|• Mayor||Vitalie Colun|
|• Total||8,5 km2 (33 sq mi)|
|• Density||3,941,2/km2 (102,080/sq mi)|
|Time zone||EET (UTC+2)|
|• Summer (DST)||EEST (UTC+3)|
Orhei (Romanian pronunciation: [orˈhej]), older Orgeev (Russian: Орге́ев) (Yiddish Uriv – אוריװ), is a city and the administrative centre of Orhei District in Moldova with a population of 32,000. Orhei is approximately 40 kilometres (25 miles) north of the capital, Chişinău.
Orhei takes its name from the medieval city of Old Orhei, about 10 miles (16 km) below the modern city on the Răut River, which was destroyed by the Crimean Tatars in the 14th to 16th centuries. It was the Turkish military center of northern Bessarabia until it was taken by the Russian Empire in 1812.
Like the rest of Bessarabia, Orhei became part of the Kingdom of Romania after World War I and was occupied by the USSR in 1940. It was completely destroyed during the Jassy–Kishinev Offensive of August 1944 and was rebuilt after the war. In 1991 it became part of the Republic of Moldova.
The name "Orhei" is, according to one theory, derived from the Hungarian word Őrhely, meaning "lookout post", dating from the 13th century, when Hungarian forces built a series of defences in the area.
While Orhei was still within Bessarabia, the populated, in 1920, was estimated to be 25,000. At that time, two thirds of the population were Jewish. The remaining population was Russian, Romanian and Ruthenians. Most people speak Romanian and Russian. There is one school that is taught in Russian.
Orhei was home to many Jews prior to World War II, and has a large Jewish cemetery. There is only one active synagogue left in the community. The main churches are Russian Orthodox. Also in the area are Baptist, Roman Catholic, a Seventh-day Adventist Church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, The Salvation Army and Jehovah's Witnesses.
Twin towns – Sister cities
Orhei is twinned with:
- Russian poet and member of the French Resistance David Knut was born in Orhei.
- Mihail Maculeţchi, Romanian politician
- Romanian painter Natalia Vîrlan was born in this town.
- Paul Goma, a Romanian writer was born in Mana, near Orhei.
- Rodica Mahu
- Ilie Cătărău was born near Orhei.
- Jacobo Fijman was born in Orhei.
- Pasha Parfeny, a Moldavian Pop singer & composer was born in Orhei
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Orhei.|
- "Slavic Orgeev, Orkhei and Hungarian Őrhely," Ural-altaische Jahrbücher 61 (1989), p. 127.
- Nándor Bárdi, László Diószegi, András Gyertyánfy, "Hungarians in Moldavia", Magyar Kisebbség 1–2 (7–8), 1997 (III), pp. 370–390.
- Kaba, John (1919). Politico-economic Review of Basarabia. United States: American Relief Administration. p. 14.
- "Piatra Neamţ – Twin Towns". 2007–2008 Piatra-Neamt.net. Retrieved 27 September 2009.