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From top left: Palace of Culture, Vasile Alecsandri Statue in front of the National Theatre, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, Golia Tower, Metropolitan Cathedral, and the Botanical Garden
Coat of arms of Iași
Coat of arms
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[1][2][3][4]
Iași is located in Romania
Location of Iași within Romania (in red)
Country  Romania
County Iași
Status Municipality
Settled before 14th century
First official record 1408
 • Acting Mayor Mihai Chirica (PSD)
 • City 93.9 km2 (36.3 sq mi)
 • Metro 808 km2 (312 sq mi)
Elevation 60 m (200 ft)
Population (2011 census[5])
 • City 290,422
 • Density 3,092/km2 (8,010/sq mi)
 • Metro 382,484
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
 • Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)
Postal Code 700xxx
Area code(s) +40 x32
Car Plates IS
Website .ro.primaria-iasiwww

Iași (; also referred to as Jassy or Iassy)[6][7] is the largest city in eastern Romania and the seat of Iași County. 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 [8] Still referred to as The Moldavian Capital, Iași is the main economic and business centre of the Moldavian region of Romania.[9]

As of 2011, the city proper has a population of 290,422, making it the fourth first engineering school, Iași is one of the most important education and research centres of the country, and accommodates over 60,000 students in 5 public universities.[12][13] 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.

In 2012, Iași was selected as one of the European Cities of Sport.[14] The city is also a candidate to become, in 2021, the European Capital of Culture.[15]


  • Etymology and names 1
  • History 2
    • Ancient times 2.1
    • Early development 2.2
    • Capital of Moldavia 2.3
    • Mid–19th to 20th century 2.4
    • Jewish community 2.5
    • World War II 2.6
    • Postwar era 2.7
  • Geography 3
    • Topography 3.1
    • Climate 3.2
  • Cityscape 4
    • Architecture 4.1
    • Monasteries and churches 4.2
    • Gardens, parks and natural landmarks 4.3
  • Cultural life 5
    • Theatres and orchestras 5.1
    • Museums 5.2
    • Foreign culture centres 5.3
    • Periferic Biennial 5.4
    • Media 5.5
  • Economy 6
    • Largest employers 6.1
  • Demographics 7
  • Education 8
  • Health 9
  • Sports teams 10
    • Current teams 10.1
    • Former teams 10.2
  • Transport 11
    • Public transport 11.1
    • Air 11.2
    • Rail 11.3
    • Road 11.4
  • Monuments and history 12
  • Twin towns — Sister cities 13
  • Consulates in Iași 14
  • People 15
  • References and sources 16
  • External links 17

Etymology and names

The city is historically referred to as:

An 1871 Romanian telegraph stamp using the historic name of Jassy.

Scholars have different theories on the origin of the name "Iași".[16] 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".[17]

A now lost inscription on a Roman milestone[18] found near Osijek, Croatia by Matija Petar Katančić in the 18th century, mentions the existence of a Jassiorum municipium,[19] or Municipium Dacorum-Iassiorum from other sources.[20]

Other explanations show that the name originated from the Iranian Alanic tribe of Jassi, having same origin with Yazyges tribes Jassic people. The Prut river was called as Alanus fluvius and the city as Forum Philistinorum.[21][22][23] From this population derived the plural of town name, "Iașii".

Another historian wrote that the Iasians lived among the Cumans and that they left the Caucasus after the first Mongolian campaign in the West, settling temporarily near the Prut. He asserts that the ethnic name of Jasz which is given to Iasians by Hungarians has been erroneously identified with Jazyges; also he shows that the word jasz is a Slavic loan word.[24] 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.


Coat of arms of the Principality of Moldavia at Cetățuia Monastery

Ancient times

Archaeological investigations attest to the presence of human communities on the present territory of the city and around it as far back as the prehistoric age.[20] Later settlements included those of the Cucuteni-Trypillian culture, a late Neolithic archaeological culture.

There is archaeological evidence of human settlements in the area of Iași dating from the 6th to 7th centuries (Curtea Domnească) and 7th to 10th centuries; these settlements contained rectangular houses with semicircular ovens.[25] Also a lot of vessels (9th-11th centuries) found in Iaşi had a cross, showing that inhabitants were Christians.[26]

Early development

The name of the city is first officially mentioned in a document about commercial privilege granted by the Moldavian Prince (Voivode) Alexander the Good 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.

Capital of Moldavia

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.

Iași in the 1700s

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.

The city was burned down by the Tatars in 1513, by the Ottomans in 1538, and by Imperial Russian troops in 1686. In 1734, it was hit by the plague.

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.

Mid–19th to 20th century

Al. Lăpușneanu Street
Union Square

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.

