The House of Museums in one day
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Culture

The House of Museums in one day

If you want to get the most out of the museum landscape in Iași and only have one day to spare, you should go for this five-in-one-place experience.

The House of Museums is in the city center and is a part of The National Museum Of Literature in Iași. The house hosts 5 museums. It’s also close to many cafes and restaurants, so you can take coffee and lunch breaks between exhibitions.

Situated on the first floor, the Museum of Romanian Literature is made up of 14 thematical halls, with eleven of these dedicated to the most prominent figures in the history of literature like Mihail Kogălniceanu, Dacia literară magazine, Vasile Alecsandri, Junimea Literary Society, Titu Maiorescu, Mihai Eminescu,Ion Creangă, I.L. Caragiale. The other three host artistic installations by Romanian visual artists: Bohemian Life in Iași (Ion Barbu), “The Angels Reservation” (Felix Aftene) and ABIS.03 (Matei Bejenaru).

The Poetry Museum hosts a permanent exhibition by Ion Barbu, an homage to the playful spirit comprised of picto-poems. In addition to these, there are 5 more rooms, each with one of the artists’ artistic installations: The Poetsʼ Footsteps, Bottles for the Mind, Heart and Literature, Letters to the Good Lord, Haute couture / Haute culture and Stones for my Temple.

On the ground floor of the house you’ll find the Museum of Jewish Theatre in Romania. In the Abraham Goldfaden room, named after the founder of the first Yiddish theatre in the world in Iași in 1876, the exhibition illustrates the life of the Father of Jewish Theatre through manuscripts, photographs and posters. The next 4 rooms host , among others, posters, a puppet show set, props, a costume workshop, models of the building demolished in 1963, and a gallery with photographs of the State Jewish Theatre of Iași company. The next two rooms are dedicated to the Barascheum Theatre and the last room is an interactive one, where children will be able to engage in various theatrical activities.

The Museum of Childhood under Communism is an exhibiton divided into two parts, one depicting a classroom in the communist era, the other the home of a child in the same period. This is a must-see museum. It also hosts occasional exhibits, amongst which where “The Childhood of our Parents” and “The Museum of Daily Life in Communism” in 2014, and “Propaganda Matters 1.0” in 2016.

The Iași Pogrom Museum was set up by the “Elie Wiesel” National Institute for the Study of the Holocaust in Romania, in collaboration with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. The exhibition has photographs taken during the Pogrom, a hologram, survivors’ testimonies and other documents. It was inaugurated to commemorate 80 years since the events in 1941.

For more information regarding each museum, please see the list below.

Don't miss:

Pogrom

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Museums
Inaugurated to commemorate 80 years since the terrible events of the Iași Pogrom on 28-30 June 1941, the museum hosts a hologram, photographs and testimonies of the survivors, along many more documents and artefacts.

In the 1930s, the Jewish population of Iasi had become almost as large as the Romanian population, and the functioning of the city depended on the coexistence of the two ethnic groups. Beginning in 1938 and culminating in the military dictatorship of Marshal Ion Antonescu, Romania’s pro-Nazi governments began to apply anti-Semitic laws to solve the “Jewish problem.” Marriages with Romanians were banned, Jews were excluded from office, expropriated and deprived of their rights. The occupation of Romanian territory by the USSR in 1940 was attributed to the “Judeo-Bolsheviks”, which increased local anti-Semitism. They wanted to deport the Jews, and the orders gave way to abuse.

With the entry of Romania in the Second World War together with Nazi Germany, the attack on the Soviet Union was launched, starting in Iasi on June 22, 1941.

Between June 28 and 30, following an orchestrated attack on the German command in Iasi, Jews were accused of hiding weapons and firing on the army or sending information to the Soviets. Soldiers searched their homes, beating, shooting or robbing the population. Thousands of Jews, mostly men, were brought to the court of the Questura and shot in groups.

The survivors were sent to the train station, where they were crammed into cattle cars, whose windows and doors were blocked. In the heat, congestion and lack of water and air, thousands of people died in torment on the two “death trains”. Investigations have shown that more than 13,000 people were killed in those days.

Strada Vasile Alecsandri 6, Iași 700054
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Jewish Theatre

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Museums
Located on the ground floor of the House of Museums, the Museum of Jewish Theatre in Romania is permanent exhibition displayed in 11 rooms, paying tribute to the history of Jewish theatre in the city where the first theatre in Yiddish in the world was founded.

The first room illustrates, through a manuscript notebook, the beginnings of Jewish theatre and the life of its founding father, Abraham Goldfaden. The next four rooms contain advertising posters of the State Jewish Theatre of Iașiʼs first years, a puppet show set, props, programs, a costume workshop, models of the building demolished in 1963, and a gallery with photographs. The next rooms are dedicated to the Barascheum Theatre and the State Jewish Theatre of Bucharest, which still functions to this day. The last one is an interactive room, where people can engage in various theatrical activities.

Strada Vasile Alecsandri 6, Iași 700054
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Muzeul Literaturii

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Museums
Situated on the first floor of the House of Museums, this permanent exhibition is displayed in 14 halls, showcasing classic formats and unusual ones.

The first 11 halls are dedicated to the history and evolution of Romanian literature and the important figures that shaped it. You’ll find a lot of things about Mihail Kogălniceanu, Dacia literară magazine, Vasile Alecsandri, Junimea Literary Society, Titu Maiorescu, Mihai Eminescu, Ion Creangă, I.L. Caragiale, Sofia Nădejde, Viața românească magazine and Hortensia Papadat-Bengescu. The last three halls exhibit unconventional art installations from Romanian visual artists: Bohemian Life in Iași (Ion Barbu), “The Angels Reservation” (Felix Aftene) and ABIS.03 (Matei Bejenaru).

Strada Vasile Alecsandri 6, Iași 700054
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Copilariei in comunism

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Museums
The name is pretty explanatory. This museum recreates the environment of childhood during the communist era.

The exhibit is divided into two areas: one is a classroom and the other is a child’s home during that period. They display familiar objects that are reminiscent of the “Golden Age” when communism strived to create “the new man” from early on in every child’s life.

This museum was organized in partnership with the Free Trade Union in Pre-University Education (USLIP) Iași. It also hosted one-time exhibitions like “The Childhood of our Parents” and “The Museum of Daily Life in Communism” (2014), “Propaganda Matters 1.0” (2016). The museum does an excelent job at transporting you into a past that a lot of Romanian grown-ups still carry in their memories.

Strada Vasile Alecsandri 6, Iași 700054
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Muzeul poeziei

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Museums
Hosted inside the House of Museums, The Poetry Museum includes a permanent exhibition by Ion Barbu, comprising of picto-poems and five large-scale artistic installations.

The first of the installations is called “The Poetsʼ Footsteps” and is present in all rooms. It displays the actuall shoes of contemporary poets together with fictional ones of classical poets to suggest a poetic circuit of steps. In the room to the right you’ll find the work entitled “Bottles for the Mind, Heart and Literature”, a collection of bottles with poems written by hand by Romanian poets. “Letters to the Good Lord” is the installation in the middle room, containing 10 typewriters, each of them dedicated to Romanian poets. In the room to the left there is “Haute couture / Haute culture”, a display of mannequins dressed in painted poetry. In this same room you’ll find “Stones for my Temple”, a collection of stones, painted with a symbol and a word, that together make up contemporary poems.

Ion Barbu’s modern visual language of expressing poetry is unique. It draws attention and in itself is poetry.

Strada Vasile Alecsandri 6, Iași 700054
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