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|First written mention||1436|
|• Mayor||Dorin Chirtoacă|
|• City||123 km2 (47 sq mi)|
|• Metro||563.3 km2 (217.5 sq mi)|
|Elevation||85 m (279 ft)|
|Population (2014 census)|
|• Density||4,007/km2 (10,380/sq mi)|
|Time zone||EET (UTC+2)|
|• Summer (DST)||EEST (UTC+3)|
|Area code(s)||+373 22|
|a As the estimated population of the Municipality of Chișinău (which comprises the city of Chișinău and 34 other suburban localities)|
Chișinău (//; Romanian pronunciation: [kiʃiˈnəw]), also known formerly as Kishinev, is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Moldova. The city is Moldova's main industrial and commercial center, and is located in the middle of the country, on the river Bîc. According to the preliminary results of the 2014 census, the city of Chișinău is home to 492,894 residents. The estimated number of resident population in the Municipality of Chișinău (which includes other nearby communities), as of 1 January 2015, is 736,100.
Chișinău is the most economically prosperous locality in Moldova and its largest transportation hub.
- 1 Etymology and names
- 2 History
- 3 Geography
- 4 Law and government
- 5 Economy
- 6 Demographics
- 7 Cityscape
- 8 Culture and education
- 9 Media
- 10 Politics
- 11 Transport
- 12 Sport
- 13 Personalities
- 14 International relations
- 15 Notes and references
- 16 Further reading
- 17 External links
Etymology and names
The origin of the city's name is unclear.
In one version, the name comes from the archaic Romanian word chișla (meaning "spring", "source of water") and nouă ("new"), because it was built around a small spring, at the corner of Pușkin and Albișoara streets.
The other version, formulated by Ștefan Ciobanu, Romanian historian and academician, holds that the name was formed the same way as the name of Chișineu (alternative spelling: Chișinău) in Western Romania, near the border with Hungary. Its Hungarian name is Kisjenő, from which the Romanian name originates. Kisjenő comes from kis "small" and the "Jenő," one of the seven Hungarian tribes that entered the Carpathian Basin in 896. At least 24 other settlements are named after the "Jenő" tribe.
Chișinău is known in Russian as Кишинёв (Kishinyov [kʲiʃɨˈnʲɔf]]). It is written Kişinöv in the Latin Gagauz alphabet. It was also written as "Chișineu" in pre-20th-century Romanian and as "Кишинэу" in the Moldovan Cyrillic alphabet. Historically, the English language name for the city, "Kishinev", was based on the modified Russian one because it entered the English language via Russian at the time Chișinău was part of the Russian Empire (e.g. Kishinev pogrom). Therefore, it remains a common English name in some historical contexts. Otherwise, the Romanian-based "Chișinău" has been steadily gaining wider currency, especially in written language. The city is also historically referred to as German: Kischinau, Polish: Kiszyniów, Ukrainian: Кишинів, or Yiddish: Keshenev קעשענעװ.
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Founded in 1436 as a monastery village, the city was part of the Principality of Moldavia (which, starting with the 16th century fell under the suzerainty of the Ottoman Empire). At the beginning of the 19th century Chișinău was a small town of 7,000 inhabitants.
By 1834, an imperial townscape with broad and long roads had emerged as a result of a generous development plan, which divided Chișinău roughly into two areas: the old part of the town — with its irregular building structures — and a newer city center and station. Between 26 May 1830 and 13 October 1836 the architect Avraam Melnikov established the Catedrala Nașterea Domnului with a magnificent bell tower. In 1840 the building of the Triumphal arch, planned by the architect Luca Zaushkevich, was completed. Following this the construction of numerous buildings and landmarks began.
On 28 August 1871, Chișinău was linked by rail with Tiraspol, and in 1873 with Cornești. Chișinău-Ungheni-Iași railway was opened on 1 June 1875 in preparation for the Russo-Turkish War (1877–1878). The town played an important part in the war between Russia and Ottoman Empire, as the main staging area of the Russian invasion.
