|— City —|
|Palace of Culture, Vasile Alecsandri Statue in front of the National Theatre, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, Golia Tower, Metropolitan Cathedral, and the Botanical Garden|
|Nickname(s): The Cultural Capital of Romania, The City of Great Loves, The City of the Famous Destinies, The City of Great Ideas, The City of the Three Unions, The City on Seven Hills|
|Founded||1408 (first official record)|
|• Mayor||Gheorghe Nichita (Social Democrat Party (Romania))|
|• City||93.9 km2 (36.3 sq mi)|
|• Metro||808 km2 (312 sq mi)|
|Population (2011 census)|
|• Density||2,805/km2 (7,260/sq mi)|
|Time zone||EET (UTC+2)|
|• Summer (DST)||EEST (UTC+3)|
|Area code(s)||+40 x32|
Iași (Romanian pronunciation: [jaʃʲ]; also historically referred to as Jassy or Iassy) is one of the largest cities and municipalities in Romania. Located in the Moldavia region, Iași has traditionally been one of the leading centres of Romanian social, cultural, academic and artistic life. The city was the capital of the Principality of Moldavia from 1564 to 1859, then of the United Principalities from 1859 to 1862, and the capital of Romania from 1916 to 1918.
Known as The Cultural Capital of Romania, Iași is a symbol in Romanian history. The historian Nicolae Iorga said "There should be no Romanian who does not know of it". Still referred to as The Moldavian Capital, Iași is the seat of Iași County and the main economic centre of the Romanian region of Moldavia.
As of 2011, Iași itself has a population of 263,410 (the most populous in eastern Romania, and the fourth most populous Romanian city), the metropolitan area is home to about 350,000 residents, while the population of the peri-urban area exceeds 500,000 residents. Home to the first Romanian university and to the first engineering school, it is the second largest university centre in the country and accommodates over 75,000 students in 5 public and 7 private universities. The social and cultural life revolves around the Vasile Alecsandri National Theater (the oldest in Romania), the Moldova State Philharmonic, the Opera House, the Tătărași Athenaeum, a famous Botanical Garden (the oldest and largest in Romania), the Central University Library (the oldest in Romania), the high quality cultural centres and festivals, an array of museums, memorial houses, religious and historical monuments.
The city is historically referred to as:
Note: The i at the end of the Romanian name of the town is in essence silent in Romanian, but it is sounded in most other languages.
Scholars have different theories on the origin of the name "Iași". Some argue that the name originates with the Sarmatian tribe Iazyges (of Iranian origin; possibly connected to the Yaz culture of Eastern Iran), one mentioned by Ovid as Latin: "Ipse vides onerata ferox ut ducata Iasyx/ Per media Histri plaustra bubulcus aquas" and "Iazyges et Colchi Metereaque turba Getaque/ Danubii mediis vix prohibentur aquis".
A now lost inscription on a Roman milestone found near Osijek, Croatia by Matija Petar Katančić in the 18th century, mentions the existence of a Jassiorum municipium, or Municipium Dacorum-Iassiorum from other sources.
Another explanation is that the name originated from the Iranian Alanic tribe of Jassi. The Prut river was called by Jassic people as Alanus fluvius and the city as Forum Philistinorum,,. The Hungarian name of the city (Jászvásár) literally means "Jassic Market"; the antiquated Romanian name, Târgul Ieșilor (and the once-favoured Iașii), may indicate the same meaning.
Oral sources say that the name may come from an archaic form of the Romanian word "to exit" because the city was an important trade node in the region.
|This section requires expansion. (October 2011)|
Archaeological investigations attest the presence of human communities on the present territory of the city and around it as far back as the prehistoric age. Later settlements included those of the Cucuteni-Trypillian culture, a late Neolithic archaeological culture.
The name of the city is first officially mentioned in a document about commercial privilege granted by the Moldavian Prince (Voivode) Alexandru cel Bun to the Polish merchants of Lvov in 1408. However, as buildings older than 1408 existed and still exist (for example the Armenian Church originally believed to be built in 1395), it is believed that the city existed long before its first mentioning.
Around 1564, Prince Alexandru Lăpușneanu moved the Moldavian capital from Suceava to Iași. Between 1561 and 1563, a school and a Lutheran church were founded by the Greek adventurer Prince, Ioan Iacob Heraclid.
In 1640, Vasile Lupu established the first school in which the mother-tongue replaced Greek, and set up a printing press in the Byzantine Trei Ierarhi Church (Church of the Three Hierarchs; built 1635–39). In 1643, the first volume ever printed in Moldavia was issued in Iași.
