Doctor Aristide Serfioti (1828-1905)

Doctor Aristide Serfioti (1828-1905): A Life in the Service of the Community from Galați



In this work, written in Romanian and English, museographer Mariana-Delia Pohrib delves into the life and legacy of Doctor Aristide Serfioti, a remarkable figure who dedicated himself to serving the community in Galați. Born in 1828, Serfioti’s impact extended far beyond the realm of medicine. His tireless efforts and commitment left an indelible mark on the city and its people. The book sheds light on Serfioti’s multifaceted contributions, including his medical practice, philanthropic endeavors, and community leadership, while simultaneously painting a vivid picture of Galați from second half the 19th to the early 20th century.

Early Years and Education

Aristide Serfioti hailed from the island of Hydra, Greece. He was the son of the first mayor of Piraeus Kyriakos Serfioti. He studied medicine at “King Otto I” University of Athens (1846-1850) and continued his studies abroad, at Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (1851). He chose to practice his profession abroad, settling permanently in the picturesque town of Galați. He became part of a large, already naturalized Greek minority, first as a foreign subject, and after 1865 as a Romanian citizen.

Medical Contributions

Doctor Serfioti navigated the intricate landscape of medicine during a pivotal period in Romanian history. As a physician, he tended to the sick, alleviating suffering and providing hope. His tireless efforts extended beyond individual patients, however, as he actively contributed to the development of healthcare infrastructure in the region and simultaneously advocated for the implementation of public health initiatives. More specifically, he was part of the effort that established preventative measures against the effects of typhus and cholera epidemics.

Around 1853 Aristide Serfioti advocated for improved healthcare facilities. He declared that Spiridonia Hospital’s building was unsuitable for fulfilling the functions of a hospital, directly contradicting the results of the inspection that had been carried out months prior.

After a voyage in Paris in 1866, Doctor Serfioti purchased a microscope for scientific work and medical research and notified the Physicians' Association of Galaţi about the purchase.

He proposed the establishment of the Elisabeta Doamna - Caritatea Gălăţeană Hospital in 1877. At first it was a military hospital that took care of the wounded during the Independence War. The hospital reopened in 1879, after the War. After great efforts, a new hospital building was raised in 1895, with Doctor Serfioti acquiring the necessary funds by guaranteeing with his whole fortune for contracting the loan for the required funds.

Aristide Serfioti was uncompromising and maintained high standards in his profession. He refused to employ a local barber as a vaccinator on account of lack of qualifications and specialty training.

Doctor Aristide Serfioti resigned from the medical profession in 1901, after successfully serving the community of Galaţi for many years, remaining steadfast in his commitment to the well-being of Galați’s residents.


Concerning his philanthropy, Doctor Serfioti authorized the free-of-charge prescription of medicine for the poor, with municipality bearing the cost. The poor people of Galaţi, Covurlui County and surrounding areas benefitted greatly from his charity.

Aristide Serfioti made generous donations in his lifetime and in his will, he elected to leave his estate and most of his fortune to the Elisabeta Doamna - Caritatea Gălăţeană Hospital, which he had led for nearly thirty years.


Following his death in 1905 it was proposed a bronze bust statue of Doctor Aristide Serfioti be built in the park of Elisabeta Doamna – Caritatea Gălăţeană Hospital to remind future generations of this figure’s noble contributions to the community of Galați and humanity as a whole. Finally, in 1933, the Municipal Council approved the amount of 10,000 lei for building the statue which still exists in the yard of Galaţi Municipal Hospital.


In conclusion, Pohrib compiles mostly unpublished historical data, weaving a narrative which transcends mere biography and delves into the broader context of Galați’s social fabric. Doctor Serfioti’s impact rippled through generations, influencing not only medical practice but also community spirit. His legacy serves as a testament to the transformative power of selflessness and service.



Pohrib, Mariana-Delia. 2012. Doctorul Aristide Serfioti (1828-1905): un destin în slujba comunității gălățene [Doctor Aristide Serfioti (1828-1905): a life in the service of the community from Galați]. Galați: Muzeul de Istorie „Paul Păltănea”.

Μίλεσης, Στέφανος. 2012. Κυριάκος Σερφιώτης - Ο πρώτος Δήμαρχος Πειραιά. Pireorama ιστορίας και πολιτισμού.


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