Palace of Culture (Iași)

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Palace of Culture
Palatul Culturii
Palatul Culturii Iași.jpg
Palace of Culture - panorama
General information
Architectural style neo-Gothic
Town or city Iaşi
Country  Romania
Coordinates 47°09′27″N 27°35′13″E / 47.15739°N 27.58695°E / 47.15739; 27.58695
Construction started 1906
Completed 1925
Client City of Iași
Design and construction
Architect Ion D. Berindei

The Palace of Culture (Romanian: Palatul Culturii) is an edifice located in Iaşi, Romania. The building served as Administrative Palace and then Palace of Justice until 1955, when its destination was changed again, being assigned to the four museums nowadays united under the name of Moldova National Museum Complex. Also, the building houses the Cultural Heritage Conservation-Restoration Centre, the main branch of the Gheorghe Asachi Iași County Library and hosts various exhibitions and other events.

The Palace of Culture is listed in the National Register of Historic Monuments.[1]


The former neoclassical residence of the Moldavian Princes

The construction, started in 1906, was partly built on the old ruins of the mediaeval Royal Court of Moldavia (1434), and partly on top of the foundations of the former neoclassical style palace, dated to the time of Prince Alexandru Moruzi (1806), rebuilt by Prince Mihail Sturdza and dismantled in 1904. It was from this latter building that the Palace inherited the legend of the 365 rooms, as many as the days within one year.[2]

The Romanian architect I.D. Berindei was assigned to plan the building and he designed it in flamboyant neo-Gothic style. During World War I, the construction halted due to the limitation of resources. The monument was completed on 11 October 1925, an inaugurated, one year later, by King Ferdinand I of Romania.

The Palace has 298 large rooms with a total area of over 36,000 m2 (390,000 sq ft), 92 windows in the front part of the building and another 36 inside the building.[3]

Decoratively, the central hall shows a figurative mosaic including various representations of a gothic bestiary, concentrically arranged: two-headed eagles, dragons, griffons, lions. The hall is superposed by a glass ceiling room, where initially a greenhouse was arranged.

Moldova National Museum Complex[edit]

A closer view

The "Moldova" National Museum Complex hosts four museums located in the Palace of Culture: Art Museum, Moldavia's History Museum, Ethnographic Museum of Moldavia, and "Ștefan Procopiu" Science and Technique Museum. The Museums also comprise their own stores and libraries, as well as halls for temporary exhibitions.[4]

Art Museum[edit]

The Art Museum, founded in 1860, is the oldest and has the largest art collection in Romania, with more than 8,700 works, out of which 1,000 belong to the national and universal patrimony.[5][6] The gallery contains works by artists such as Caravaggio, Paolo Veronese, Pietro Liberi, Carlo Dolci, Salvator Rosa, Francesco Solimena, Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, Anthony van Dyck, Jan Both, Bartholomeus van der Helst, Egbert van Heemskerk II, Nicolas Poussin, Philippe de Champaigne, Eustache Le Sueur, Guillaume Coustou, François Boucher, and many others.

Moldavia's History Museum[edit]

The Moldavia's History Museum was founded in 1916 and offers more than 48,000 objects from various fields: archaeology, numismatics, decorative art, ancient books, documents, etc.[6] One of the oldest items, a 70,000-year-old mammoth skull, is from the Middle Palaeolithic Era. Among other items of significance are pottery from the Cucuteni culture, Dacian, Sarmatian, Gothic, and Roman artifacts, and armory and other items of the Middle Ages.[7]

The "Union Museum" and "Mihail Kogălniceanu Memorial Museum", in Iași, "Al. I. Cuza Memorial Palace" in Ruginoasa, and the "Archaeological Reserve of Cucuteni", are also coordinated by the Moldavia's History Museum.

Ethnographic Museum of Moldavia[edit]

The Ethnographic Museum of Moldavia, founded in 1943, owns more than 13,000 objects depicting the Romanian advance through the ages.[6]

The museum, also, coordinates the Wine and Vineyard Museum in Hârlău.

Science and Technology Museum[edit]

The "Ștefan Procopiu" Science and Technique Museum, with a collection of more than 8,500 objects,[6] was founded in 1955 as the "Polytechnical Museum" and renamed, in 1994, after the physicist Ștefan Procopiu. It is home to Energetics, Sound Recording and Playback (unique within Romania), Telecommunications, Mineralogy - Cristalography, and Computers sections.[8]

The "Poni-Cernătescu" Memorial Museum in Iași, is also under the direct coordination of the Science and Technique Museum.



External links[edit]

Coordinates: 47°09′27″N 27°35′13″E / 47.15739°N 27.58695°E / 47.15739; 27.58695