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County capital
City Hall
City Hall
Coat of arms of Botoșani
Coat of arms
Location of Botoșani
Location of Botoșani
Country  Romania
County Botoşani County
Status County capital
First mention 1493
 • Mayor Ovidiu Portariuc[1] (Social Democratic Party)
 • Total 40.7 km2 (15.7 sq mi)
Elevation 170 m (560 ft)
Population (2011 census)[2]
 • Total 100,899
 • Density 2,479/km2 (6,420/sq mi)
Time zone UTC+2 (EET)
 • Summer (DST) UTC+3 (EEST)
Postal code 710xxx
Area code(s) (+40) 231
Vehicle registration BT

Botoșani (Romanian pronunciation: [botoˈʃanʲ] (About this sound listen)) (population: 100,899) is the capital city of Botoșani County, in northern Moldavia, Romania. Today, it is best known as the birthplace of many celebrated Romanians, including Mihai Eminescu and Nicolae Iorga.

Origin of the name

The name of the city probably has its origin in the name of a boyar family called Botaș, whose name can be found in old records from the time of Prince Stephen the Great (late 15th century) as one of the most important families of Moldavia, records which trace it back to the 11th century.


Botoșani is first mentioned in "Letopiseţul Ţării Moldovei" (The Chronicles of the land of Moldavia), covering the history of the region from 1359 to 1594. The chronicle was written by Grigore Ureche, a Moldavian chronicler who records a devastating invasion of the city by Tatars on November 28, 1493. Being placed at the junction of several commercial roads the city was initially a market town; in the 16th century, it already had "the biggest and the oldest fair of Moldavia".

Large communities of Jewish and Armenian traders were present in this city starting with the 17th century.

Some of the most famous Romanian cultural representatives such as Mihai Eminescu, Romania's national poet, and Nicolae Iorga, the famous Romanian historian, were born in Botosani. Contemporary poet Maria Baciu also hails from Botoșani.

It is also the location of A.T. Laurian National College, one of Romania's oldest (founded 1859) and most prestigious pre-university educational institutions.


Historical population
1900 32,193—    
1912 32,574+1.2%
1930 32,355−0.7%
1948 29,145−9.9%
1956 29,569+1.5%
1966 35,220+19.1%
1977 63,204+79.5%
1992 126,145+99.6%
2002 115,344−8.6%
2011 100,899−12.5%
Source: Census data

As of 2011 census data, Botoșani has a population of 100,899,[2] a decrease from the figure recorded at the 2002 census, making it the 19th largest city in Romania. The ethnic makeup was as follows:


Boasting a rich cultural life, the city of Botoşani has long produced major personalities in the science and culture. Botoşani natives like Mihai Eminescu, Nicolae Iorga, Stefan Luchian, and Octav Onicescu have become major figures in diverse disciplines, and many have distinct claims to relevance not just within Romania, but on a worldwide level.

Cultural institutions

  • "Ciomac Cantemir House" (historic monument dating from 1800), today the headquarters of the "Ştefan Luchian" foundation ([1]);
  • "Nicolae Iorga" Memorial House, situated in one of the houses where great historian Nicolae Iorga passed his childhood. Two sections of the house hold a photo documentary exposition and an exhibition of Iorga's first written editions. Another section holds a regularly updated library of history. The Iorga family's salon boasts an interior dating from the final decades of the 19th century;
  • "Octav Onicescu" Memorial Museum, realized in October 1995, houses the furniture that once belonged to the mathematician and philosopher Octav Onicescu. In addition, there are also his manuscripts, writings, diplomas, books from his personal library, family photos, and decorations, offering an intimate portrait of a Romanian polymath;
  • County Museum (Ethnographic section), housed in a fine example of late-18th-century architecture that once served as the house of Manolache Iorga, the grandfather of the great historian Nicolae Iorga. Open to the public since 1989, the museum displays the most important elements of the area's rural culture; artifacts of the principal occupations (farming, animal husbandry, hunting, fishing, and beekeeping), traditional crafts (spinning, embroidery, furriery, pottery), traditional costumes, and other customary and traditional crafts specific to the Botoşani region.
  • County Museum (Historical and Archaeological section), housed in a historic monument dating from 1913, presents in its 17 rooms the story of Botoşani's evolution from prehistory to the present. Exhibits include the dawn of civilization in the region, from the paleolithic era, to the neolithic era (with Cucuteni ceramics), and finishing with the Bronze and Iron Ages. More notable displays include weapons made of sharpened stone and bone, decorated pottery, anthropomorphic and zoomorphic figurines, seals belonging to the lords of Moldavia, and historic jewelry. The museum also includes artifacts from the oldest human habitation found in southeastern Europe, discovered in Ripiceni and partially reconstructed and displayed inside the museum.
  • "Mihai Eminescu" National Theatre; the building was opened in 1914, partially destroyed by the bombings of 1944, and restored in 1958 and again in the 1990s. The theatre hosts a team of actors whose remarkable evolution was crowned by their winning of the Grand Prize at the International Theatre Festival in 2001 at Piatra Neamţ. The Grand Hall of the theatre also hosts numerous other cultural activities, of which the most notable are the concerts of the Botoşani State Philharmonic.
Mănăstirea Popăuţi4.jpg
The bell tower of Monastery Popăuţi, built in the 15th century by Stephen the Great


