One of the biggest cultural and ecumenical centers in Romania, no wonder it’s a total mystery where to begin and where to stop and what to leave for next time.
We had a 2 days vacation; oh well, mostly just one because the second one was very wet so we cancelled our plans but I’ll detail here what we considered to be most important for now and what we left for the future, in order for you to make an informed decision.
Being more on the cultural&historical side of the travelers we were more interested on this point. We stayed at a very nice couple, close to “bojdeuca lui Creanga” (Creanga’s hut) so we started our walks through the hart of Moldavia, from here.
From the gate, everything it’s of an untouched beauty and takes you away in those beautiful times when Creanga and Eminescu were meeting to develop memories just so, further along, encouraged by Eminescu, Creanga to write them in the magical traditional Romanian language. Also, this small house was the place of inspiration for many of the poems created by Eminescu, on the verandah with a breathtaking view. Just sitting there and imagining that at that time there weren’t more than 4-5 houses on that area, you suddenly feel inspired and wanna sit down and let your thoughts flow far away. This is the verandah where Creanga used to sleep from spring to autumn, in order to feel the fresh air.
The place is very well preserved and the curator told us a lot of beautiful stories. You can see a piece of furniture, given by Eminescu to Creanga, you can also see the difference of class level between them but, after all, the spirits and the great minds were the truth connection that went beneath any other differences between them. This house is the house where Creanga lived until his very last days, along with Tinca, the second wife if it were after present lows but since he had already been married and due to the times he was living, he couldn’t marry her so he just bought the house on her name. The house is absolutely magical and the fact that Creanga had many cats could explain part of the good vibe still maintained here.
Remaining with this energy, we hurried to have a good breakfast at Red Pipes (we tried couple of places, checked the travel adviser and we totally recommend you this place, for a quick bite and coffee; although on the outside it’s not very tempting, the inside and the service will totally win you over) and continued following the path of culture through Copou Park, starting with “Teiul lui Eminescu” (Eminescu’s linden). This is the place where the poet would come to find his inspiration or stay and chat on a bench besides it, with his good friend, Creanga. It’s the oldest tree in this park and it saved itself from dying by growing two roots among the cement and iron interior made a few years ago, in order to keep it up and alive. It is said to be a miracle
Further along, we stopped by the Botanical Garden, the oldest Botanical Garden in the country, belonging to University Al Ioan Cuza but we left the visit for spring or autumn, in order to find everything on the outside full of color, too. Our hosts told us that there many festivals held here, like autumn flowers or chrysanthemums and they offer true spectacles for the eye so this is definitely a point to be visited.
To maintain our lyrical mood, we continued our walk with Kogalniceanu’s house which hosted both Enescu and Sadoveanu, only one year as “house colleagues”. The place is fool of Sadoveanu and his kids presence, especially of the oldest son who was a painter, talent inherited also from his father as you can suppose after you see a self-portrait of the great author. I’m leaving here a touch of the magic of this place and leave you explore the rest. (pic)
We also stopped by Dosoftei House, the house of Junimea Literara (Junimea Literary Society). It’s a great architecture to admire, right across the street of the imposing building of the Palace of Culture. We didn’t have time to visit but, if you have another day, you should definitely explore this Palace.
Going straight ahead, from this point, you will arrive at the old center of Iasi and the center of architectural master pieces of this city.
The first impressive construction it’s The Monastery Three Hierarchs which was built under the reign of Vasile Lupu and shows the founders aspiration towards Byzantine world. In 1641 St Parascheva’s relics were moved here, until 1888 when due to the fire from December, they are being moved to the Metropolitan Cathedral from Iasi; the monastery also hosted the first printing press in Moldavia and “The Schola Basilina”, the future Princely Academy. Between 1970 and 1989 the monastery was closed, being reopened after the events in 1989.
Inside the monastery, along the beautiful wall pictures you can also find the place of rest for Vasile Lupu, wife and son, Dimitre Cantemir and Al Ioan Cuza and the niche where were hold St Parascheva’s(the protector of Moldavia) relics.
After going out of the monastery, to the left, you find the great imposing architecture belonging to the Metropolitan Cathedral of Moldavia and Bucovina, one of the 6 Orthodoxian Metropolitan Cathedrals in Romania. Raised on the place of other two churches, the White and Stratenia Church, at the idea of Ioan Sturdza, the sanctification of the cathedral was a national event, in 23rd of April 1887, at which took part the king Carol 1st and Queen Elisabeth.
Getting out of the cathedral the theatre building attracts you like a magnet. It’s the oldest national theatre in Romania and probably the most beautiful one. In 2015 was designated the second most beautiful in Europe by a team of journalists from BBC. (http://stirileprotv.ro/stiri/social/teatrul-national-din-iasi-al-doilea-cel-mai-frumos-din-lume-in-topul-bbc-istoricul-cladirii-vechi-de-peste-100-de-ani.html ). The National theatre in Iasi it’s included in the same range with cultural institutions from Paris, London, Venice, Bristol, Vicenza and San Francisco.
The plans of the building belong to the famous architects Fellner and Helmer that projected similar constructions in Vienne, Prague, Odessa and Zurich. In the same time with the theatre was inaugurated the power plant that meant the beginning of electric lighting in Iasi.
This great day couldn’t end any different than with an amazing dinner at Bolta Rece, the place where Creanga and “Junimea Literara” (Junimea Literary Society) used to have dinner, parties and meetings. Among the great history, the place looks amazing, the waiters are very nice and the food was both amazing and at a fair price. After a long day, there are a few steps to take to arrive here but you will have a very good reward. It was the perfect end to a perfect day.
As a great point to be seen but not to eat, we also stopped by on Ancuta’s Han on our way towards Iasi. The place is great, the history is kept, everything it’s arranged wonderful but the weathers and the serving really disappointed us – just stop by and take photos of the place and continue your journey.
For the second day, we wanted to visit the wine museum in Harlau and Sturdza Castle in Miclauseni but since the rain got jokes with us, we left them for a next time. If you arrive until we do, please complete the positive opinions we already have about this places 🙂