Pogroms and pre-revolution
In the late 19th century, especially due to growing anti-Semitic sentiment in the Russian Empire and better economic conditions, many Jews chose to settle in Chișinău. By the year 1900, 43% of the population of Chișinău was Jewish — one of the highest numbers in Europe.
A large anti-Semitic riot took place in the town on 6–7 April 1903, which would later be known as the Kishinev pogrom. The rioting continued for three days, resulting in 47 Jews dead, 92 severely wounded, and 500 suffering minor injuries. In addition, several hundred houses and many businesses were plundered and destroyed. The pogroms are largely believed to have been incited by anti-Jewish propaganda in the only official newspaper of the time, Bessarabetz (Бессарабецъ). Mayor Schmidt disapproved of the incident and resigned later in 1903. The reactions to this incident included a petition to Tsar Nicholas II of Russia on behalf of the American people by the US President Theodore Roosevelt in July 1905.
On 22 August 1905 another violent event occurred: The police opened fire on an estimated 3,000 demonstrating agricultural workers. Only a few months later, 19–20 October 1905, a further protest occurred, helping to force the hand of Nicholas II in bringing about the October Manifesto. However, these demonstrations suddenly turned into another anti-Jewish pogrom, resulting in 19 deaths.
Following the Russian October Revolution, Bessarabia declared independence from the crumbling empire, as the Moldavian Democratic Republic, before joining the Kingdom of Romania. Romania granted important subsidies to its province and initiated large scale investment programs in the infrastructure of the main cities in Basarabia and Northern Bucovina, expanded the railroad infrastructure and started an extensive program to eradicate illiteracy. Only with the advent of modern technology and industrialization, it slowly rose into prominence.
As of 1919, Chișinău had an estimated population of 133,000. Between 1918 and 1940 the center of the city undertook large renovation work. In 1927 the Stephen the Great Monument, by the sculptor Alexandru Plămădeală, was erected.
World War II
In the chaos of the Second World War Chișinău was almost completely destroyed..A devastating earthquake occurred on 10 November 1940. The epicenter of the quake, which measured 7.3 on the Richter scale, was in eastern Romania and subsequently led to substantial destruction.
After scarcely one year, the assault on the newly created Moldavian SSR by the German and Romanian armies began. Beginning with June 1941 the city came under bombardment by Nazi air raids. However, Romanian sources assign most of the responsibility for the damage to Soviet NKVD destruction battalions, that operated in Chișinău until 17 July 1941, when it was captured by invading Axis forces.
Following the German occupation, the city suffered from the Nazi extermination policy of its Jewish inhabitants, who were transported on trucks to the outskirts of the city and then summarily shot in partially dug pits. The number of Jews murdered during the initial occupation of the city is estimated at approximately 10,000 people.
As the war drew to a conclusion, the city was once more pulled into heavy fighting as German and Romanian troops retreated. Chișinău was taken by the Red Army on 24 August 1944 as a result of the Jassy-Kishinev Operation.
After the war, Bessarabia was fully integrated into the Soviet Union. Most of Bessarabia became the Moldavian SSR with Chișinău as its capital; around 30% of Bessarabia became parts of the Ukrainian SSR.
There was rapid population growth in the 1950s, to which the Soviet administration responded by constructing large-scale housing and palaces in the style of Stalinist architecture. This process continued under Nikita Khrushchev, who called for construction under the slogan "good, cheaper and built faster". The new architectural style brought about dramatic change and generated the style that dominates today, with large blocks of flats arranged in considerable settlements.
The period of the most significant redevelopment of the city extended from 1971, when the Council of Ministers of the Soviet Union adopted a decision "On the measures for further development of the city of Kishinev", which secured more than one billion rubles in investment from the state budget, which continued until the independence of Moldova in 1991. On 4 March 1977 the city was again jolted by a terrible earthquake. Several people were killed and panic broke out.
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Many streets of Chișinău are named after historic persons, places or events. Independence from the Soviet Union was followed by a large-scale renaming of streets and localities from a Communist theme into a national one.
The city lies in central Moldova and is surrounded by a relatively level landscape with very fertile ground.
