Iasi - Fascinating Places.

Essay by aterente October 2003

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When people think of Iasi, they think of strong and diverse higher education system, powerful research and development, and of a vast poll of cultural and architectural treasures. These make the city the recognized spiritual capital of Romania. But Iasi is more than universities and spiritual treasures. Iasi does not only belong to its inhabitants. It has the rare and hardly acquired privilege of being everyone's. It is not only the metaphysical city of tolls, hills and monuments but also the town with the highest density of poets and museums in South-Eastern Europe. Former capital of Moldavia, it is a city which has a real vocation for history.

Located in the north eastern part of Romania, the cultural center of the country, emanates a cultural vibe all over the surrounding region. It is one of the cleanest cities in Eastern Europe and it could be compared to cities such as Zurich or Vienna.

It also served as capital of Moldova for about 400 years and capital of Romania in the Second World War. Holding a record for the longest tram line on abrupt hills, Iasi has the reputation of a San Francisco of Europe. It also holds about seven monasteries and churches built during the 15th and 16th century. Iasi is the host of the first university constructed in the country. It is also the place where the national opera is located. The palace of culture, king building of the city, almost identical to the in Ottawa, shows the importance of the city in the area.

In total contrast to the cultural architecture are the newly build high tech office buildings, which dominate some parts of the city. The World Trade Centre is proof of international business taking place. It is also an industrial centre, here being manufactured...