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Chișinău (/ˌkɪʃɪˈn/ KISH-ih-NOW, also US: /ˌkʃˈn/ KEE-shee-NOW, Romanian: [kiʃiˈnəw] (About this soundlisten)), also known as Kishinev (Russian: Кишинёв, tr. Kishinjóv [kʲɪʂɨˈnʲɵf]), is the capital and largest city[9] 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 Bâc, a tributary of the Dniester. According to the results of the 2014 census, the city proper had a population of 532,513, while the population of the Municipality of Chișinău (which includes the city itself and other nearby communities) was 700,000. Chișinău is the most economically prosperous locality in Moldova and its largest transportation hub. Nearly a third of Moldova's population lives in the metro area.

Etymology

The origin of the city's name is unclear. A theory suggests that the name may come 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.[10]

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.[11] 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.[12][13]

Chișinău is known in Russian as Кишинёв (Kishinjóv), while Moldova's Russian-language media call it Кишинэу, [kʲɪʂɨˈnɛʊ] (Kishineu). It is written Kişinöv in the Latin Gagauz alphabet. It was also written as Chișineu in pre-20th-century Romanian[14] 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, romanizedKyshyniv, or Yiddish: קעשענעװ‎, romanizedKeshenev.

History

Chișinău

Кишинёв
City
Montaj de imagini Commons a Chișinăului.jpg
Flag of Chișinău
Flag
Coat of arms of Chișinău
Coat of arms
Nickname(s): 
Orașul din piatră albă
("The city of white stone")
Chișinău is located in Moldova
Chișinău
Chișinău
Location of Chisinau in Moldova
Chișinău is located in Europe
Chișinău
Chișinău
Chișinău (Europe)
Coordinates: 47°01′22.3932″N 28°50′07.2060″E / 47.022887000°N 28.835335000°E / 47.022887000; 28.835335000Coordinates: 47°01′22.3932″N 28°50′07.2060″E / 47.022887000°N 28.835335000°E / 47.022887000; 28.835335000
Country Moldova
First written mention1436[1]
Government
 • MayorIon Ceban
Area
 • City123 km2 (47 sq mi)
 • Metro
563.3 km2 (217.5 sq mi)

Moldavian period

Founded in 1436 as a monastery village, the city was part of the Principality of Moldavia (which, starting with the 16th century became a vassal state of the Ottoman Empire, but still retaining its autonomy). At the beginning of the 19th century Chișinău was a small town of 7,000 inhabitants.

In 1812, in the aftermath of 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.[10]

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.[11] 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.[12][13]

Chișinău is known in Russian as Кишинёв (Kishinjóv), while Moldova's Russian-language media call it Кишинэу, [kʲɪʂɨˈnɛʊ] (Kishineu). It is written Kişinöv in the Latin Gagauz alphabet. It was also written as Chișineu in pre-20th-century Romanian[14] 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, romanizedKyshyniv, or Yiddish: קעשענעװ‎, romanizedKeshenev.

History

Moldavian period

Founded in 1436 as a monastery village, the city was part of the Principality of Moldavia (which, starting with the 16th century became a vassal state of the Ottoman Empire, but still retaining its autonomy). At the beginning of the 19th century Chișinău was a small town of 7,000 inhabitants.

In 1812, in the aftermath of the Russo-Turkish War (1806–1812), the eastern half of Moldavia was ceded to the Russian Empire. The newly acquired territories became known as Bessarabia.

Russian Imperial period

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.[11] 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.[12][13]

Chișinău is known in Russian as Кишинёв (Kishinjóv), while Moldova's Russian-language media call it Кишинэу, [kʲɪʂɨˈnɛʊ] (Kishineu). It is written Kişinöv in the Latin Gagauz alphabet. It was also written as Chișineu in pre-20th-century Romanian[14] 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, romanizedKyshyniv, or Yiddish: קעשענעװ‎, romanizedKeshenev.

Founded in 1436 as a monastery village, the city was part of the Principality of Moldavia (which, starting with the 16th century became a vassal state of the Ottoman Empire, but still retaining its autonomy). At the beginning of the 19th century Chișinău was a small town of 7,000 inhabitants.

In 1812, in the aftermath of the Russo-Turkish War (1806–1812), the eastern half of Moldavia was ceded to the Russian Empire. The newly acquired territories became known as Bessarabia.

