Iaşi is the second-largest city in Romania after its capital (Bucharest), located in the North-Eastern part of the country (390 km from Bucharest) that also serves as the seat of Iași County (in the historical region of Moldavia). Iași has traditionally been one of the leading centers of Romanian social, cultural, academic and artistic life.
In the city of Iaşi, every stone has a past, every wall echoes history and every street reminds of great love. Iaşi is the city of seven hills, the city of great and revolutionary ideas, the city of the first major union of the Romanian people, the place of the first theater performance in Romanian language. Moreover, Iaşi hosts the first literary memorial museum.
Therefore, it can be said that Iaşi is in itself a genuine national museum thanks to the historical and art treasures it holds. If you want to take a pleasant walk, the best place is Copou Park. Its long alleys are the home of great Romanian writers’ busts. The highlight is Mihai Eminescu’s lime (considered the greatest Romanian writer), where the poet used to come for inspiration and the legend says it was the tree he used to worship in his poems. The huge lime tree crown protects Mihai Eminescu’s statue and adumbrates the marble plaque on which is littered one of his most remarkable workarts: the poem “Desire”. On the other side of the path rests the statue of Eminescu’s good friend, Ion Creangă, other great Romanian writer, known for his humoristic novels inspired from his life (the ordinary life of Romanian peasants from the 19th century).
Iaşi is overwhelmed with history and culture and every step you take you run into the tracks of great Romanians that framed the history of our country. Legendary settlement, Iaşi is a name that excites even with the simple sense of this word. Given its seven hills it has spurred many to resemble Iaşi to the eternal city – Rome.
By its past and present, Iaşi belongs to all Romanians and can be considered a kind of Mecca of our people. Not by accident, the great Romanian historian Nicolae Iorga, expresses his indignation: ” there are Romanians who have never been to Iaşi, although it should be none as the old Romanian spirit continues to live here so breathtaking, so rich and so alive as nowhere else”.
What to visit: Palace of Culture, Metropolitan Cathedral (the largest Orthodox church in Romania), Trei Ierarhi Monastery, Golia Monastery, Old Catholic Cathedral, Armenian Church, Great Synagogue, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, Vasile Alecsandri National Theatre, Copou Park, Botanical Garden of Iași (the first botanical garden in Romania), Ciric Park, Dosoftei House, Roznovanu Palace, Union Museum, Pogor House, Luceafărul Theatre, Central University Library and many other stunning places.