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You are here: Home 4 City of Iasi4 Tourism4 Churches and monasteries

The Metropolitan Cathedral

Bishop Veniamin Costache is the one who had the idea of building in Iasi a monumental church. The plan for this church was designed by the architects Johann Freywald and Bucher. The works took place first between 1833-1839 and then between 1880-1887, this time following the plans of the Romanian architect, Alexandru Orascu. The painting of the cathedral was done by Gheorghe Tattarescu.

It was inaugurated on 23April 1887, at this event also taking part King Carol I and Bishop Iosif Naniescu.

In 1889 the relics of Saint Paraschiva were brought from Three Hierarchs Church to the new cathedral.


Barboi Church

Barboi Church was built between 1841-1844 on the foundation of an old church dating from 1615. The Byzantine interior was built from rock and brick. The portico, held by Doric columns, is created in Classical style, while the spire presents neo-Gothic Roman elements. Because of its form and dimensions, Barboi Church is the Moldavian replica of some similar buildings on Mount Athos .

Writer Alecu Russo and sovereign Ioan Sandu Sturdza were buried in the church’s court, and in the tower was found the library of writer Costache Conachi. At this church Ion Creanga was curate during 1863-1865.

Golia Monastery

Old foundation from the 16 century of chancellor Ioan Golia, the church was restored at other dimensions by sovereign Vasile Lupu between 1650-1653 and finished by his son, Stefanita Voda.

The monastery is surrounded by a high wall, with spires at the corners raised in 1667 and a steeple tower restored in 1900.

The tower of Golia is 30 m height. The visitor who wants to have a panorama of the city has to climb 120 stairs. The tower is one of city’s symbols.

During 1943-1947 restoration works took place at Golia, the monastery’s church being reopened after that.

In 1955, in two rooms on the Eastern part of the precinct, “Creanga” Museum was inaugurated, with documentary materials regarding the life of the great writer which was curate of monastery’s church.

Cetatuia Monastery

Cetatuia Monastery was built by sovereign Gheorghe Duca between 1669-1672. At the beginning, the church was surrounded by high rock walls, with bulwarks and a guard road, entrance and corner towers.

What makes Cetatuia unique is that it has maintained the whole ensemble of monastic architecture. On the Southern part of the precinct stands the Gothic Room “Doamna Anastasia”. The royal palace is a fortified building from the 17 century. The steeple tower and the massiveness of the walls are proving the fact that the monastery was conceived also as a refuge place, being in case of need, a real fortress.

The monastery’s church is specific for the religious Moldavian architecture of the 17century.

The monastic ensemble which was restored in the inter-war period at Nicolae Iorga’s request also includes a museum with numerous religious objects.


“Three Hierarchs” Monastery

“Three Hierarchs” Monastery is the most beautiful foundation of sovereign of Vasile Lupu, prince of Moldavia , built between 1637-1639.
During 1882-1904 restoration works took place under the supervision of the French architect Lecomte de Nouy. The exterior decorations completely covering the building were gilded at the beginning, and combine Turkish, Arab, Georgian, Armenian and Persian elements with Romanian architectural motives in a wonderful rock lace. Over 30 registers of decorative motifs can be noticed.
Inside the monastery, members of Vasile Lupu’s family, Dimitrie Cantemir and Alexandru Ioan Cuza are buried.

Frumoasa Monastery

It was built between 1726-1733 in the traditional style.
It became a unitary ensemble, created in the Classical style, during four decades. In 1753 Matei Ghica founded on Frumoasa hill a monastery in the precinct of which there were a church, a royal palace and a steeple tower included in the walls.
The today’s church was built between 1833-1836 at Grigore Ghica’s request. The steeple tower with extremely beautiful elements marks the entrance in Frumoasa Monastery’s precinct.

Galata Monastery

The church was built between 1579-1584 by prince Petre Schiopul.
The first church of the monastery was ruined after a short time, this fact determining the founder to build a second church on the hill dominating Nicolina river valley, in 1583. As regards the name of the monastery, some historians believe that it comes from the name of Galata neighbourhood in Constantinople . The interior painting was destroyed in 1762 during a blaze and it was repainted in 1811 by Vasile Dubrovski.
The palace founded by Petru Schiopu was kept in the monastery’s precinct in a good form after the restoration.

Barnovschi Church

Barnovschi Church was built in 1672 by Miron Barnovschi. From the old buildings, only the church with specific Moldavian architecture, the steeple tower and the parochial house are still preserved.
The interior painting of the church dates from 1880. The 1786, 1836, 1880’s intervention works did not bring just little modification, but also some restorations. The porch is, for sure, a Baroque addition from the 18 century.

“Saint Sava” Church

The first information concerning it dates from 1583 when a little church was built with the help of sprince Petru Schiopu. In 1625, boyar Enache Caragea built the present “Saint Sava” church, in Oriental style. Between 1676-1678, during prince Antonie Russet, the wall surrendering the monastery was built. Destroyed by time, the church was restored in two important steps: in 1820, when it was completely rebuilt and in 1844, when it was renewed. However, the monastery preserved its original Byzantine character of the 17, unique in the Moldavian architecture.

 “Saint Spiridon” Church

Today’s “Saint Spiridon” Church was built between 1805-1807 on the place of an older and smaller church which was seriously damaged by the earthquake on 26th October 1802 . according to the rotive in the church porch, written in Romanian with Cyrillic letters and dating from 1847, on this place were also built, in time, other three churches. These ones suffered either because of some natural phenomena, either because of foreign occupation. The steeple tower of the church dates from 1786. Its architecture was influenced by the decorative elements of the Russian Baroque. In the inferior part of the steeple tower there are two water pumps with the sovereign’s mark on their frontispiece.

 “Saint Nicholas” Church

It was built at the initiative of sovereign Stefan cel Mare between of June 1491- of August 1492. It is considered the oldest religious edifice preserved in Iasi until now.
The today’s church is that of 1904. The restoration works were led by the French architect Lecomte du Nouy. He tried to keep both the style and the characteristics of the church built by Stefan cel Mare.

The Catholic Cathedral

The building of the old cathedral was first built from wood in 1753, on the place of an older church. Between 1782-1789, the church was rebuilt from brick and it remained so until these days. By the time, it suffered some restoration works, especially after the 1802’s earthquake and the blaze in 1827.
In 1861, at the initiative of bishop Iosif Salandri, some new works of restoration and extension were made and the interior of the church was painted by Giuseppe Carta from Palermo . White marble altars and via cruces icons were also brought. Today, near the old cathedral, one can see a new church, a very modern building, circular and which has in its central part an oblong spire finished by a cross.

The Armenian Church
A true historical monument, this church testifies the existence of an important Armenian community in these parts of Romania . Restored in 1803, this halidom lodges an array of rocks with inscriptions, one of them certifying the beginnings of the building in 1385 by Macar.
In 1451 the church was endowed with a Gospel written and illustrated in Caffa from Crimeea, 100 years before.

The Great Synagogue

 It was built between 1659-1670, is the oldest of Jewish praying houses in Romania . If in exterior it is very simple, without any decorations, the interior is as sophisticated as possible, decorated and gifted with valuable objects: chandeliers, candlesticks.

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