The Palace of Culture in Iaşi

Statuie Palatul-Culturii-Iasi  int2          int

The Palace of Culture IASI is one of the largest buildings of Romania, located in the city of Iaşi, Northeastern Romania. The Palace of Culture in Iaşi is the main attraction point of the Moldavian capital. 

The Palace was partly built on top of the ruins of the medieval princely courts, mentioned in a document of 1434, and partly on top of the foundations of the former (neoclassical) palace, dated to the time of ruling prince Alexandru Moruzzi (1806-1812), rebuilt by ruling prince Mihail Sturza (1841-1843) and finally demolished in 1904. It was from this later building that the Palace inherited the legend of the 365 rooms, as many as the days within one year. Actually, the palace counts 298 rooms and has a total room surface of about 36000 m².

The edifice was built between 1906 and 1925, it is designed in flamboyant neo-Gothic style, and is the most outstanding work of Romanian architect I.D. Berindei. In 1926 the Palace of Culture was opened by Ferdinand of Hohenzollern, the second king of modern Romania. During World War II, the Palace sheltered German troops, and then Soviet troops. Until 1955, the building housed the County Law Court, which had the furniture ordered from “Maple House” in London. Between 1975 and 1977 the wood bridging from the last floor was replaced with a cement one, fixed with steel netting. The new bridging sustained the monument during the earthquake of 1977, but the bridging from the first floor, the walls, the ornaments and the relief works were affected. Unfortunately, the consolidation and renovation works are not finished yet.

The entrance of the palace is through a great donjon tower, with crenels and alcoves dominated by an eagle with open wings. In the tower there is also a carillon clock that has an eight bells assembly that reproduces “Hora Unirii” (Hora of the Union) song every hour. In spite of its archaic-looking design, the Palace was designed so to integrate modern materials and technologies. Thus, the stone blocks were replaced with light and much cheaper materials. Besides, some rooms were decorated using a special material licensed by Henri Coanda, under the name of bois-ciment and imitating the oak wood. Decorative ironmongery elements are also remarkable and they can be admired for instance on the doors of the Voivodes’ Hall. The building was also equipped with high-tech facilities for those times, such as electric lighting, (pneumatic) heating, ventilation system, thermostat, vacuum cleaners, which were all directed from the machinery room, at the underground level. Taking also into account the 14 fires that affected the previous buildings, Berindei treated the wooden structure of the attic with an ignifugeous product called orniton, while for the roof he used a special material, named eternite.

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