Iasi, the biggest city in Romania’s region of Moldavia, and the country’s fourth in terms of population, is currently not among the country’s most popular destinations. We’ve listed for you 7 of the attractions every tourist should check out while in Iasi.
Palace of Culture
The Palace of Culture in Iasi is the main landmark of the city. Built between 1906 and 1925 in Gothic revival style, it hosts four major museums. The History Museum of Moldova, the Moldova Ethnographic Museum, the Art Museum and the Stefan Procopiu Museum of Science and Technical Museum, will introduce you to the history and art of this region of Romania, which has a long and rich history.
The 55 tall clock tower of the Palace can be visited and offers great views over the city.
The Botanical Garden of Iasi is the country’s oldest – created in 1856 – and the largest, stretching over 100 hectares. The garden is very popular with the locals in summer, as it offers long lanes for walks and plenty of species of trees and plants as well as a small lake. The garden’s greenhouses are home to tropical and carnivorous plants.
Three Holy Hierarchs Monastery
The Holy Hierarchs Monastery, built by Prince Vasile Lupu and completed in 1639, is a beautiful example of church architecture. Its stone exterior is covered in intricate pattern work with Georgian, Armenian and Turkish elements and the interior was painted by some of the best artists of the time.
The church contains the tomb of the church’s founder, as well as that of former ruler Prince Alexandru Ioan Cuza.
At the time it was built, Palas Mall, part of a de 270,000 square meters complex, was the biggest investment made outside of Bucharest. Covering 54,200 square meters, it offers plenty of shopping and leisure opportunities. The surrounding park, stretching over 50,000 square meters, features water fountains and was built on the spot previously covered by the gardens of the Iasi Royal Court.
Gheorghe Asachi Library
The Gheorghe Asachi Library was chosen by an online poll among the most beautiful such spaces in the world. It offers one million volumes and can be visited at any time by anyone who wants to study or admire the beauty of its wooden interior. It was designed by Petru Poni, a professor of the University of Iasi and Minister of Public Education at the time, in collaboration with Swiss architect Louis Blanc.
The Hall of the Lost Steps
The Hall of Lost Steps, in the Prince Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, is the oldest university in Romania. It includes fifteen faculties and attracts over 25,000 students from all over Romania and abroad. Visit it for the Hall of the Lost Steps, decorated with paintings by Sabin Balasa.
Copou Park is a 10 hectares park where Romania’s national poet, Mihai Eminescu, wrote his poems under a linden tree that is still standing today. The park also features a museum and a bust of the poet, who lived in the city for three years, between 1874-1877. The park’s other attractions include the Lions’ Obelisk and Eminescu’s tree, right behind it.