Iași is the second city of Romania after Bucharest, in terms of population and it is an important city in terms of culture, history and academic life. It is the second largest university center in Romania. Iași is one of the oldest cities in Romania. Located in the northeastern part of the country, Iași was for many centuries the crossing point of the most important commercial routes linking Poland, Hungary, Russia and Constantinople.
Deeply rooted in history, Iasi has been the main centre of Moldavian culture since 1408. The city prides itself with publishing the first Romanian newspaper and establishing the first Romanian university. Today, Iasi is home to five universities.
Over the past 500 years, history, culture and religious life have molded the city’s unique character. Iasi boasts an impressive number of Orthodox churches, almost 100, most of them located in the so-called Golden Plateau (Platoul de Aur). The oldest, the Princely Saint Nicholas Church, dates from the reign of Stephen the Great (Stefan cel Mare, 1457-1504). The finest, however, are the 17th century St. Paraschiva Metropolitan Cathedral and Trei Ierarhi Church, the last a curious example of Byzantine art, erected in 1635-1639 by Vasile Lupu. Its outer walls and twin towers are intricately carved in what many think of as stone lace.
The Golden Plateau represents the nucleus of the city, around which the entire settlement developed over the centuries. With the Palace of Culture (Palatul Culturii) at one end and the Union Square (Piata Unirii) at the other, the Golden Plateau features administrative buildings, historic churches, palaces and mansions.
Many other important sites and points of interest can be found in the immediate vicinity of the Golden Plateau.
Details about different touristic attractions in Iași may be found at:
Almost every month of the year you can find a festival or fair in Iași. In November there are three festivals:
Festival of Autumn Flowers.
Festival of Crafts and Artisans of Moldova region (eastern Romania).
Festival of Traditional Songs and Music.