Jewish community

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.[27] By the 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.[27]

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.[28] 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,[29] has been published by the local history and archeology institutes of the Romanian Academy.[27] There is also a Jewish community center serving kosher meals from a small cantina.

World War II

During the war, while the full scale of the Holocaust remained generally unknown to the Allied Powers, the Iași pogrom stood as one of the known examples of Axis brutality toward the Jews.

The pogrom lasted from 29 June to 6 July 1941, and over 13,266 people,[30] 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."[31] 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.[32]

A systematic massacre by the Iași police, Romanian and German soldiers, and a portion of the citizens of Iași followed. On "Black Sunday," the Jews were summoned to the yard of the police headquarters. Thousands were shot dead on the spot and at least 8,000 Jews were killed there.[33] More than 5,000 Jews were then 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.[30] The first of the two death trains consisted, by varying accounts, of somewhere between 33-39 cars with 2,430 to 2,590 passengers total. The second train held approximately 1,902 Jews in 18 cars.[34]

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.[35]

Postwar era

Iași experienced a major wave of industrialization, in 1955-1975.[36] During this period of time, it received numerous migrants from rural regions, and the urban area expanded.[37] The socialist period saw a growth of 235% in population and 69% in area in Iași; however, the urban planning was sometimes arbitrary and followed by dysfunctions.[38]

By 1989, Iași had become highly industrialized, with 108,000 employees (representing 47% of the total workforce) active in 46 large state-owned enterprises, in various industries: chemical, pharmaceutical, metallurgical, heavy equipment, electronics, textile, food, energy, building materials, furniture.[39][40]



Panoramic view of the Copou Hill

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.

It is a common belief that Iași is built on seven hills (Romanian: coline): Cetățuia, Galata, Copou-Aurora, Bucium-Păun, Șorogari, Repedea and Breazu, thus triggering comparisons with Rome.


Climate data for Iași, Romania
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
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
Average precipitation mm (inches) 32
Average snowfall cm (inches) 11.3
Average precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm) 6 6 6 8 8 9 9 5 5 5 6 7 80
Mean monthly sunshine hours 69.1 77.6 127.6 170.1 234.9 254.7 272.8 270.1 208.0 155.8 73.0 57.3 1,971
Source #1: NOAA[41]
Source #2: Romanian National Statistic Institute (extremes 1901-2000)[42]

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 (1.0 in) in October to 100 mm (3.9 in)in June.



The Palace of Culture and St. Nicholas princely church
Grand Hotel Traian (Union Square), designed and built by Gustave Eiffel

Iaşi features historical monuments, 500-year-old churches and monasteries, contemporary architecture, many of them listed on the National Register of Historic Monuments. Notable architecture includes 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).[36]

Central Hall Square
Cuza Palace, now the Union Museum

Other buildings include:

Monasteries and churches

Iași is the seat of the Romanian Orthodox Metropolitan of Moldavia and Bukovina, and of the Roman Catholic Bishop of Iași.

The city and the surrounding area house more than 10 monasteries and 100 historical churches.[43] 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,[44] 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).[45]

Gardens, parks and natural landmarks

Ciric Park

Iași has a diverse array of public spaces, from city squares to public parks.

Mihai Eminescu's statue and his Linden Tree in Copou Park

Begun in 1833, at the time when Iași was the capital of

  • Iași City Hall website
  • Iași at
  • Iasi
  • Street Map of Iași, as commissioned by the City Hall
  • Cultural events in Iași
  • Iași city Tourism
  • Iași City Portal
  • Events in Iași
  • I like Iași

