, Lapusneanu Street is the ideal place for promenades.

Another pedestrian street that you must not miss in Iași is Ștefan cel Mare Boulevard. It is even recommended that you reserve a couple of hours for one evening at the National Theatre, the oldest place of the kind in Romania. More than this, the Theatre in Iași came second on the top of the most beautiful theatres in the world, a top made by BBC.

Also, you must not miss the Roznovanu Palace that hosts the current City Hall. Throughout time, this building was visited by significant personalities of the Romanian political life: aristocrats, members of the Royal Family, ambassadors and representatives of the states from all corners of the world. Here, George Enescu held concerts, Mihai Eminescu read his poems, and passers-by admired the most sumptuous toilettes of the balls of the times gone-by.

Right opposite the Roznovanu Palace we encounter the Orthodox Cathedral of Iași. Not far from here we can also admire the Roman-Catholic Cathedral, a building of a very interesting circular shape. But the list does not end here, because still on the Ștefan cel Mare Walk, we can find “Sfinții Trei Ierarhi” Church, raised by voivode Vasile Lupu, between years 1637 - 1639 and the walls of the building are richly decorated with inedited stone sculptures. The walk on this pedestrian street ends with the view of “Gheorghe Asachi” School, dated to 1909 and listed in the architectural patrimony of the city.