Roman Catholic Cathedral in Orhei
|• Total||8.5 km2 (3.3 sq mi)|
|• Density||2,500/km2 (6,400/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+2 (EET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+3 (EEST)|
Orhei (Romanian pronunciation: [orˈhej]; Yiddish Uriv – אוריװ), also formerly known as Orgeev (Russian: Орге́ев), is a city, municipality and the administrative centre  of Orhei District in the Republic of Moldova, with a population of 21,065. Orhei is approximately 40 kilometres (25 miles) north of the capital, Chișinău.
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 Ottoman-occupied military center of northern Bessarabia until it was ceded to the Russian Empire in 1812. The word "orhei" was used by local population, meaning "strengthened hill, fortress, deserted courtyard". 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. Regardless of origin, Orhei gets its name from Orheiul Vechi, an active monastery near the village of Ivancea.
Like the rest of Bessarabia, Orhei was taken by the Kingdom of Romania after World War I and was annexed by the USSR in 1940. It was almost 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.
While Orhei was still within Bessarabia, the population 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.
Orhei has two radio stations, Radio Orhei (97.5 FM) and Radio Plai (92.6 FM). Radio Orhei broadcasts news from the Orhei region, Moldova national news, international news, and Russian, Moldovan, and Romanian music.. There is also a site that can be accessed for more information about news events.
Twin towns – Sister cities
Orhei is twinned with:
- Ilie Cătărău
- Jacobo Fijman
- Dovid Knut
- Moissey kogan
- Mihail Maculețchi
- Alex Magala
- Rodica Mahu
- Pasha Parfeny
- Results of Population and Housing Census in the Republic of Moldova in 2014: "Characteristics - Population (population by communes, religion, citizenship)" (XLS). National Bureau of Statistics of the Republic of Moldova. 2017. Retrieved 1 May 2017.
- LEGE Nr. 248 din 03.11.2016 pentru modificarea și completarea Legii nr. 764-XV din 27 decembrie 2001 privind organizarea administrativ-teritorială a Republicii Moldova (in Romanian)
- "Slavic Orgeev, Orkhei and Hungarian Őrhely," Ural-altaische Jahrbücher 61 (1989), p. 127.
- Teodor PORUCIC - Lexiconul termenilor entropici din limba română în Basarabia, extras din Arhivele Basarabiei, 1931, nr. 1-4, Chişinău
- 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 Neamț – Twin Towns". 2007–2008 piatra-neamt.net. Archived from the original on 16 November 2009. Retrieved 27 September 2009.
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