Iasi city’s effigy, the Palace of Culture was built between 1906-1925, by orders of King Carol I.
They built it partly on some ruins and partly on the foundation and first levels of a palace.
The ruins belonged to the Princely Court of Moldavia (15th century).
On the palace’s right side you can still see the Watch Tower.
Along with the galleries underneath palace’s court this is a reminiscence of the old Princely Court of Iasi.
The lapidarium on the left groups a collection of capitals and other stone architectonic elements.
The Neoclassical palace dating from 19th century belonged to Princes Moruzi and Sturdza.
New building’s legend comes from this.
According to it, the palace has 365 rooms, as many as the days within one year.
Fortunate blend of architectural styles
The edifice fortunately blends Neo-Gothic, Romantic and Neo-Baroque architectural styles.
It imposes by its remarkable sizes, being one of the largest buildings of Romania.
Designed in flamboyant Neo-Gothic style it is one of the last expressions of Romanticism in the official architecture.
It is also the most outstanding work of Romanian architect I.D. Berindei, trained at the Fine Arts School in Paris.
In spite of its archaic-looking design, the Palace integrated modern materials and technologies.
Attic’s ignifugated wooden structure is such an example.
They equipped the monumental beautiful palace with very modern facilities from Germany:
– electric lighting,
– (pneumatic) heating,
– ventilation system,
– thermostat and
– vacuum cleaners.
They directed all these from machinery room, at the underground level.
The ironware came from Haug House and renowned French companies.
Neo-Gothic furniture came from famous workshops in Paris and England.
Until 1955, the edifice served as Palace of Justice with an interruption during World War II, when German, and later, Soviet troops used it.
Then its destination changed, being assigned to 4 museums – History, Art, Ethnography and Science & Technology – nowadays Moldavia National Museum Complex of Iasi.
In front of the palace, Stephen the Great’s equestrian statue welcomes you.
Two Krupp cannons – trophies from Romania’s War of Independence – frame the statue.
You will enter this amazing Palace through its central architectural piece: a great donjon tower with crenels dominated by an eagle with open wings.
Back in those days, the palace was the tallest building in town due to its 55 m height tower.
Decorated with stained glass representing the 12 astrological signs, it especially contributed to the building’s fame.
The two young men painted dressed in national costumes guarding the clock represent a design element inspired from Peles Castle.
Hourly, the 8 bells of the tower’s Carillon and a drum with 69 pins sing the Union Round Dance song.
Hall of Honor
Realized in Neo-Gothic style, this has a remarkable mosaic on the floor.
It precisely reproduces the church rosette of a 13th century abbey in Normandy, in northern France.
This medieval Gothic bestiary represents concentrically arranged: dragons, two-headed/bicephalous eagles, griffons/gryphons, lions and chimeras.
The symmetrical monumental stairs are made of Carrara marble.
Eagles with shields, symbolizing the opening of roads, decorate the balustrade’s accolade balusters.
The glass ceiling room superposing this Gothic Room was initially a greenhouse.
Located at first floor and distinctively ornate, this is the most beautiful and monumental room of the palace.
Its name comes from the famous gallery of portraits painted by Stefan Dimitrescu and his students.
This features Moldavia’s rulers and Romania’s kings, from Decebalus and Trajan to King Carol II.
You can admire some of the remarkable decorative ironware elements of the palace on this hall’s doors.
Henri Coanda Room
Becker, Royal House’s sculptor, made the stucco at the top of the hall destined for the Court of Jury.
At that time, architect I. D. Berindey was the president of Henry Coanda Technical Products Society in Bucharest.
He wanted a cheaper material that imitates the texture and sound of oak wood.
This special material invented by Henri Coandă and named by this bois-ciment (wood-cement) decorates several rooms within the Palace.
One of them is Henri Coanda Room.
The famous Romanian inventor made the carvings and relief works here.
Westminster Hall in London – where the Parliament of United Kingdom of Great Britain was born – inspired this room’s ceiling.
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