Chișinău

(Redirected from Kishinev)

Chișinău (/ˌkɪʃɪˈn/ KISH-in-OW, US also /ˌkʃˈn/ kee-shee-NOW; Romanian: [kiʃiˈnəw] ) is the capital and largest city of Moldova.[8] The city is Moldova's main industrial and commercial centre, and is located in the middle of the country, on the river Bîc, 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.

Chișinău
Views of Chișinău: Chișinău City Hall, Triumphal Arch and Nativity Cathedral, Stephen the Great Monument, Chișinău State Circus and Valea Morilor Park, Endava Tower
Flag of Chișinău
Coat of arms of Chișinău
Nickname(s): 
Orașul din piatră albă
(lit.'The city of white stone')
Chișinău is located in Moldova
Chișinău
Chișinău
Location of Chișinău in Moldova
Chișinău is located in Europe
Chișinău
Chișinău
Chișinău (Europe)
Coordinates: 47°01′22″N 28°50′07″E / 47.02278°N 28.83528°E / 47.02278; 28.83528
Country Moldova
First written mention14 October 1436[1]
Government
 • TypeMayor–council government
 • MayorIon Ceban
(National Alternative Movement)
Area
 • Capital city and municipality123 km2 (47 sq mi)
 • Metro
571.6 km2 (217.5 sq mi)
Elevation
85 m (279 ft)
Population
 (2014 census)[3]
 • Capital city and municipality532,513
 • Estimate 
(2019)[4]
639,000
 • Density4,329/km2 (11,210/sq mi)
 • Urban702,300
 • Rural77,000
 • Metro779,300
GDP
 • Capital city and municipality€3.448 billion (2015)
 • Per capita€5,400 (2015)
Time zoneUTC+02:00 (EET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+03:00 (EEST)
Postal code
MD-20xx
Area code+373-22
ISO 3166 codeMD-CU
HDI (2021)0.770[6]
high · 1st
Websitechisinau.md
a As the population of the Municipality of Chișinău (which comprises the city of Chișinău and 34 other suburban localities)[7]

Moldova has a history of winemaking dating back to at least 3,000 BCE, and as the capital city, Chișinău hosts the yearly national wine festival every October.[9][10] Though the city's buildings were badly damaged during the Second World War and earthquakes, there remains a rich architectural heritage, especially in the form of Socialist realism and Brutalist architecture. The city's central railway station boasts a Russian-Imperial architectural style, and maintains direct rail links to Romania. The Swiss-Italian-Russian architect Alexander Bernardazzi designed many of the city's most impressive buildings, including the Chișinău City Hall, Church of Saint Theodore, and the Church of Saint Panteleimon. The city hosts the National Museum of Fine Arts, Moldova State University, Brancusi Gallery, the National Museum of History of Moldova with over 236,000 exhibits, and bustling markets in the north of the city, including the house where Alexander Pushkin once resided while in exile from Alexander I of Russia, and which has now been turned into a museum. The city's Nativity Cathedral, located at the centre of the city and constructed in the 1830s, has been described as a "masterpiece" of Neoclassical architecture.[11]

Etymology edit

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.[12]

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 spelt as Chișinău) in Western Romania, near the border with Hungary. Its Hungarian name is Kisjenő, from which the Romanian name originates.[13] 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.[14][15]

Chișinău is known in Russian as Kishinyov (Кишинёв, pronounced [kʲɪʂɨˈnʲɵf]), while Moldova's Russian-language media call it Kishineu (Кишинэу, pronounced [kʲɪʂɨˈnɛʊ]). It is written Kişinöv in the Latin Gagauz alphabet. It was also written as Chișineu in pre-20th-century Romanian[16] 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, (German: [ˌkɪʃiˈnaʊ̯] ); Polish: Kiszyniów, (Polish: [kʲiʂɨˈɲuf] ); Ukrainian: Кишинів, romanizedKyshyniv, (Ukrainian: [ˈkɪʃɪnʲiv] ); or Yiddish: קעשענעװ, romanizedKeshenev.

History edit

Historical affiliations



  Kingdom of Hungary 1000–1812

  Russian Empire 1812–1917
  Russian Republic 1917
  Moldavian Democratic Republic 1917–1918
  Kingdom of Romania 1918–1940
  Soviet Union 1940–1941
  Kingdom of Romania 1941–1944
  Soviet Union 1944–1991
  Moldova 1991–present

Moldavian period edit

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.