Chișinău has a humid continental climate (Köppen climate classification Dfa) transitional with a humid subtropical climate and an oceanic climate, characterized by hot dry summers and windy cold winters. Winter temperatures are often below 0 °C (32 °F), although they rarely drop below −10 °C (14 °F). In summer, the average maximum temperature is approximately 25 °C (77 °F), however, temperatures sometimes reach 35 to 40 °C (95 to 104 °F) in mid-summer in downtown. Although average precipitation and humidity during summer is low, there are infrequent yet heavy storms. Spring and autumn temperatures vary between 16 to 24 °C (61 to 75 °F), and precipitation during this time tends to be lower than in summer but with more frequent yet milder periods of rain.
|Climate data for Chișinău (1981–2010)|
|Record high °C (°F)||15.5
|Average high °C (°F)||0.9
|Daily mean °C (°F)||−1.9
|Average low °C (°F)||−4.3
|Record low °C (°F)||−28.4
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||36
|Average rainy days||8||7||11||13||14||14||12||10||10||11||12||10||132|
|Average snowy days||13||13||8||1||0.03||0||0||0||0||0.4||5||11||51|
|Average relative humidity (%)||82||78||71||63||60||63||62||60||66||73||81||83||70|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||75||80||125||187||254||283||299||295||226||169||75||58||2,126|
|Source #1: Pogoda.ru.net|
|Source #2: NOAA (sun, 1961–1990)|
Law and government
Moldova is administratively subdivided into 3 municipalities, 32 districts, and 2 autonomous units. Chișinău is one of these municipalities.
Besides the city itself, the municipality comprises 34 other suburban localities: 6 towns (containing further 2 villages within), and 12 communes (containing further 14 villages within).
The estimated population, as of 2013, is shown in brackets:
Cities population (2013 est.)
- Băcioi (10,618)
- Bubuieci (6,748)
- Budești (5,036)
- Ciorescu (7,096)
- Colonița (3,340)
- Condrița (658)
- Cruzești (1,655)
- Ghidighici (5,094)
- Grătiești (6,242)
- Stăuceni (6,833)
- Goianul Nou
- Tohatin (2,487)
- Trușeni (7,952)
His predecessor was Serafim Urechean. Under the Moldovan constitution, Urechean — elected to parliament in 2005 — was unable to hold an additional post to that of an MP. The Democratic Moldova Bloc leader subsequently accepted his mandate and in April resigned from his former position. During his 11-year term, Urechean committed himself to the restoration of the church tower of the Catedrala Nașterea Domnului and improvements in public transport.
The municipality in its totality elects a mayor and a local council, which then name five pretors, one for each sector. They deal more locally with administrative matters. Each sector claims a part of the city and several suburbs:
Historically, the city was home to fourteen factories in 1919.
Chișinău is the financial and business capital of Moldova. Its GDP comprises about 60% of national economy reached in 2012 the amount of 52 billion lei (US $4 billion). Thus, the GDP per capita of Chișinău stood at 227% of the Moldova's average. Chișinău has the largest and most developed mass media sector in Moldova, and is home to several related companies ranging from leading television networks and radio stations to major newspapers. All national and international banks (15) have their headquarters located in Chișinău.
Notable sites around Chișinău include the cinema Patria, the new malls Malldova, Megapolis Mall and best-known retailers, such as N1, Fidesco, Green Hills, Fourchette and Metro. While many locals continue to shop at the bazaars, many upper class residents and tourists shop at the retail stores and at Malldova. Elăt, an older mall in the Botanica district, and Sun City, in the center, are more popular with locals.
Several amusement parks exist around the city. A Soviet era one is in the Botanica district, along the three lakes of a major park, which reaches the outskirts of the city center. Another, the modern Aventura Park, is located farther from the center. A circus, which used to be in a grand building in the Rîșcani sector, has been inactive for several years due to a poorly funded renovation project.
