Built between 1834 and 1848, Copou Park is the oldest park in Iaşi. It became famous as being the favourite meditation place of Mihai Eminescu, Romania’s national poet.
Eminescu wrote some of his best poems while lying beneath his favourite linden tree in this park. The tree still exists, and a bust of the poet has been placed in front of it. Nearby the park’s central area, you can also visit a cultural centre housing a small museum dedicated to Eminescu.
In the 18th century, the ruler Grigore Ghica erected a Turkish – style gazebo in Copou, to serve for rest and recreation. However, in that period the garden was not a public one, so not all the Iaşi’s dwellers had access in it. The decision to found one was taken by Prince Mihail Sturdza in 1834, and works started under the ruler’s guidance. The park houses the oldest monument in Romania, the Monument of the Constitutional Laws, known as the Obelisk of Lions, realized in the same year. It was erected after the plans of Gheorghe Asachi to honour the Russian General Pavel Kiseleff and the reforms that he established in Moldavia. The responsible for the construction of the monument was the Austrian architect Johann Freiwald, who also contributed to the erection of the Metropolitan Cathedral.
Next to the Obelisk, visitors can find Eminescu’s linden tree, one of the most precious and inspiring muses for the poet. For years in a row, this place was visited by Eminescu and his lover, Veronica Micle. Nowadays, the linden tree remains an unwritten proof of their love and a romantic symbol of the city. In the centre of the garden, next to Eminescu’s linden tree, visitors can find the poet’s bust, as well as the bust of his friend and famous storyteller Ion Creangă, erected in 1932. Later on it was inaugurated the Junimea Alley, which displays bronze busts of the literary society’s members, great personalities of the Romanian culture. In June 1984, a museum dedicated to Mihai Eminescu was opened in the park, near the poet’s linden tree. It was inaugurated in 1989, at Eminescu’s death centenary.
Each year, Copou Park hosts the national Cucuteni ceramics fair, which gathers master potter from all over the country.
By car: From the Palace of Culture located in the city centre, take Ștefan cel Mare și Sfânt Blvd and then continue on Arcu St. Take the first right on Gavril Muzicescu St and, at the roundabout, take the first exit on Carol I Blvd. Approximate travel time is 9 minutes.
By tram: Take tram #1 or #13 to Grădina Copou tram station.
By bus: Take bus #28, #41 or #14b to Grădina Copou bus station.