A symbol of Iasi, also being one of the most beautiful places of the city, the Palace of Culture awaits us after 8 years of renovation to discover its beauty.
The palace was built at the wish of King Charles I as a compensation for the fact that Iasi has lost the title of Romania capital in favor to Bucharest. Through this gesture the King wanted Iasi to remain the cultural capital of the country.
The construction began on the former place of the Royal Palace the architect being I.D. Berindei. The palace has a Gothic style, inspired by the architecture of the Palace of Justice in Paris. Building it last 19 years (1900-1925). The Palace covers an area of 36 000 square meters, with 298 rooms.
Initially is used as Administrative and Justice Palace, sheltering all the administrative institutions of the city, and in 1955 is named Palace of Culture.
During World War I in the building Russian troops, and Romanian military units were installed, and then it became a military hospital.
Currently inside is the " Moldova" National Museum Complex thus sheltering four museums: the Museum of History of Moldova, Ethnographic Museum, Museum of Art and Museum of Science and Technology.
Since 2008, over 350 professionals have rehabilitated walls, interior and exterior painting, and furniture. Old walls from the forme Royal Palace have been found and saved and can be seen through glass floors at the Museum of History.
Few of the 300 rooms are adequately furnished.
The entrance is thru a tower dominated by an eagle with open wings.
In the central hall there is a beautiful mosaic, in which there are various representations: the two-headed eagle, dragon, griffin, lion. The monumental stairs that start from this hall are made of Carrara marble.
Abovethe hall is a skylight , which initially was set as a greenhouse.
The most beautiful and impressive room is certainly the Voievozilor room. You can find it It is upstairs. The name of the hall is due to a gallery of portraits of rulers of Moldova starting from Decebal, Traian and Aurelian, moving than to the founders of the medieval state and continuing the series of rulers up to King Charles II. In the room there is a beautiful marble fireplace, decorated with a bas-relief representing a "historical tree" decorated with portraits of the most important rulers of Moldova, on top being the portrait of King Ferdinand.
Across the Voievozilor hall is the "Henri Coanda" hall. During the time that the building was Palace of Justice and Administration "Henri Coanda" hall was intended as Court of assizes. The arhitect called "finding" a cheaper material to imitate the texture and tone of oak, this material was invented by Henri Coanda and is found in several rooms of the palace.The inspiration for this hall ceiling was Westminster Hall in London.
The tower that is the entrance to the palace has a very big clock with three dials with a diameter of 3.25 m. On it are drawn small stained glass representing the 12 signs of the horoscope. Two frontier guards in national costume are framing the clock, they are painted after the soldiers at Peles Castle.
Through an ingenious system, this clock act synchronous 25 clocks in various rooms of the palace; all have disappeared during the war. Hourly the clock tower sings "Hora Unirii".
Downstairs in the west wing, there is the MUSEUM OF HISTORY OF MOLDOVA showing how life has developed in the East Carpathian area, from the Paleolithic to the Second World War.
Also at ground floor, but in the east wing, is the MUSEUM OF ART AND SCIENCE "ŞTEFAN PROCOPIU". The museum includes departments: Energy, recording and playing sound, telecommunications, mineralogy - crystallography.
Upstairs is the, Museum of Art. It contains donations of Gheorghe Asachi, Scarlat Barnabas, Dasiade Costache, A. Donici A. Urechia and V. Costache Negri.
Also on this level we find the Ethnographic Museum of Moldavia, which exposes objects whose age, in many cases, exceeds 100 years.
In front of the Palace of Culture is the equestrian statue of Stephen the Great, made in Paris, by Em. Frémiet, according to his drawings Gh. Asachi. In 1883, at the unveiling, Mihai Eminescu wrote the famous "Doina" and the King Carol I gave two "Krupp," guns which today flank the statue of the great ruler. The guns were trophies from the Independence War, conquered by the Regiment from Copou (one of the seven hills of Iasi).
Address: Iasi, Piata Stefan cel Mare si Sfant, nr.1
Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday between 10-17.