Russian Imperial period edit

 
Chișinău, 1889

In 1812, in the aftermath of the Russo-Turkish War (1806–1812), the eastern half of Moldavia was ceded by the Ottomans 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 the 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 Chișinău's best mayors. Its population had grown to 92,000 by 1862, and to 125,787 by 1900.[17]

Pogroms and pre-revolution edit

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.[18]

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.[19] Some sources say 49 people were killed.[20] 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.[21]

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, on 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.[21]

Romanian period edit

 
Stephen the Great monument

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,[22] 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 edit

 
Eternity – a memorial complex dedicated to the soldiers who fell in World War II and the military conflict in Transnistria
 
Train of Pain – the monument to the victims of communist mass deportations in Moldova
 
State Art Museum, during the Cold War period
 
Prospectul Păcii in 1980

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. More than 400 people were summarily executed in Chișinău 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.[23] 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.

A devastating earthquake occurred on 10 November 1940, measuring 7.4 (or 7.7, according to other sources) on the Richter scale. The epicenter of the quake was in the Vrancea Mountains, and it led to substantial destruction: 78 deaths and 2,795 damaged buildings (of which 172 were destroyed).[24][25]

In June 1941, in order to recover Bessarabia, Romania entered World War II under the command of the German Wehrmacht, declaring war on the Soviet Union. Chișinău was severely affected in the chaos of the Second World War. In June and 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, which operated in Chișinău until 17 July 1941, when it was captured by Axis forces.[26]

During the German and Romanian military administration, 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 10,000 people.[27] During this time, Chișinău, part of Lăpușna County, was the capital of the newly established Bessarabia Governorate of Romania.[28]

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 edit

After the war, Bessarabia was fully reintegrated into the Soviet Union, with around 65 percent of its territory as the Moldavian SSR, while the remaining 35 percent was 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.[29][30]

 
Trams in Chișinău (pictured Gothawagen ET54) were discontinued in 1961.

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 buildings are often informally called Khrushchyovka.

The period of the most significant redevelopment of the city began in 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,[31] and 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.[32]

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

On 22 April 1993, the city inaugurated the Monument to the Victims of Jewish Ghettos, a public monument centring on a bronze statue of the Biblical prophet Moses, which serves as a symbol of remembrance to the thousands of Jews who perished during the holocaust. The monument was designed by architect Simeon Shoihet and sculptor Naum Epelbaum. It stands on Ierusalim Street, marking the site of the main entrance to the Chisinau ghetto, which was established in the lower part of the city in July 1941, shortly after the German and Romanian troops occupied the area.[33]

After independence edit

Since Moldovan independence following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, many streets of Chișinău have been renamed 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.[34]

On 5 September 2022, the country's first Christian university Universitatea Moldo-Americană opened its doors, supported by the Scandinavian broadcaster Visjon Norge and several donors in Norway, and run in cooperation with the American Southeastern University in Florida, United States.[35]

Following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Moldova allowed more than 600,000 Ukrainian civilians to flee Ukraine across their border. Despite being among the poorest states in Europe, Moldova has continued to host more than 100,000 Ukrainian refugees, many of them in Chișinău.[36][37][38]

On 23 November 2022, the Chișinău Court of Appeal ruled that Chișinău International Airport will return to state ownership, according to justice minister Sergiu Litvinenco, more than three months after an international court allowed Moldova to terminate a 49-year concession deal with airport operator Avia Invest.[39] In April 2023, the Dutch government opened a new embassy in Chișinău.[40]

On 21 May 2023, tens of thousands of Moldovans took to the streets in a massive rally, the European Moldova National Assembly, to support the country's European Union membership bid.[41][42] Moldovan police said more than 75,000 demonstrators were present. Moldovan President Maia Sandu, whose government organised the rally, made a speech in which she said "We don't want to be on the outskirts of Europe anymore", and President of the European Parliament Roberta Metsola also addressed the crowd, in which she said that Europe would welcome Moldova "with open arms and open hearts".[43]