Through the Peace of Iași, the sixth Russo-Turkish War was brought to a close in 1792. A Greek revolutionary maneuver and occupation under Alexander Ypsilanti (Αλέξανδρος Υψηλάντης) and the Filiki Eteria (Φιλική Εταιρία) (1821, at the beginning of the Greek War of Independence) led to the storming of the city by the Turks in 1822. In 1844 there was a severe conflagration.
Between 1564 and 1859, the city was the capital of Moldavia; then, between 1859 and 1862, both Iași and Bucharest were de facto capitals of the United Principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia. In 1862, when the union of the two principalities was recognized under the name of Romania, the national capital was established in Bucharest. For the loss caused to the city in 1861 by the removal of the seat of government to Bucharest the constituent assembly voted 148,150 lei to be paid in ten annual instalments, but no payment was ever made.
During World War I, Iași was the capital of a severely reduced Romania for two years, following the Central Powers' occupation of Bucharest on 6 December 1916. The capital was returned to Bucharest after the defeat of Imperial Germany and its allies in November 1918. In November–December 1918 Iași hosted the Jassy Conference.
Iași also figures prominently in Jewish history, with the first documented presence of Sephardi Jews from the late 16th century. The oldest tomb inscription in the local cemetery probably dates to 1610. By mid-19th century, owing to widespread Russian Jewish and Galician Jewish immigration into Moldavia, the city was at least one-third Jewish.
In 1855, Iași was the home of the first-ever Yiddish-language newspaper, Korot Haitim, and, in 1876, the site of what was arguably the first-ever professional Yiddish theater performance, established by Avraham Goldfaden. The words of HaTikvah, the national anthem of Israel, were written in Iași by Naftali Herz Imber. Jewish musicians in Iași played an important role as preservers of Yiddish folklore, as performers and composers.
According to the 1930 census, with a population of 34,662 (some 34%) out of the total of 102,872, Jews were the second largest ethnic group in Iași. There were over 127 synagogues.
After World War II, in 1947, there were about 38,000 Jews living in Iași. During the Postbellum period, Iași played a prominent part in the revival of Yiddish culture in Romania, and, from 1949 to 1963, it was home to a second company of the State Jewish Theater. The intellectuals of Iași included many Jewish academics, scientists, writers, journalists, doctors, lawyers, and engineers. However, the number of Jews continued to drop because of massive emigration to Israel and, in 1975, there were about 3,000 Jews living in Iași and four synagogues were active.
Currently, Iași has a dwindling Jewish population of ca. 300 to 600 members and two working synagogues, one of which, the 1671 Great Synagogue, is the oldest surviving synagogue in Romania. Outside of the city on top of a hill there is a large Jewish Cemetery which has graves dating from the late 19th century; burial records date from 1915 to the present day and are kept in the community center. Since 1996, an annual publication on the history of the Jews in Romania, Studia et acta historiae Iudaeorum Romaniae, has been published by the local history and archeology institutes of the Romanian Academy. There is also a Jewish community center serving kosher meals from a small cantina.
The pogrom lasted from 29 June to 6 July 1941, and over 13,266 people, or one third of the Jewish population, were massacred in the pogrom itself or in its aftermath, and many were deported. The pogrom began as a diversionary tactic. Due to its proximity to the Soviet border, the city's Jewish population was accused of aiding the Bolsheviks, and rumors were promoted among the general population that the Jews were anti-Romanian. The pretext for the pogrom included a minor Soviet air attack on the city on 26 June 1941, two days after Romanian and German forces attacked the Soviet Union.
After a second air attack two days later, the 14th Infantry Division, led by General Stavrescu declared its mission of eradicating "those who are aiding the enemy". In a telegram, Stavrescu wrote that the Russian aviators "had accomplices among the Judeo-communist suspects of Iași." Under express orders from military dictator and German ally Ion Antonescu, the city was to be "cleansed" of its Jewish population. Orders also specified that Section Two of the General Headquarters of the Romanian Army and the Special Intelligence Service (SIS) of Romania were to spread rumors of Jewish treachery in the press, including ones that Jews were guiding Soviet military aircraft by placing lights in their houses' chimneys.
A systematic massacre by the Iași police, Romanian and German soldiers, and a portion of the citizens of Iași followed and at least 8,000 Jews were killed; more than 5,000 Jews were loaded onto overcrowded, sealed "death trains" that drove slowly back and forth across the country in the hot summer weather until most of their passengers were killed by hyperthermia, thirst, or infection and bleeding.
