A Wonderful Student City – Iași

IMG_2142With one of the most prestigious and old academic institutions from Romania, Iași impresses every single person that goes there. If you haven’t got the chance to visit it, you should do it right now! There’s no time to waste, especially if you are from Romania. First, you have to visit your own country and only after that, you can enjoy other countries sights because only in this way you could make a real comparison. I hear everywhere: that country is amazing, nothing like ours!

That’s not true, it may be amazing, I’m not saying it isn’t. But do not make such comparisons if you haven’t seen at least half of our beloved country.

It is not about politics anymore, nor religion, it’s about landscapes, cityscapes in our case, beautiful museums, sculptures, castles, monasteries, lots of edifices that are breathtaking and parks, vibrant parks.

It is a city that abounds in history, you feel it on your shoulders, you see it in front of your eyes because it talks. Everything here, the walls, the pavement kept the beauty but also the wounds of the past. 

As we say about archaeologists that they can discover an entire population by only finding a broken glass, we can do the same thing by reading walls. It sounds crazy, doesn’t it? It does, but it’s true. Even if we are amateurs, we can understand the past that stands behind everything in Iași, because if it’s rich in something, it’s in history.

I heard an interesting legend about one of the monasteries from Iași. They say that The Three Holy Hierarchs Monastery was covered in gold but the Turks burned it and all the gold was melted and taken. It is a unique construction. All of the outer walls are embroidered in stone, blending Western and Asian elements. Its sumptuous decorations combine traditional structures and different shapes, expressing the Byzantine World. This royal burial ground was built during Prince Vasile Lupu’s reign and we have to thank him for giving such a treasure to this country. St. Basil the Great, St. Gregory the Theologian and St. John Chrysostom are the three hierarchs that patronize the church and they are celebrated on 30th of January.


Me, my collegue Mihaela Ștefania Puțeanu and Bogdan Pătruț (EduSoft) went also to the Metropolitan Cathedralwhere, during the reign of the same Vasile Lupu, were brought Saint Parascheva’s relics. She has a huge importance to us as she is considered to be the Protector of Moldavia and Bucovina. Everybody goes there and prays, hoping to get help from her. They believe in her miraculous powers. On 14th of October, the feast day, she is brought out of the church, the pilgrims come and pray and after that, they enjoy a traditional lunch, served by the City Hall of Iași.

Amazing wall paintings (by Sabin Bălaşa) illustrating known writings like „Meşterul Manole” (The master builder Manole), or historical images, in Sala Paşilor Pierduţi, from the main building of Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iasi, the oldest in Romania, left us speechless.

Walking and walking we chanced upon the Botanical Garden. Let’s walk in! Hundreds of plants and trees… it’s the largest and the oldest botanical garden in Romania.

Grădina Botanică din Iaşi
Botanical Garden, Iaşi, Romania

Its founder is Anastasie Fătu and from 1856 it was maintained by the Alexandru Ioan Cuza University. There are represented the main types and zones of vegetation from our country, exotic species with an amazing subsection for the blind persons. There are also sections representing different geographic regions of the Planet or plants used in industry as well as those used in memorial situations: the birth, the marriage and the death. After visiting all of these, you can relax in the Recreative section, among the orchards and the vineyards.

Refreshed by the air of the Garden, we headed for Palas Mall, but not before we visited the Copou park and enjoy all the sculptures of the great writers and not before visiting the Eminescu’s Linden Tree. We stood there and listened to the silence, reading the beautiful poem written in front of his statue ‘Dorința’ – ‘The Wish’.

The most recent and attractive place in Iasi, right now, is Palas Mall. It is a shopping mall surrounded by a beautiful park, located in the Civic Centre, next to the Palace of Culture. The view is wonderful – water fountains, lakes, elegant stairs, cafes and restaurants are placed in a perfect combination. You can shop, you can eat and you can take long walks if you want. During school time, many students come here, sit either on the stairs or on the grass and learn.

Iasi is a city worth visiting. I’ve been there many times and I still want to go. I advise you to do the same!

Elena Golăi