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The Palace of Culture is a massive building.  The entrance is right down the middle, under the clock tower, marked as the highest part of the building, with the small towers.

Undulating texture marks the roofs.

The small windows mark the two floors.

In the left side and on the right you can feel representations of the side parts of the building. Various museum halls and rooms are located there.

Historical information

The building known today as the Palace of Culture is the host of Moldavia National Museum Complex in Iasi. [Bibliography 1]. It was built from 1906 to 1926, after the plans of the Romanian architect D. Berindei, replacing the former Princely Palace of Moldavia [Bibliography 2]. King Carol I promised to help the city of Iasi, because it wasn’t a capital anymore, after the 1859 Union, and he offered to help build a new administrative palace, to replace the old one, which burned down in 1878 . [Bibliography 3]. The builders partially used the foundations of the old palace, a neoclassical building, constructed by Prince Alexandru Moruzzi (1806-1812) and rebuilt by Prince Mihail Sturdza (1841-1843) [Bibliography 4]. The palace that stands today was inaugurated by King Ferdinand.

The style of the building is Neo-Gothic, very popular at the beginning of the XXth century, and the ornamentations on the inside were manufactured by Henri Coanda, who studied sculpture in Paris with the famous Auguste Rodin.  Bibliography 5]. The building was fitted with all modern amenities: electrical lightning, central heating (pneumatic), ventilation, thermostat, vacuum cleaners and the wood structure in the attic fire-proofed. Some of the decorative elements used are some figurative mosaics with concentric representations of gothic bestiary: the double-headed eagle, the dragon, the griffin and the lion [Bibliography 6]. In the central (donjon) tower of the Palace there is a three quadrant clock with a width of 3.25 meters, ornate with stained glass representing the 12 astrological signs, two medieval border guards are painted sideways, wearing folk (national) costumes [Bibliography 7]. The donjon tower is known as the Clock Tower, it is broadcasting hour by hour the „Hora Unirii” song, remembering the Romanian Union of 1859, but also The Great Romanian Union of 1918 [Bibliography 8]. The Palace is the last one of its kind (communal palaces) for the architect D. Berindei and also the most important of his works [Bibliography 9].

The building was used initially as County Law Court and Administrative Palace [Bibliography 10] and from 1955 onward it has become the Palace of Culture and it is home for 4 museums: the History Museum of Moldavia, the Museum of Science and Technology „Ştefan Procopiu”, the Art Museum and the Ethnographic Museum of Moldavia [Bibliography 11]. Just in front of the Palace there is the equestrian statue of Stephen the Great, produced in 1883 by Emmanuel Frémiet, from the original plans of Gh. Asachi, flanked by two Krupp guns, captured as trophies in the Independence War of 1977 (a gift from King Carol I) [Bibliography 12].

Nowadays the Palace Of Culture is home to the same four museums and the Cultural Heritage Conservation-Restoration Centre. The tourists can see the Voievodes’ Rooms (The Princes Rooms), considered the best room in the palace and the “Henri Coanda” Room, the place where the Jury Court used to function [Bibliography 13]. The Palace of Culture is the most representative building in the Iasi County, a real symbol of the city and of the community.

 

Bibliography

1, 13. http://palatulculturii.ro/, retrieved on 24. XI. 2018.

2, 5. Aurel Bejenaru, Elidia Agrigoroaiei, Memoria locurilor ieșene. Ghid Turistic, Comitetul de Cultură și Educație Socialistă al Județului Iași, 1974, p.124; p. 125.

3, 4, 6, 7, 11, 12. Antonio Sandu, Irina Morariu, Anamaria Boboc, Clădiri de patrimoniu în municipiul Iași, Editura Lumen, Iași, 2008, p. 15; p. 16; p. 18.

8, 9. Sorin Iftimi, Iașii. Simbolurile unui oraș simbol, Editura Trinutas, Iași, 2008, p. 122; p. 118.

  1. Monumente din municipiul și județul Iași. Ghid bibliografic, Comitetul de Cultură și Artă al Județului Iași, Biblioteca Municipiului Iași, 1969, p.65.

 

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