Six Romanians of Iași are credited with saving around one hundred Jews (see Righteous Among the Nations).
In May 1944, the Iași area became the scene of ferocious fighting between Romanian-German forces and the advancing Soviet Red Army and the city was partially destroyed. The German Panzergrenadier Division Großdeutschland won a defensive victory at the Battle of Târgul Frumos, near Iași, which was the object of several NATO studies during the Cold War. By 20 August, Iași had been taken by Soviet forces.
Iași experienced two waves of industrialization, in 1950-1970 and 1970-1989. During these periods of time, Iași received numeruous migrants from rural regions, and the urban area expanded. The socialist period saw a growth of 234.55% in population and 68.83% in area in Iași. By 1989, Iași had become highly industrialized, with chemical, pharmaceutical, metallurgical, heavy equipment, textile, food, energy, and furniture industries. However, the urban planning was sometimes arbitrary and followed by dysfunctions.
Located in the North-East of Romania, between the Iași Ridge (Romanian: Coasta Iașilor) (the northern-most hill formation of the Bârlad Plateau) and the Jijia Plain, Iași used to be the crossroads place of the commercial routes that passed through Moldavia coming from Kingdom of Poland, Habsburg Monarchy, Tsardom of Russia and Constantinople.
The city lies on the Bahlui River, a tributary of the Jijia (tributary of the Prut). The surrounding country is one of uplands and woods, featuring monasteries and parks. Iași itself stands amid vineyards and gardens, partly on hills, partly in the in-between valley.
|Record high °C (°F)||16.7
|Average high °C (°F)||−0.1
|Daily mean °C (°F)||−3.7
|Average low °C (°F)||−6.9
|Record low °C (°F)||−30.6
|Precipitation mm (inches)||32
|Snowfall cm (inches)||11.3
|Avg. precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm)||6||6||6||8||8||9||9||5||5||5||6||7||80|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||68.2||79.1||127.1||171.0||235.6||255.0||272.8||269.7||207.0||155.0||72.0||55.8||1,968.3|
|Source #1: Hong Kong Observatory, (extremes 1901-2000)|
|Source #2: NOAA (snow only)|
Iași has a humid, continental-type climate (Köppen climate classification "Dfb" — summer wetter than winter, European subtype) with four distinct seasons. Summers are warm with temperatures sometimes exceeding 32 °C (90 °F) while winters are cold and windy with moderate snowfall and temperatures at night sometimes dropping below −10 °C (14 °F). Average monthly precipitation ranges from about 25 mm (1 in) in October to 100 mm (4 in) in June.
With historical monuments, 500-year-old churches and monasteries, contemporary architecture, many of them listed on the National Register of Historic Monuments, Iași is an outstanding educational center. Pieces of architecture include the Trei Ierarhi Monastery, part of the tentative list of UNESCO World Heritage Site, or the neo-Gothic Palace of Culture, built on the old ruins of the mediaeval Princely Court of Moldavia.
During World War II and the Communist era many historical buildings in the old city center (around Union Square area) were destroyed or demolished, and replaced by International style buildings and also a new mainly Mid-Century modern style Civic Centre was built around the Old Market Square (The Central Hall).
Other buildings include:
Iași is the seat of the Romanian Orthodox Metropolitan of Moldavia and Bukovina, and of the Roman Catholic Bishop of Iași. There are currently almost 10,000 Roman Catholics living in Iași. There is a debate between historians as to whether the Catholics are originally of Romanian or Hungarian descent.
The city and the surrounding area house more than 10 monasteries and 100 historical churches. Among the oldest is Princely Saint Nicholas (1491), dating from the reign of Stephen the Great, and the Metropolitan Cathedral is the largest of its kind in Romania. The Three Holy Hierarchs Monastery, a unique monument, considered to be an architectural masterpiece, was erected in 1635–1639 by Vasile Lupu, and adorned with gilded carvings on its outer walls and twin towers.
Other examples of churches and monasteries (some of them surrounded by defense walls and towers) include: Socola (1562), Galata (1582), Saint Sava (1583), Hlincea (1587), Aroneanu (1594), Bârnova (1603), Barnovschi (1627), Golia (1650), Cetățuia (1668), Frumoasa (1726), Saint Spiridon (1747), Old Metropolitan Cathedral (1761), Bărboi (1843 with 18th-century bell tower), Bucium (1853).
Iași has a diverse array of public spaces, from city squares to public parks.