According to the preliminary results of the last Moldovan census, conducted between 12 and 25 May 2014, 492,894 inhabitants live within the Chișinău municipality limits, of whom 21,026 were working abroad. This represents a 16% drop in the number of residents as opposed to the results of the 2004 Census.
Population by sector
|Sector||Population (2004 cen.)||Population (2012 est.)|
|Ethnic group1||Population||% of total*|
- Christians – 90.0%
- Other – 1.0%
- No religion – 1.4%
- Atheists – 1.5%
- Undeclared – 6.1%
Chișinău's growth plan was developed in the 19th century. In 1836 the construction of the Kishinev Cathedral and its belfry was finished. The belfry was demolished in Soviet times and was rebuilt in 1997. Chișinău also displays a tremendous number of orthodox churches and 19th century buildings around the city such as Ciuflea Monastery or the Transfiguration Church.
Many modern-style buildings have been built in the city since 1991. There are many office and shopping complexes that are modern, renovated or newly built, including Kentford, SkyTower, and Union Fenosa headquarters. However, the old Soviet-style clusters of living blocks are still an extensive feature of the cityscape.
Culture and education
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In Chișinău there are several museums. The three national museums are The National Museum of Ethnography & Natural History, the National Museum of Arts and the National Museum of Archaeology & History.
Events and festivals
Chișinău, as well as Moldova as a whole, still show signs of ethnic culture. Signs that say "Patria Mea" (English: My homeland) can be found all over the capital. While few people still wear traditional Moldavian attire, large public events often draw in such original costumes.
Moldova National Wine Day and Wine Festival take place every year in the first weekend of October, in Chișinău. The events celebrate the fall harvest and recognizes the country's long history of winemaking, which dates back some 500 years.
The first radio station in Chișinău, Radio Basarabia, was launched by the Romanian Radio Broadcasting Company on 8 October 1939, when the religious service was broadcast on air from the Nativity Cathedral. The first TV station in the city, Moldova 1, was launched on 30 April 1958, while Nicolae Lupan was serving as the redactor-in-chief of TeleRadio-Moldova.
The majority of Moldova's media industry is based in Chișinău. The state national broadcaster in the country is the state-owned Moldova 1, which has its head office in the city. The broadcasts of TeleradioMoldova have been criticized by the Independent Journalism Center as showing 'bias' towards the authorities. There are some hopes that a new broadcasting code will resolve some of these issues.
The Romanian Pro TV Chișinău broadcasts locally. It was repeatedly denied national license by the communist government and threatened to be closed down. The station broadcasts a mixture of independent local news, in addition to entertainment and documentary programs from Romania.
Other TV channels are PRIME, Jurnal TV, Publika TV, CTC, DTV, Euro TV, MTV, MuzTV, NIT and TV 7. In addition to television, most Moldovan radio and newspaper companies have their headquarters in the city. Broadcasters include the national radio Vocea Basarabiei, Prime FM, BBC Moldova, Europa Libera, Kiss FM, Pro FM, Radio 21, Fresh FM (Romanian radio station Național FM), Radio Nova, Russkoe radio, Hit FM, and many others.
The biggest broadcasters are SunTV, Satellit and Zebra TV. In 2007 SunTV and Zebra launched digital TV cable networks.
|2010||54.22% 234,156||40.19% 173,570|
|July 2009||56.20% 215,443||41.23% 158,034|
|April 2009||47.99% 176,742||42.43% 153,227|
Electoral and political Chișinău given a higher priority for the center-right parties, in principle AEI. PCRM the main opposition party, has a large percentage in the city, but its support base in the city is dwindling.
|Parties and coalitions||Votes||%||+/−|
|Party of Communists of the Republic of Moldova||173,570||40.19||−1.04|
|Liberal Democratic Party of Moldova||122,845||28.44||+11.55|
|Democratic Party of Moldova||35,369||8,19||-2.36|
|Party Alliance Our Moldova||6,676||1.15||−4.47|
|Other Party (<1.0%)||24,259||5.59||+3.02|
|Total (turnout 67.59%)||433,974||100.00||
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Chișinău International Airport offers connections to major destinations, within Europe and Asia.