Russian Imperial period

Chișinău, 1889

Under Russian government, Chișinău became the capital of the newly annexed oblast (later guberniya) of Bessarabia. 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 centre and station. Between 26 May 1830 and 13 October 1836 the architect

In 1812, in the aftermath of the Russo-Turkish War (1806–1812), the eastern half of Moldavia was ceded to the Russian Empire. The newly acquired territories became known as Bessarabia.

Under Russian government, Chișinău became the capital of the newly annexed oblast (later guberniya) of Bessarabia. 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 centre 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. During the Belle Époque, the mayor of the city was Carol Schmidt, considered[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. During the Belle Époque, the mayor of the city was Carol Schmidt, considered[by whom?] one of Chisinau's best mayors. Its population had grown to 92,000 by 1862, and to 125,787 by 1900.[15]

In the late 19th century, especially due to growing anti-Semitic sentiment in the Russian Empire and better economic conditions in Moldova, many Jews chose to settle in Chișinău. By the year 1897, 46% of the population of Chișinău was Jewish, over 50,000 people.[16]

As part of the pogrom wave organized in the Russian Empire, a large anti-Semitic riot was organized in the town on 19–20 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.anti-Semitic riot was organized in the town on 19–20 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.[17] Some sources say 49 people were killed.[18] 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 US President Theodore Roosevelt in July 1903.[19]

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.[19]

Following the Russian October Revolution, Bessarabia declared independence from the crumbling empire, as the Moldavian Democratic Republic, before joining the Kingdom of Romania. As of 1919, Chișinău, with an estimated population of 133,000,[20] became the second largest city in Romania.

Between 1918 and 1940, the center of the city undertook large renovation work. Romania granted important subsidies to its province and initiated large scale investment programs in the infrastructure of the main cities in Bessarabia, expanded the railroad infrastructure and started an extensive program to eradicate illiteracy.

In 1927, the Stephen the Great Monument, by the sculptor Alexandru Plămădeală, was erected. In 1933, the first higher education institution in Bessarabia was established, by transferring the Agricultural Sciences Section of the University of Iași to Chișinău, as the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences.

World War II

Between 1918 and 1940, the center of the city undertook large renovation work. Romania granted important subsidies to its province and initiated large scale investment programs in the infrastructure of the main cities in Bessarabia, expanded the railroad infrastructure and started an extensive program to eradicate illiteracy.

In 1927, the Stephen the Great Monument, by the sculptor Alexandru Plămădeală, was erected. In 1933, the first higher education institution in Bessarabia was established, by transferring the Agricultural Sciences Section of the University of Iași to Chișinău, as the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences.

On 28 June 1940, as a direct result of the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, Bessarabia was annexed by the Soviet Union from Romania, and Chișinău became the capital of the newly created Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic.

Following the Soviet occupation, mass deportations, linked with atrocities, were executed by the NKVD between June 1940 and June 1941. In Chișinău, over 400 people were summarily executed in July 1940 and buried in the grounds of the Metropolitan Palace, the Chișinău Theological Institute, and the backyard of the Italian Consulate, where the NKVD had established its headquarters.[21] As part of the policy of political repression of the potential opposition to the Communist power, tens of thousand members of native families were deported from Bessarabia to other regions of the USSR.

On 10 November 1940, a devastating earthquake occurred. The epicenter of the quake, which measured 7.4 (or 7.7, according to other sources) on the Richter scale, was in Vrancea Mountains and subsequently led to substantial destruction: 78 deaths and 2,795 affected buildings (of which 172 destroyed).[22][23]

In June 1941, in order to recover Bessarabia, Romania entered World War II under the command of the German Wehrmacht, declaring war to the Soviet Union. In the chaos of the Second World War, Chișinău was severely affected. In June–July 1941 the city came under bombardment by Nazi air raids. However, the Romanian and newly Moldovan 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 Axis forces.[24]

Following the German and Romanian reoccupation, 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.[25]

As the war drew to a conclusion, the city was once again the scene of heavy fighting as German and Romanian troops retreated. Chișinău was captured by the Red Army on 24 August 1944 as a result of the Second Jassy–Kishinev Offensive.

Soviet period

After the war, Bessarabia was fully reintegrated into the Soviet Union, around 65 percent of its territory as the Moldavian SSR, while the remaining 35 percent were transferred to the Ukrainian SSR.

