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The Iasi National Theatre

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Five Facts You Maybe Didn't Know About the Iasi National Theatre

1. This is actually the oldest National Theatre of Romania, and was founded in 1840. According to historians, at the beginning of the 19th century there were several theatrical performances in Iasi, performed in Romanian (a crucial detail), and one of the first was in September 1816. After using in the 1830s the stage of the Theatre de variete, a French language institution opened for the French Fouraux troupe, it was time for Iasi to have it's very own National Theatre.

2. The Great Theatre of Moldavia, as it was known, was actually officially opened on May 15th 1840. The director was the Romanian poet Vasile Alecsandri, and the manager was Costache Caragiali. It was a huge step forward for Romanian theatrical art, and it's impact and influence were huge at the time. The new building was also an impressive design and one of the highlights of modern city of Iasi, as it was a former mansion.

3. The great fire that destroyed in February 1888 the building was actually a lucky event, for it was clear for everybody that the Iasi National Theatre needed a new edifice, one worthy of it's name. So they began building another space for the Iasi National Theatre, and chosen for this task were two Viennese architects, Ferdinand Fellner and Hermann Helmer. They were already famous for several other palaces and theatres that they had designed and built, among them the new theatres in Cluj-Napoca, Oradea or Timisoara. So they had the qualifications, the knowledge and were ready for this ambitious project. The new building was ready in just two years, and in 1896 the city of Iasi had a new National Theatre.

4. And because the new theatre also needed electricity, the authorities decided to actually build a power station, using German engineers from Berlin, and it would also mark the beginning of the electrification of Iasi.

5. The building of the Iasi National Theatre is listed on the National Register of Historic Monuments.  Nowadays the theatre bears the name of Vasile Alecsandri, a major Romanian poet and playwright of the 19th century.



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