Begun in 1833, at the time when Iași was the capital of Moldavia, by Prince Mihail Sturdza and under the plans of Gheorghe Asachi and Mihail Singurov, Copou Park was integrated into the city and marks one of the first Romanian coordinated public parks. The oldest monument in Romania stands in the middle of the park, the Obelisk of Lions (1834), a 13.5 m (44.29 ft) tall obelisk, dedicated to the Law of Organic Rules, the first law on political, administrative and juridical organization in Romanian Principalities.
Founded in 1856, the Botanical Garden of Iași, the first botanical garden in Romania, has an area of over 100 hectares, and more than 10,000 species of plants.
The Ciric Park, located in the north-eastern part of Iași is another complex which consists into the park and four lakes.
Major events in the political and cultural history of Moldavia are connected with the name of the city of Iași. The great scholars of the 17th century Grigore Ureche, Miron Costin and later Ion Neculce, wrote most of their works in the city or not far from it and the famous scholar Dimitrie Cantemir known throughout all Europe also linked his name to the capital of Moldavia.
The first newspaper in Romanian language was published in 1829 in Iași and it is in Iași where, in 1867, appeared under literary society Junimea, the Convorbiri literare review in which Ion Creangă’s Childhood Memories and the best poems by Mihai Eminescu were published. The reviews Contemporanul and Viața Românească appeared in 1871, respectively in 1906 with great contributions to promoting Romanian national cultural values.
Many great personalities of Romanian culture are connected to Iași: the chronicler Nicolae Milescu, the historians and politics men Mihail Kogălniceanu or Simion Bărnuțiu, the poets Vasile Alecsandri or George Topârceanu, the writers Mihail Sadoveanu, Alecu Russo, or Ionel Teodoreanu, the literary critic Titu Maiorescu, the historian A.D. Xenopol, the philosophers Vasile Conta or Petre Andrei, the sociologist Dimitrie Gusti, the geographer Emil Racoviță, the painter Octav Băncilă, only to name a few.
The "Vasile Alecsandri" National Theatre, opened in 1840, is the first National Theatre in Romania. The building, designed according to the plans of the Viennese architects Hermann Helmer and Ferdinand Fellner, was raised between 1894 and 1896, and also hosts, starting 1956, the Iași Romanian National Opera.
Iași is also home to:
Iași is home to many museums, memorial houses, art galleries.
First Memorial House from Romania opened in Iași in 1918 as Ion Creangă Memorial House, and today the Iași Romanian Literature Museum owns twelve memorial houses. The Mihai Eminescu Museum is situated in Copou Park and it is dedicated to the great poet’s life and creation. Other museums are dedicated to: Dosoftei, Mihail Kogălniceanu, Vasile Pogor, Nicolae Gane, Petru Poni, Mihai Codreanu, Mihail Sadoveanu, George Topîrceanu, Otilia Cazimir, Radu Cernătescu.
The Theatre Museum, opened in 1976, at the celebration of 160 years since the first theatrical performance in Romanian, illustrates the development of the theatrical phenomenon since the beginning, important moments of the history of Iași National Theatre, the foundation, in 1840, of the Philharmonic-dramatic Conservatoire, prestigious figures that have contributed to the development of the Romanian theatre.
The Natural History Museum, founded on 4 February 1834, is the first museum of this kind in Romania with over 300,000 items, the most valuable being the collections of insects, mollusk, amphibians, reptiles, birds, plants and minerals.
Four other museums are located in the Palace of Culture, The Art Museum has the largest art collection in Romania, with more than 8,000 paintings, out of which 1,000 belong to the national and universal patrimony, The Moldavia's History Museum, offers more than 35,000 objects from various fields, archaeology, numismatics, decorative art, ancient books, documents, The Ethnographic Museum of Moldavia owns more than 11,000 objects depicting the Romanian advance through the ages and The Science and Technology Museum with five distinct sections and one memorial house.
Periferic is an international biennial of contemporary art organized in Iași, Romania by the Vector Association. Eight editions have taken place thus far.
Iași is an important economic centre in Romania. The local and regional economy relies on service sector institutions and establishments. The most important sectors are related to education, health care, banking, research, culture, government and tourism.
The city is an important information technology sector centre, with the presence of several international companies, such as Amazon.com, Bitdefender, Continental VDO, Embarcadero Technologies, Ness Technologies, Comodo Group, Bentley Systems, SCC, Capgemini or Pentalog, as well as two universities which offer specific degree programs.
Iași is active in manufacturing sector too, particularly in automotive, pharmaceutical industry, metallurgical production, textiles and clothing, constructions, wine, preserved meat.
