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Thursday, 7 May 2015

Iasi: Palatul Culturii - The Palace Of Culture

Dear hearts,

Today I will tell you more about the city I was born in - about Iasi. I will speak to you about one of its symbols - The Palace of Culture, acknowledged as effigy of the city of Iasi, was built in the neogothic style and as such was one of the last expressions of Romanticism in the official architecture. 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.
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.
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 inaugurated on 11 October 1925 by King Ferdinand 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. 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 of Iași hosts four museums located in the Palace of Culture: The Museum of Art, The Museum of History, The Museum of Ethnography, and The Museum of Science and Technology. The Museums also comprise their own stores and libraries, as well as halls for temporary exhibitions.
As we speak, The Palace of Culture is closed for restoration within the Govern Programme for the Rehabilitation of Historical Monuments. The date of re-opening the museum is yet unknown. The Palace is part now of the Palas Mall environment and you can see the works openly. The back of the Palace, that faces the Mall, is redone - the facade was rebuild. The front of the Palace, facing the Stefan cel Mare street, is still under reconstruction.
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. I am proud to say that my mother also worked on the restauration of the roof and has seen the large beams inside the Palace :) The pluses of being an engineer.
Until the Palace of Culture will be re-done and open to the wide public - which I can hardly wait! - you can have a look on their official site, which is done both in Romanian and in English. You can also enjoy a 360 degrees tour inside the Palace - and I highly recommend that - or you can come by Iasi and enjoy the beauty of its outside architecture :) It is a well known spot for taking engagement / wedding pictures and it is in the heart of the city - hard to miss! and both me and Marek recommend it, from our heart. When it will be re-opened I plan to come again with my sweet husband and show him the inside as well, as it is a sight for sore eyes! The Museum inside used to host a couple of paintings dear to me and I really hope they will be brought back - keeping my fingers crossed!

P.S. Right now there is no fee for visiting the Palace of Culture as it is not open on the inside. You can enjoy the outside architecture from all sides and take as many pictures as you would like. Mine are taken from different view points with the Samsung Galaxy S4 - I did not use any filters and have not cropped them, they are fresh from the phone, as you see them. Hope you will enjoy this place as much as we do :)

P.S.S. The information was taken mainly from Wikipedia (English Site) & The Official Site of The Palace of Culture. If you wish to know more about it and how to get there, please Contact Me and I will be happy to assist in setting up a future trip to Romania > Iasi > Palace of Culture :) 

Yours truly,
The Twisted Red LadyBug That Always Loved Palaces & Adores The Iasi Palace Of Culture