The most popular form of internal transport in Moldova is generally the bus. Although the city has just three main terminals, buses generally serve as the means of transport between cities in and outside of Moldova. Popular destinations include Tiraspol, Odessa (Ukraine), Iași and Bucharest (Romania).
The second most popular form of domestic transportation within Moldova is via railways. The total length of the network managed by Moldovan Railway CFM (as of 2009[update]) is 1,232 kilometers (766 miles). The entire network is single track and is not electrified. The central hub of all railways is Chișinău Central Railway Station. There is another smaller railway station - Revaca located on the city's ends.
Chișinău Railway Station has an international railway terminal with connections to Bucharest, Kiev, Minsk, Odessa, Moscow, Samara, Varna and St. Petersburg. Due to the simmering conflict between Moldova and the unrecognised Transnistria republic the rail traffic towards Ukraine is occasionally stopped.
There is wide trolleybus network operating as common public transportation within city. From 1994, Chișinău saw the establishment of new trolleybus lines, as well as an increase in capacity of existing lines, to improve connections between the urban districts. The network comprises 22 trolleybus lines being 246 km (153 mi) in length. Trolleybuses run between 06:00 and 23:00. There are 270 units daily operating in Chișinău. However the requirements are as minimum as 340 units. Trolleybus ticket costs at about 2 lei (ca. $0.18). It is the cheapest method of transport within Chișinău municipality.
There are 29 lines of buses within Chișinău municipality. At each public transportation stops there is attached a schedule for buses and trolleybuses. There are approximately 330 public transportation stops within Chișinău municipality. There is a big lack of buses inside city limits, with only 105 buses operating within Chișinău.
In Chișinău and its suburbs, privately operated minibuses, known as "rutieras" generally follow the major bus and trolleybus routes and appear more frequently. There are approx. 1800 units of minibuses operating within Chișinău. Minibuses services are priced the same as buses - 3 lei for a ticket (ca. $0.25).
The city traffic becomes more and more congested each year pass. Nowadays there are at about 300,000 cars in the city plus 100,000 transit transport coming everyday to the city. Prospective number of personal transport will reach the 550,000 (without transit) in 2025..
There are three professional football clubs in Chișinău, all playing in the Divizia Națională (national league): Zimbru, Dacia and Academia. Of the larger public multiuse stadiums in the city is the Stadionul Dinamo (Dinamo Stadium), which has a capacity of 2,692. The Zimbru Stadium, opened in May 2006 with a capacity of 10,500 sitting places, meets all the requirements for holding official international matches, and was the venue for all Moldova's Euro 2008 qualifying games. Currently there are discussions to build a new modern olympic stadium with capacity of circa 25,000 seats, that would meet all international requirements.
- Olga Bancic, known for her role in the French Resistance during World War II;
- William F. Friedman, American cryptologist;
- Avigdor Lieberman, Israeli politician;
- Lewis Milestone, American motion picture director;
- Sacha Moldovan, American expressionist and post-impressionist painter;
- Ilya Oleynikov, comic actor and television personality;
- Nina Pekerman, Israeli triathlete;
- Andrew Rayel, Stage name of Andrei Rata, Moldovan DJ;
- Alexander Ulanovsky, the chief illegal "rezident" for Soviet Military Intelligence (GRU), prisoner in the Soviet gulag;
- Sam Zemurray, American businessman who made his fortune in the banana trade;
- Maria Cebotari, Romanian soprano and actress, one of Europe's greatest opera stars in the 1930s and 1940s
- Gheorghe Botezatu American engineer, businessman and pioneer of helicopter flight;
- Israel Gohberg, Soviet and Israeli mathematician;
- Dovid Knut, poet and member of the French Resistance;
- Sigmund Mogulesko, singer, actor, and composer;
- Zlata Tkach, composer and music educator;
- Eugen Doga, composer.
Twin towns – sister cities
Notes and references
- Brezianu, Andrei; Spânu, Vlad (2010). The A to Z of Moldova. Scarecrow Press. p. 81. ISBN 9781461672036. Retrieved 26 December 2013.