With large shopping malls and commercial centres located in the area, Iași also has a well-developed retail business.
|St. Spiridon University Hospital||Health Care||2,717|
|Alexandru Ioan Cuza University||High Education||2,263|
|Delphi Diesel Systems||Automotive||2,087|
|Gheorghe Asachi Technical University||High Education||1,848|
|Antibiotice SA||Pharmaceutical Industry||1,418|
|University of Medicine and Pharmacy||High Education||1,344|
|CET||Energy & Heating Industry||1,200|
|St. Maria Clinic Children's Hospital||Health Care||1,200|
|ApaVital SA||Water Industry||1,200|
|Historical population of Iași|
According to the 2002 Romanian census, there were 109,357 housing units and 320,888 people living within the city of Iași. Additionally there were 60,000 more residents (mostly students) and thousands of daily commuters.
Iași Metropolitan Area has a population of 349,992, an area of 808 km² and includes the municipality of Iași and 13 other nearby communities, while the population of the peri-urban area exceeds 500,000 residents.
The first institute of higher learning that functioned on the territory of Romania was Academia Vasiliană (1640) founded by Prince Vasile Lupu as a "higher school for Latin and Slavonic languages", followed by the Princely Academy in 1707.
The first high education structure in Romanian language was established in the autumn of 1813, when engineer Gheorghe Asachi laid the foundations of a class of engineers, its activities taking place within the Greek Princely Academy.
After 1813, other moments marked the development of higher education in Romanian language, regarding both humanities and the technical science. In 1835, Academia Mihăileană founded by Prince Mihail Sturdza is considered first Romanian superior institute in the country.
In 1860, three faculties part of the Academia Mihăileană formed the nucleus for the newly-established University of Iași, the first Romanian university.
The Physicians and Naturalists Society, founded in Iași, has existed since the early part of the 19th century, and a number of periodicals are published. One of the oldest medical universities in Romania, founded in 1879, is in Iași. It is now known as the Grigore T. Popa University of Medicine and Pharmacy.
In 1937, the two applied science sections of the University of Iași became departments of the newly created Gheorghe Asachi Polytechnic School. In the period before and after World War II, the later (renamed Polytechnic Institute in 1948) extended its domain of activity, especially in the field of engineering, and became adopted a Technical University in 1993.
Public universities include:
Besides the universities, there are schools of art and music.
The Central University Library of Iași, where the chief records of Romanian history are preserved, is the oldest and the second largest in Romania.
Iași is home to at least 15 hospitals, including the St. Spiridon Hospital, the second largest and one of the oldest in Romania, St. Maria Clinic Children's Hospital, Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases, Regional Oncology Institute and Socola Psychiatric University Hospital.
|This section requires expansion. (May 2012)|
|Basketball||Men's Divizia A||Politehnica Iași||Sala Polivalentă|
|Basketball||Women's Divizia A||Politehnica Național Iași||Sala Polivalentă|
|Football||Liga I||CSM Studențesc Iași||2010||Emil Alexandrescu Stadium|
|Handball||Women's Liga Naţională||Terom Iași||Sala Polivalentă|
|Rugby||SuperLiga||Poli Agro Unirea Iași||1964||Agronomia Stadium|
|Volleyball||Women's Divizia A2||ACS Penicilina Iași||Sala Polivalentă|
Iași-Pașcani railway was opened on 1 June [O.S. 20 May] 1870, Iași-Ungheni on 1 August 1874 and Iași-Chișinău railway was opened on 1 June 1875 by the Russian Empire in preparation for the Russo-Turkish War (1877–1878).
Nowadays, three railway stations, Great Railway Station, Nicolina International Rail Station and Socola Rail Station serve the city and are operated by Romanian Railways (CFR). Moldovan railway also serves these stations for travel into Moldova.
The Great Railway Station, located about 1 km to the city centre, provides direct rail connections to all the major Romanian cities and to Chișinău. The rail stations are very well connected to all the parts of the city by the trams and buses of the local public transport companies.
Iași is connected by European routes E583/E85 with Bucharest through a four lane express road, by European route E58 with Central Europe and Chişinău in Moldova, and by DN National Roads with all major cities of Romania. It is also planned an East–West freeway connection to A3 Transylvania Motorway.
The Iași Coach Station is used by several private transport companies to provide coach connections from Iași to a large number of locations from all over the country.
Two operators, the local public transport company, RATP Iași, and Unistil, a private company, provide public transit within the Iași city and operate an extensive network using 150 trams (electric trams began operating in Iași in 1900) and 150 buses. In the first 3 months of 2007, RATP carried 11,365,819 passengers, an average of 128,000 passengers per day.
Iași is twinned with:
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