Two other waves of deportations of Moldova's native population were carried out by the Soviets, the first one immediately after the Soviet reoccupation of Bessarabia until the end of the 1940s, and the second one in the mid-1950s.[26][27]

In the years 1947 to 1949 the architect Alexey Shchusev developed a plan with the aid of a team of architects for the gradual reconstruction of the city.[citation needed]

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 contin

Following the Soviet occupation, mass deportations, linked with atrocities, were executed by the NKVD between June 1940 and June 1941. In Chișinău, over 400 people were summarily executed in July 1940 and buried in the grounds of the Metropolitan Palace, the Chișinău Theological Institute, and the backyard of the Italian Consulate, where the NKVD had established its headquarters.[21] As part of the policy of political repression of the potential opposition to the Communist power, tens of thousand members of native families were deported from Bessarabia to other regions of the USSR.

On 10 November 1940, a devastating earthquake occurred. The epicenter of the quake, which measured 7.4 (or 7.7, according to other sources) on the Richter scale, was in Vrancea Mountains and subsequently led to substantial destruction: 78 deaths and 2,795 affected buildings (of which 172 destroyed).[22][23]

In June 1941, in order to recover Bessarabia, Romania entered World War II under the command of the German Wehrmacht, declaring war to the Soviet Union. In the chaos of the Second World War, Chișinău was severely affected. In June–July 1941 the city came under bombardment by Nazi air raids. However, the Romanian and newly Moldovan 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 Axis forces.[24]

Following the German and Romanian reoccupation, 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.[25]

As the war drew to a conclusion, the city was once again the scene of heavy fighting as German and Romanian troops retreated. Chișinău was captured by the Red Army on 24 August 1944 as a result of the Second Jassy–Kishinev Offensive.

After the war, Bessarabia was fully reintegrated into the Soviet Union, around 65 percent of its territory as the Moldavian SSR, while the remaining 35 percent were transferred to the Ukrainian SSR.

Two other waves of deportations of Moldova's native population were carried out by the Soviets, the first one immediately after the Soviet reoccupation of Bessarabia until the end of the 1940s, and the second one in the mid-1950s.[26]Two other waves of deportations of Moldova's native population were carried out by the Soviets, the first one immediately after the Soviet reoccupation of Bessarabia until the end of the 1940s, and the second one in the mid-1950s.[26][27]

In the years 1947 to 1949 the architect Alexey Shchusev developed a plan with the aid of a team of architects for the gradual reconstruction of the city.[citation needed]

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.[citation needed] These Khrushchev-era building are often informally called Khrushchyovka.

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,[28] which continued until the independence of Moldova in 1991. The share of dwellings built during the Soviet period (1951–1990) represents 74.3 percent of total households.[29]

On 4 March 1977, the city was again jolted by a devastating earthquake. Several people were killed and panic broke out.

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.[citation needed]

Geography

Chișinău is located on the river Bâc, a tributary of the Dniester, at 47°0′N 28°55′E / 47.000°N 28.917°E / 47.000; 28.917, with an area of 120 km2 (46 sq mi). The municipality comprises 635 km2 (245&#

Chișinău is located on the river Bâc, a tributary of the Dniester, at 47°0′N 28°55′E / 47.000°N 28.917°E / 47.000; 28.917, with an area of 120 km2 (46 sq mi). The municipality comprises 635 km2 (245 sq mi).

The city lies in central Moldova and is surrounded by a relatively level landscape with very fertile ground.

Climate

Communes

Administration

Administrative sectors of Chișinău: 1-Telecentru, 2-Buiucani, 3-Râșcani, 4-Botanica, 5-Ciocana.

Chișinău is governed by the City Council and the City Mayor (Romanian: Primar), both elected once every four years.

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.

Local government

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:[34]

Economy

Historically, the city was home to fourteen factories in 1919.[20] Chișinău is the financial and business capital of Moldova. Its GDP comprises about 60% of the national economy[35] 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 located 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 Râșcani sector, has been inactive for several years due to a poorly funded renovation project.[citation needed]

Demographics

City of Chișinău
YearPop.±%
1812[36] 7,000—    
1818[36] 10,966+56.7%
1835[36] 34,079+210.8%
1847Besides 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 population, as of 2014 census,[8] is shown in brackets:

Communes