It was natural for a city positioned at the intersection of large commercial routes connecting the country to Poland, to Russia and to the German lands, to host from time to time – together with merchants, carriers, foreign emissaries – the odd menagerie, circus, carnival or theatre troupe.
At the end of the 18th century and in the early 19th century, the children of the aristocracy went to school in France, Germany or Italy. There they became acquainted with the much-appreciated “cultured theatre”.
The trend caught on, and soon the first animator of art and culture in Moldavia, Gheorghe Asachi, staged, with the help of dilettantes from the Ghica and Sturza families, the first play in the Romanian language, "Mirtil şi Hloe", a one-act pastoral, adapted from the works of Gessner and Florian.
The Main Auditorium, with 750 seats, organized in stalls, boxes and a balcony, impresses through the refinement, originality and lavishness of its Rococo- and Baroque-inspired painted and sculpted ornaments.
The 1418 electric lights and the chandelier with 109 Venetian crystal lamps light up a playhouse with a unique architectural personality.
The main curtain, painted by the Viennese maestro Lenz and finished by one of his disciples, has in the middle an allegory of life with its three stages, and to the side a symbolic representation of the Union of Principalities; the left-hand side, painted by Lenz’s apprentice, differs from the rest of the curtain in style and colouring.
The ceiling and the iron curtain were painted by Alexander Goltz. The iron curtain shows ornaments placed symmetrically, while the ceiling, a real work of art, has as a narrative basis the Archetypal Story, shown in paradisiacal allegories, with nymphs and cupids framed in rococo stucco.
Above the orchestra pit, the ceiling displays the crest of the four reunited Romanian provinces, combining the heraldry of all four; from the royal coat-of-arms, located in a parallel plan, the most visible is the sceptre, the royal insignia being removed after the last king’s abdication.
So go to medestino.com and book a vacation to Iasi, Romania to visit this unique architectural building.