Iași (UK: , US: , Romanian: [ˈjaʃʲ] (listen)), also referred to as Jassy or Iassy (UK: , US: ), is the second largest city in Romania, and the seat of Iași County. Located in the historical region of Moldavia, Iași has traditionally been one of the leading centres of Romanian social, cultural, academic and artistic life.
The city was the capital of the Principality of Moldavia from 1564 to 1859, then of the United Principalities from 1859 to 1862, and the capital of Romania from 1916 to 1918. Known as The Cultural Capital of Romania, Iași is a symbol in Romanian history. The historian Nicolae Iorga said "There should be no Romanian who does not know of it". Still referred to as The Moldavian Capital, Iași is the main economic and business centre of the Moldavian region of Romania. In December 2018, Iași was officially declared Historical capital of Romania. At the 2011 census, the city proper had a population of 290,422 (making it the fourth most populous in Romania at the time). With 474,035 residents (as of 2015), the Iași urban area is the second most populous in Romania (after Bucharest), whereas more than 500,000 people live within its peri-urban area. Home to the oldest Romanian university and to the first engineering school, Iași is one of the most important education and research centres of the country, and accommodates over 60,000 students in 5 public universities.