This route shall provide us a deeper acquaintance with the city of Iasi, the approximately 5 hours shall suffice to get you acquainted with both the central historic zone of the city and the university area; at the same time we shall have the opportunity to see one of the former neighbourhoods of the Moldovan capital city, namely the Ticau district, where Ion Creanga’s Cottage is situated.
Route: The starting point is the Palace of Culture, the emblem of the city and one of the most beautiful palaces in Romania. Built on the site of the former princely court, the Palace of Culture today marks the place that we can proudly call the birthplace of Iasi. Here we shall admire the imposing statue of the Prince Stephen the Great and Holy, associated with a famous urban legend. Just a few steps away is the church of Stephen the Great, the Princely Saint Nicholas Church and the Dosoftei House, also called the Arcade home, nowadays the Museum of old literature.
We shall then start for the old Principal Street, where we shall see, among other things, one of the most valuable monuments of medieval architecture in the country, the Church of the Holy Three Hierarchs, founded by Prince Vasile Lupu. Built of huge stone blocks cleverly joined by molten lead, this church astonishes with the perfection of dozens of intricate patterns carved in stone by medieval craftsmen. Legend says that the church used to be completely covered with gold, but ... is it true?
Thereafter, we shall admire the beautiful Roznovanu Palace, today the Iasi City Hall, and then we shall proceed to the Metropolitan Cathedral of Moldova and Bukovina, where the shrine with the relics of St. Pious Parascheva, the patroness of Moldova, is located. The first theatre in the country, the National Theatre Vasile Alecsandri, is situated nearby, as well as the place where the first Jewish theatre in the world was established. Then the small Cuza Voda street shall welcome us with other great stories; the end point of this tour shall be the Square of Union, the place where the first Hora of Union was played on January 24, 1859, the day when Moldova and the Romanian Country became one state.
We shall continue our tour with another old street of Iasi, the Lapusneanu street. The Union Museum, the former residence of Alexandru Ioan Cuza and the recently renovated Banu Church or the “Church of invalids” are all located in this street. Here we can stop for a short refreshment with a delicious cake at the Tuffli confectioner’s shop, having traditions in the art of manufacturing sweets dating back to 1873. Then we shall continue our way to the area that the inhabitants of Iasi call La Fundatie, where we shall discover a representative place for the city – the Yellow ravine.
Then we shall gradually reach the famous Copou Hill, and the first monument in our way shall be the impressive building of the Central University Library of Mihai Eminescu (featured on 500 lei banknotes). In a few minutes’ walk is the beautiful Pogor House, or the House of lighted windows, where all great Romanian writers used to meet within the Junimea Society.
We shall then leave the main avenue and roam for several minutes along old admirable houses until we reach the first memorial house of the country, Ion Creanga’s cottage, where his Memories were written. The next stop shall be at the Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, the oldest university in the country; we shall enter the building to admire the famous Hall of Lost Steps, painted by the great painter Sabin Balasa. The route shall end in the city’s oldest park, the Copou Garden, where the Lion Obelisk and Eminescu’s linden tree are situated; it’s a place with a special emotional load, reminding even today of the tumultuous love story of the beautiful Veronica Micle and the poet Mihai Eminescu.
Technical details: Duration about 12 hours, pedestrian walks (combined with transportation). Sanitary stops in the city’s public gardens. Clothing at the tourists’ discretion. It is recommended to have a bottle of water. It is possible to stop at a money exchange.
The package price covers:
- Round-trip transport;
- The services of a professional guide;
- Medical insurance.
The cost does not cover:
- Lunch – 15 Euro per person;
- Personal expenses.