External links

  • Public Domain This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain
  • National Institute of Statistics:
  1. ^ – 80th anniversary of the Great Union of 1918
  2. ^ – Iasi, the cultural city (Romanian)
  3. ^ – About Iasi at (Romanian)
  4. ^ Romanian Cities at (Romanian)
  5. ^ a b c
  6. ^ JASSY at
  7. ^
  8. ^ Tourism – About Iasi
  9. ^ About Iasi City
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^ History of Education in Romania
  13. ^ Metropolitan Area Iasi (Romanian)
  14. ^ European Capitals and Cities of Sport List at
  15. ^ Iasi 2021 - European Capital of Culture
  16. ^ The beginnings of Iasi (Romanian)
  17. ^
  18. ^ Museum Documentation Center Croatia, A Tractate on the Roman Milestone Discovered near Osijek
  19. ^
  20. ^ a b Orașul Iași: monografie istorică și socială (Romanian)
  21. ^ Alexandru I. Gonța, Românii și hoarda de aur, Editura Demiurg,Iași, 2010, p. 102
  22. ^ C.C. Giurescu, Târguri sau orașe și cetăti moldovene, București, 1967, p.242-245
  23. ^ Gh. Ghibănescu, Originile Iașilor, în „Arhiva”, Iași,1904, p.42-46
  24. ^ A.P. Horvath, Pechenegs, Cumans, Iasians, Hereditas, Budapest, 1989, p. 64
  25. ^ C. Cihodaru, G. Platon, Istoria orașului Iași, Editura Junimea, 1980, pp 30-50
  26. ^ Dan Gh. Teodor, Creştinismul la est de Carpaţi, Editura Mitopoliei Moldovei și Bucovinei, Iași, 1984, p.91,93,136
  27. ^ a b c Iași - YIVO Encyclopedia of Jews in Eastern Europe
  28. ^ a b Samuel Gruber's Jewish Art & Monuments, Romania: Iasi Synagogue in Restoration, May 31, 2010 [3]
  29. ^ Studia et acta historiae Iudaeorum Romaniae in libraries (WorldCat catalog)
  30. ^ a b Jewishgen
    The Iasi Pogrom at Radio Romania International
    Iasi Pogrom quotes 13,266 or 14,850 Jews killed.
  31. ^ Braham, Randolph "The destruction of Romanian and Ukrainian Jews During the Antonescu Era" Pages 63–85
  32. ^ United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
  33. ^
  34. ^
  35. ^ The last day of the war in Iasi (Romanian)
  36. ^ a b General View-The historical and architectural Iași (Romanian)
  37. ^
  39. ^
  40. ^ Studiu comparativ de caz despre industria ieşeană (Romanian)
  41. ^
  42. ^
  43. ^ a b c St. Paraskeve Pilgrimage Centre
  44. ^ Church of the Three Hierarchs Overview at
  45. ^ Churches & monasteries
  46. ^ The oldest monument in Romania
  47. ^ Pettersen, L. & Baker, M. . Romania. Lonely Planet Travel Guide. p. 262.
  48. ^ Iași - the county of centuries-old trees
  49. ^ HITECH Iași sau cum devine Iașul un magnet pentru investițiile din IT&C (Romanian)
  50. ^ Top 10 angajatori (Romanian)
  51. ^ Minivacanta pentru angajatii RATP Iasi (Romanian)
  52. ^ Delphi estimează o creştere a numărului de angajaţi (Romanian)
  53. ^ Angajări la centrul din Iaşi (Romanian)
  54. ^ Topul societăţilor, 2014 (Romanian)
  55. ^ a b c [Universitatea Al.I.Cuza Iași Ed. Litera, București 1971, pag.9–10](Romanian)
  56. ^ Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition
  57. ^ A Handbook of Roumania
  58. ^
  59. ^
  60. ^
  61. ^ About UPA (Romanian)
  62. ^ St.Spiridon Hospital History (Romanian)
  63. ^ Tot mai puţini ieşeni merg cu RATP-ul (Romanian)
  64. ^
  65. ^

References and sources


Honorary Consulates:

Consulates in Iași

with: twinned Iași is

Twin towns — Sister cities

Monuments and history

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.

Iași is connected by European routes E583/E85 with Bucharest through a four lane road, by European route E58 with Central Europe and Chişinău in Moldova, and by DN National Roads with all major cities of Romania. A planned East–West freeway should connect the city to the A3 Transylvania Motorway.


The Great Railway Station, located about 1 km (0.6 mi) from 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.

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.

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).


Iași is served by the Iași International Airport (IAS) located 8 km (5.0 mi) east of the city centre. The airport offers direct domestic, European, and Middle Eastern scheduled or charter connections.


Iași's main public transportation system is operated by the RATP Iași. RATP operates an extensive network using 150 trams (electric trams began operating in Iași in 1900) and 150 buses. Some bus routes are operated under contract by Unistil, a private company. In 2014, RATP carried 50,358,000 passengers, an average of 140,000 passengers per day.[63]

Public transport


Former teams

Sport League Club Founded Venue
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

Current teams

Sports teams

Iași is home to at least 15 hospitals, including the St. Spiridon Hospital, the second largest and one of the oldest in Romania (1755),[62] St. Maria Clinic Children's Hospital, Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases, Regional Oncology Institute, and Socola Psychiatric Institute (1905 - first psychiatric hospital in Romania).


The Central University Library of Iași, where the chief records of Romanian history are preserved, is the oldest and the second largest in Romania.

There are also some private higher education institutions including Petre Andrei University, the largest private university in the historical region of Moldavia.[61]

Public universities include:

In 1937, the two 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.

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 1860, three faculties part of the Academia Mihăileană formed the nucleus for the newly established University of Iași, the first Romanian university.

Gheorghe Asachi Technical University, Faculty of Machine Manufacturing

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.

The first high education structure in Greek Princely Academy.

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.


Iași Metropolitan Area has a population of 382,484 and includes the municipality of Iași and 13 other nearby communities.

