Vasile Alecsandri National Theatre, built in the 1890s, is the first national theatre in Romania. Due to its neoclassical façade, rich in allegorical statues related to music and theatre, it is considered to be one of the most elegant in the country. The Iaşi National Romanian Opera is also housed in the same building.
Founded in 1840, under the administration of the men of culture Costache Negruzzi, Vasile Alecsandri and Mihail Kogălniceanu, the National Theatre functioned since December 22nd 1846 in the Big Theatre in Copou. The history of the actual building of the National Theatre in Iaşi is connected to an unfortunate event, the destruction of the old Theatre in Copou after a great fire, in 1888.
The discussions related to building a new edifice lasted until 1894, when it is approved the contract with the Austrian architects Fellner and Helmer, who had previously contributed to the theatres in Vienna, Prague, Odessa, Hamburg, Oradea, Budapest, Timişoara, Cluj-Napoca or Berlin. The works lasted for 2 years and ended in 1896. The actual building, erected on the spot of the old City Hall, is considered to be the most beautiful edifice of this type in the country. At the moment of its construction, it was also one of the most innovative buildings in the region, as the theatre’s power plant marked the beginning of the electric lighting in the city. In 1956, to celebrate 140 years since the first performance held in Romanian, the theatre received the name of the great poet and playwright Vasile Alecsandri.
The interior is decorated in Rococo and Baroque styles, remarkable through the painted ceiling and curtain, as well as through the Venetian crystal chandelier with 109 light bulbs. The paintings on the main curtain represent an allegory of life, to its right being symbolically depicted the Union of Wallachia and Moldavia that took place on January 24th 1859, under the rule of Alexandru Ioan Cuza. The iron curtain presents symmetrically arranged ornamental motifs, while the ceiling displays paradisiacal allegories with nymphae and angels, but also the coat of arms of the Romanian regions reunited, with their respective heraldic insignia.
How to get there:
Vasile Alecsandri National Theatre is situated in Iaşi city centre, 2 minutes away from the City Hall and 4 minutes away from the Palace of Culture.