  • "Vasilache" Puppet Theatre; home to a troupe of puppeteers appreciated not only in Romania but also abroad, as evidenced by their win at the International Puppet Festival in Silistra, June 2001. Every two years the theatre organizes the International Gala of Puppet Theatre, which brings to Botoşani the most prestigious names in puppet theatre, from Romania and abroad;
  • Botoşani National Philharmonica, who generally perform in a 19th-century neoclassical building known as Vila Ventura, are renowned all over the county, its artists often finding themselves invited on a permanent basis to participate in concerts throughout Romania and abroad. The Philharmonic is the principal organizer of the series of tributes to George Enescu, tributes which benefit each year from the presence of the great personalities of Romanian art and culture;
  • "Rapsozii Botoşanilor" Ensemble, a long-standing folkloric orchestra with a history stretching back for decades, presents a multitude of folkloric songs from Moldavia and the rest of Romania under the direction of its renowned leader, Maestro Ioan Cobâlă. The ensemble has long been associated with the greatest names in Moldavian folklore, such as Sofia Vicoveanca, Laura Lavric, and Daniela Condurache, and continues to nurture the next generation of folkloric talent. The artists of the ensemble are recognized nationally and internationally by virtue of their television appearances and their winning of numerous prizes;
  • "Mihai Eminescu" County Library, housed in a building known as the "Casa Moscovici," a late-19th-century structure that combines French and German architectural elements in a unique synthesis. The library contains a collection of around 380,000 volumes;
  • The Old Centre (The Old Downtown) is the oldest part of the city from an architectural standpoint, bringing together a large number of commercial buildings dating from the 17th and 18th centuries.

A series of historic churches built by the Lords of Moldavia :

  • "Uspenia" Church - founded by Elena Rareş, the wife of king Petru Rareş, in 1552; the site of the christening of Mihai Eminescu.
  • "Sfântu Gheorghe" Church - founded by Elena Rareş in 1551.
  • "Sfântu Nicolae" Church (Popăuţi) - founded by king Ştefan cel Mare in 1496; the interior decorations date from the 15th century. The monastery itself is surrounded by walls, giving it the appearance of a small citadel.

Botoşani boasts many other constructions of special architectural value, among them: the Antipa House, from the end of the 19th century; the Bolfosu House, from the beginning of the 19th century; the Silion House, dating from 1900; and the City Hall, built at the end of the 18th century in an eclectic style with German influences.


Climate data for Botoșani
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 17
Average high °C (°F) 1
Average low °C (°F) −6
Record low °C (°F) −27
Average precipitation days 14 13 13 15 14 14 13 10 10 9 13 15 153
Average rainy days 4 4 7 14 14 14 13 10 10 9 9 7 115
Average snowy days 12 10 7 2 0 0 0 0 0 1 5 9 46



Botoşani is served by Suceava "Ştefan cel Mare" Airport (SCV), located 30.5 km (19.0 mi) west of the city centre.


FC Botoşani is the football team that represents Botoşani.

International relations

Twin towns — Sister cities

Botoşani is twinned with:



  1. ^ "Ovidiu Portariuc (USL) este câștigătorul alegerilor pentru Primăria Botoșani" (in Romanian). 11 iunie 2012. Retrieved 16 iunie 2012. Check date values in: |accessdate=, |date= (help)
  2. ^ a b "2011 Census" (PDF) (in Romanian). INSSE. February 02, 2012. Retrieved March 12, 2012. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  3. ^ Accesat la 16 octombrie 2011

External links