Discover step by step the cultural city of Iasi, an open air museum, where every stone talks about the past. Iasi is also known as the ‘Cultural Capital of Romania’ and the ‘City of Hundred Churches’. On this tour you will enjoy a few pleasant hours in the second largest city in Romania, enter its bohemian atmosphere, and witness the animated lifestyle.
The tour starts at one of the most impressive buildings of the city, The Palace of Culture. This remarkable construction inaugurated in 1925 by Ferdinand of Hohenzollern was built on the ruins of a medieval royal court. The Palace has a Neo-Gothic style, with ornamental details and heraldic elements outside. The Clock Tower is the main architectural piece of the entire Palace and the Carillon in the tower has eight bells that are singing each hour the Union Hora. Today, the Palace of Culture houses 4 of the city’s museums.
Your tour guide will then take you to a walk along the main historical street of Iasi: Stefan the Great, dedicated to one of Romania's most iconic historical figures. The next stops will be at the Three Hierarchs Church and the Metropolitan Cathedral, both connected in the biggest Christian Orthodox pilgrimage in Eastern Europe. The church, built between 1637 and 1639, has the entire exterior covered in delicate and intricate patterns sculpted into the stone and spread over 30 friezes. This "stone embroidery" is a mixture of western Gothic, Renaissance, and Oriental motifs.
Next, you will visit Vasile Alecsandri National Theatre. The building is an architectonic jewel with one of the most amazing theater halls in the world, beautifully decorated with gold and allegoric paintings. It is the oldest national theatre and one of the most prestigious theatrical institutions in Romania.
If you are getting hungry, and you probably will, the guide will accompany you to a restaurant near-by, where you will be able to taste local food made only with local products.
After lunch you will explore the University’s Hill. Iasi is also known as ‘The city on seven hills’. Here, the university is the main attraction, with the Hallway of Lost Steps and the Library, one of the most majestic in the world. Gheorghe Asachi Technical University Library is a hidden gem of Iasi and a must see.
The last destination of the tour will be in the Jewish area, known as Cuckoo’s Market, nearby Golia Monastery. Here you will visit the Grand Synagogue, the oldest preserved Jewish sanctuary in Romania, was built in 1671. The Synagogue could not have been larger than the nearby churches, but the Jewish law mentioned that it had to be the most imposing building in the Jewish district. Therefore the sober exterior is in contrast to the richly adorned interior.