Daily Picture 18-feb-10: The Restored Gothic Interior of Iasi Railway Station

The freshly restored Gothic interior of Iasi railway station photographed in the summer of 2009. (©Valentin Mandache)

The city of Iasi is the beautiful historical capital of the principality of Moldavia, which through its union with Wallachia in 1859, in the favourable international circumstances following the Crimean War, formed the core of modern Romania. The city has been a bitter rival of Bucharest ever since, very much hampered in its development because of more difficult communication lines with the rest of the country. The railway came to the town in 1869 and alleviated in part that situation. The Iasi people had until that date to take uncomfortable horse drawn coaches in order to travel to Bucharest, through a very difficult 250 miles dirt road. The wealthier Iasi citizens even preferred to travel to Bucharest via Vienna, a huge detour, but a much more comfortable trip through Cernowitz in Bucovina, to the Austrian capital and from there to embark on a steam boat all the way down on the Danube to Giurgiu, nearby Bucharest. Consequently the train has a great importance for the Iasi people and the grandiose architecture of the local railway station, perhaps the most beautiful such building in Romania, reflects that sentiment. Its Venetian Gothic inspired architecture is very monumental and also well proportioned. Recently the station has been professionally restored with stunning results. I was amazed to admire its numerous ogee windows and arcades and the fresh majesty of its lines and airy interior; even the ticket counters are provided with ogee windows. I took the photograph above in the summer of last year, when the restoration work was on course, and I hope that it conveys at least in part my favourable impressions.


I endeavor through this daily image series to inspire appreciation of the historic houses of Romania, a virtually undiscovered, but fascinating chapter of European architectural heritage.


If you plan acquiring a historic property in Romania or start a renovation project, I would be delighted to advice you in locating the property, specialist research, planning permissions, restoration project management, etc. To discuss your particular plan please see my contact details in the Contact page of this weblog.