In terms of religion, 92.5% of the population were Christian Orthodox, 4.9% Roman Catholic, other religious groups 2.6%. There are currently almost 10,000 Roman Catholics living in Iași.[59] There is a debate between historians as to whether the Catholics are originally of Romanian or Hungarian descent.[60]

Of this population, 98.5% were ethnic Romanians, while 0.59% were ethnic Romani, 0.13% Jews, 0.13% Greeks, 0.13% Lipovans, 0.08% Hungarians, 0.05% Germans and 0.39% others.[58]

According to the 2002 census, Iași is the second most populous Romanian city, and there were 109,357 housing units and 320,888 people living within the city proper. Additionally there were 60,000 more residents (mostly students) and thousands of daily commuters.

As per 2011 census, 290,422 inhabitants live within the city limits,[5] making it the fourth most populous city in Romania, while Iași County, with its 772,348 inhabitants, is the most populous county in Romania, after the Municipality of Bucharest.

Roznovanu Palace, today Iași City Hall
Historical population of Iași
Year Population
18th century ~30,000[55]
1831 59,880[55] 99.6%
1859 65,745[55] 9.8%
1900 78,067[56] 18.7%
1912 census 75,229[57] −3.6%
1930 census 102,872 36.7%
1948 census 96,075 −6.6%
1956 census 112,977 17.6%
1966 census 161,023 42.5%
1977 census 265,002 64.5%
1992 census 344,425 29.9%
2002 census 320,888 −6.8%
2011 census 290,422 −9.5%



Top 10 Employers
Company Industry Employees
Sf. Spiridon University Hospital Health care 2,717
Alexandru Ioan Cuza University High education 2,263
Gheorghe Asachi Technical University High education 1,848
Delphi Diesel Systems Automotive 1,778
Xerox Business Services România IT services 1,510
Antibiotice SA Pharmaceutical industry 1,465
University of Medicine and Pharmacy High Education 1,344
RATP Public transport 1,300
St. Maria Clinic Children's Hospital Health care 1,200
ApaVital SA Water industry 1,114

Largest employers

With large shopping malls and commercial centres located in the area, Iași also has a well-developed retail business.

Iași is active in manufacturing sector too, particularly in automotive, pharmaceutical industry, metallurgical production, textiles and clothing, constructions, wine, preserved meat.

The city is an important information technology sector centre, with the presence of several international companies, such as, Xerox, Bitdefender, Continental VDO, Embarcadero Technologies, Ness Technologies, Comodo Group, Bentley Systems, SCC, Capgemini or Pentalog,[49] as well as two universities which offer specific degree programs.

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.

Chamber of Commerce and Industry



Periferic is an international biennial of contemporary art organized in Iași, Romania by the Vector Association. Eight editions have taken place thus far.

Periferic Biennial

Iași hosts six cultural centres: French, German, British, Latin American & Caribbean, Hellenic, and Arab.

Foreign culture centres

French Institute in Iași

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.

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.

The Union Museum, includes original pieces and documents which belonged to prince Al. I. Cuza and his family.

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.

Mihai Codreanu Memorial House

Iași is home to many museums, memorial houses, art galleries.
First Memorial House from Romania opened in Iași in 1918 as Otilia Cazimir, Radu Cernătescu.

Ion Creangă Memorial House


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:

Theatres and orchestras

Many great personalities of Romanian culture are connected to Iași: the chronicler 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 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.

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.

Pogor House, the Romanian Literature Museum

Cultural life

Iași County has 387 centuries-old trees, of which 224 were declared monument trees and 160 got the Romanian Academy's approval and are proposed for such a classification. Most of them are oak or linden trees. The oldest tree in the county is the 675-year-old hybrid lime tree located in the courtyard of Bârnova Monastery, in the vicinity of Iași. When the lime was about 57 years old and had about 14 cm (5.5 in) in diameter, Iași was mentioned as an urban settlement, during the reign of Prince Alexander the Good (1408).[48]

Eminescu's Linden Tree (Romanian: Teiul lui Eminescu) is a 500 year old silver lime (Tilia tomentosa Moench) situated in the Copou Public Garden. Mihai Eminescu reportedly wrote some of his best works underneath this lime, rendering the tree one of Romania's most important natural monuments and a notable Iași landmark.[47] The Odd Poplers Alley, in Bucium neighborhood, is another spot where Mihai Eminescu sought inspiration (the poem "Down Where the Lonely Poplars Grow"). In 1973, the 15 white poplars still left (with the age ranges between 233 and 371 years) were declared natural monuments.

The Ciric Park, located in the north-eastern part of Iași is another complex which consists into the park and four lakes.

Iași Exhibition Park was opened in 1923 and built under the coordination of the architect N. Ghica Budești.

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.


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