Iași is a university city in eastern Romania, near the border with Moldova. In the center is the huge St. Paraschiva Metropolitan Cathedral, a 19th-century Orthodox church built in Italian Renaissance style. Nearby, the Three Hierarchs Monastery has an exterior decorated with delicate, Moorish-style stone carvings. Backed by Palas Park’s manicured gardens, the Palace of Culture is a vast neo-Gothic building.
Home to the oldest Romanian university and to the 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. The social and cultural life revolves around the Vasile Alecsandri National Theater (the oldest in Romania), the Moldova State Philharmonic, the Opera House, the Iași 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. The city is also known as the site of the largest Romanian pilgrimage which take place each year, in October.