- "Planul Urbanistic General al Municipiului Chișinău" (Press release). Chișinău City Hall. Retrieved 20 January 2013.
- "Notă informativă privind rezultatele preliminare ale Recensămîntului Populației și Locuințelor din Republica Moldova în anul 2014" (Press release). National Bureau of Statistics of Moldova. 31 December 2014. Retrieved 2 January 2015.
- "Number of resident population in the cities of Moldova" (Press release). National Bureau of Statistics of Moldova. 7 April 2016. Retrieved 29 May 2016.
- (Romanian) History of Chișinău on Kishinev.info, Retrieved on 12 October 2008
- (Romanian) Istoria Orașului I at the Wayback Machine (archived 1 March 2012)
-  (Hungarian)
- Zamfir C. Arbure: Basarabia în secolul XIX, 1898
- Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition
- Virtual Kishinev. Retrieved 23 December 2007.
- Kaba, John (1919). Politico-economic Review of Basarabia. United States: American Relief Administration. p. 12.
- Virgil Pâslariuc. "Cine a devastat Chișinăul în iulie 1941?" Historia.ro (Romanian)
- "Memories of the Holocaust: Kishinev (Chișinău) (1941–1944)", jewishvirtuallibrary.org
- Architecture of Chișinău on Kishinev.info, Retrieved on 12 October 2008
- "Pogoda.ru.net" (in Russian). Погода и климат. May 2011. Retrieved 1 April 2016.
- "Kisinev Climate Normals 1961–1990". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 1 April 2016.
- Moldovan Law 764-XV from 27 December 2001, Monitorul Oficial al Republicii Moldova, no. 16/53, 29 December 2001
- Moldovan Law 431-XIII from 19 April 1995, Monitorul Oficial al Republicii Moldova, no. 31-32/340, 9 June 1995 (Romanian)
- Demography in Bessarabia
- Jewish Population in Bessarabia and Transnistria
- 2004 census results in Moldova
- "Chisinau in cifre. Anuar statistic 2012" (PDF) (Press release). National Bureau of Statistics of Moldova.
- Moldova's 'National Wine Day' at rferl.org
- National Wine Day in Chisinau
- IPNA Compania Teleradio Moldova
- Monitoring of programs on Radio Moldova and TV Moldova 1 at the Wayback Machine (archived 24 February 2007)
- 2003 World Press Freedom Review at the Wayback Machine (archived 29 September 2007)
- "UNIMEDIA este cel mai vizitat site de știri din R. Moldova, potrivit metrica.md". Unimedia.info. Retrieved 2013-03-26.
- "Head Office." Air Moldova. Retrieved on 15 May 2010.
- "Chisinau." Chisinau Infos. World Infos, n.d. Web. 9 Nov. 2016.
- "Orașe înfrățite (Twin cities of Chișinău) [via WaybackMachine.com]" (in Romanian). Primăria Municipiului Chișinău. Archived from the original on 3 November 2012. Retrieved 2013-07-21.
- Jérôme Steffenino, Marguerite Masson. "Ville de Grenoble –Coopérations et villes jumelles". Grenoble.fr. Retrieved 16 May 2013.
- "Partner und Freundesstädte". Stadt Mannheim (in German). Retrieved 2013-07-26.
- listed on Yerevan Municipality Official Website as Kishinev.
- "Yerevan - Twin Towns & Sister Cities". Yerevan Municipality Official Website. © 2005—2013 www.yerevan.am. Retrieved 2013-11-04.
- "Twin towns and Sister cities of Minsk [via WaybackMachine.com]" (in Russian). The department of protocol and international relations of Minsk City Executive Committee. Archived from the original on 2 May 2013. Retrieved 2013-07-21.
- "Kardeş Kentleri Listesi ve 5 Mayıs Avrupa Günü Kutlaması [via WaybackMachine.com]" (in Turkish). Ankara Büyükşehir Belediyesi - Tüm Hakları Saklıdır. Archived from the original on 14 January 2009. Retrieved 2013-07-21.