Cities which combine the last history and the modernity of the present, the medieval cities, the imposing palates, the monasteries with a rich monachal life, marvellous parks – make of Moldova one of the most appreciated areas by the tourists.
The journey in these places can start in Iaşi – the old capital of the province for 300 years. The abundance of the historic and architectural buildings, the alleys shaded by old trees create a romantic and accessible atmosphere which will carry you far in old times.
If one wants to admire the beauties of nature in this part of the country one must move towards the mountains. The Bicaz Gorges (Cheile Bicazului) – Hăşmaş, Ceahlău and Vânători Neamţ are natural parks with astonishing landscapes – narrow gorges with walls in rocks of a few hundreds meters height, abrupt peaks, rivers, many species of plants and animals out of which some are protected by the law.
The area of Moldova shelters the oldest university center in Romania and the second most important regarding the students’ number. The University Alexandru Ioan Cuza de Iasi, inaugurated in 1860, in the presence of reigning prince Alexandru Ioan Cuza and of Mihail Kogalniceanu, accomodated many personalities which marked the Romanian culture, even universal one.
The University of Iasi is very active and very famous in many scientific disciplines. Its University Central Library is also one of most important in the country. It is directed by a French-speaking former professor with INALCO in Paris and specialist in Proust, Professor Alexandru Calinescu. In addition, Iasi are also to be found: Technical University Gheorghe Asachi, the University of Medicine and Pharmacy Gr. T. Popa, the University of Agronomic and Veterinary Sciences Ion Ionescu from Brad, the University of Art “George Enescu” as well as private universities which maintain all the special relationships with the French academic world.
In Iasi are many important cultural institutions such as: National Theatre “Vasile Alecsandri”, the Opera, the Moldova Philharmonic Society, the European Center of Creation (Atheneum – Tatarasi), Goethe-Zentrum and British Council as well as many museums, joined together within the Palace of Culture. Iasi is also a literary capital with its literary circles, its many edition houses, its literary reviews, and especially its Museum of Literature.
Moldova witnessed the birth of many intellectuals who came to enrich the culture by their country and to contribute actively to their cultural and scientist development. It is in the town of Iasi where was born, thanks to the initiative of Gheorghe Asachi, the Theatre in the national language. The city also appeared very early at the literary level with reviews and companies animated by Moldavian great writers. The circle of writers most known of Romania has been formed in Iasi and became a big factor for the development of the Romanian literature of the XIXth century.
This company, called “Junimea” (The Youth), joined together great figures of the Romanian spirituality: Mihai Eminescu, Titu Maiorescu and Ion Creanga. However, the contribution of the Moldavian intellectuals did not stop at the borders of Romania and certain Moldavian personalities (out of which Benjamin Fondane, Tristan Tzara and George Enescu) brought their contribution to reinforce the cultural bonds between France and Romania.
One cannot state to know Moldova as long as one did not taste the delicious local kitchen: stuffed cabbages, meat frost, sausages, the “tochitură” (mixture of spiced sauce pork, beef and polenta), but also the relish wafers called „poale-n brâu”. Cotnari, Bucium, Huşi and Panciu are vineyards at the base of various wines of international repute, are being made here. It is said that the hills of Moldova were created by Bacchus himself. “Grasa de Cotnari, Feteasca White, White grape, Busuioaca de Bohotin”, each one of these type of wine will carry you in the marvellous world of the tastes which will enchant you. All its elements will make you include, understand and love Moldova and will give you the desire of returning there.