Later that month, Chișinău hosted a major international summit of the European Political Community organised to discuss the illegal Russian invasion of Ukraine as well as cybersecurity, migration and energy security, and regional issues in Azerbaijan, Armenia, and clashes in Kosovo. 50 leaders from 47 countries were in attendance, including Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, French President Emmanuel Macron, U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, and President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen.[44][45] Moldova and fellow countries reaffirmed their commitment to their condemnation of Russia's invasion and their support for Ukraine in the war. Ursula von der Leyen promised new financing and investment steps for Moldova, worth around €1.6 billion.[46] Moldovan President Maia Sandu called the summit "a testament to growing unity on the [European] continent", and a "resolute reaffirmation of our unwavering dedication to peace, a strong condemnation of Russia's invasion (and of Moldova's) continued solidarity with Ukraine.[46]

Geography edit

 
"Museum of the village" (Muzeul satului), located on the southern outskirts of the city

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 edit

 
Botanical garden

Chișinău has a humid continental climate (Köppen climate classification Dfa) characterised by warm summers and cold, windy winters. Winter minimum 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 occasionally reach 35 to 40 °C (95 to 104 °F) in mid-summer in downtown. Although average precipitation and humidity during summer is relatively low, there are infrequent yet heavy storms.

Spring and autumn temperatures vary between 16 and 24 °C (61 and 75 °F), and precipitation during this time tends to be lower than in summer but with more frequent yet milder periods of rain.

 
Bird's eye view of the Central park
Climate data for Chișinău (1991–2020, extremes 1886–present)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 16.6
(61.9)
20.7
(69.3)
25.7
(78.3)
31.6
(88.9)
35.9
(96.6)
37.5
(99.5)
39.4
(102.9)
39.2
(102.6)
37.3
(99.1)
32.6
(90.7)
23.8
(74.8)
18.3
(64.9)
39.4
(102.9)
Mean daily maximum °C (°F) 1.1
(34.0)
3.4
(38.1)
9.2
(48.6)
16.4
(61.5)
22.3
(72.1)
26.1
(79.0)
28.4
(83.1)
28.3
(82.9)
22.3
(72.1)
15.5
(59.9)
8.1
(46.6)
2.7
(36.9)
15.3
(59.5)
Daily mean °C (°F) −1.8
(28.8)
−0.2
(31.6)
4.5
(40.1)
11.0
(51.8)
16.8
(62.2)
20.7
(69.3)
22.9
(73.2)
22.6
(72.7)
17.0
(62.6)
10.8
(51.4)
4.8
(40.6)
−0.2
(31.6)
10.7
(51.3)
Mean daily minimum °C (°F) −4.2
(24.4)
−3.0
(26.6)
0.7
(33.3)
6.3
(43.3)
11.8
(53.2)
15.9
(60.6)
17.9
(64.2)
17.5
(63.5)
12.5
(54.5)
7.1
(44.8)
2.1
(35.8)
−2.5
(27.5)
6.8
(44.2)
Record low °C (°F) −28.4
(−19.1)
−28.9
(−20.0)
−21.1
(−6.0)
−6.6
(20.1)
−1.1
(30.0)
3.6
(38.5)
7.8
(46.0)
5.5
(41.9)
−2.4
(27.7)
−10.8
(12.6)
−21.6
(−6.9)
−22.4
(−8.3)
−28.9
(−20.0)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 36
(1.4)
31
(1.2)
35
(1.4)
39
(1.5)
54
(2.1)
65
(2.6)
67
(2.6)
49
(1.9)
48
(1.9)
47
(1.9)
43
(1.7)
41
(1.6)
555
(21.8)
Average extreme snow depth cm (inches) 7
(2.8)
6
(2.4)
3
(1.2)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
1
(0.4)
3
(1.2)
7
(2.8)
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 70 96 155 210 283 301 326 308 220 162 81 65 2,277
Source 1: Pogoda.ru.net[47]
Source 2: NOAA (sun, 1991–2020)[48]

Law and government edit

 
Chișinău City Hall

Municipality edit

Moldova is administratively subdivided into 3 municipalities, 32 districts, and 2 autonomous units. With a population of 662,836 inhabitants (as of 2014), the Municipality of Chișinău (which includes the nearby communities) is the largest of these municipalities.[49]

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 population, as of the 2014 Moldovan census,[7] is shown in brackets:

Cities/towns edit

Communes edit

Administration edit

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

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

Local government edit

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:[50]

  Centru
  Buiucani
  Râșcani
  Botanica
  Ciocana

Economy edit

 
Malldova shopping centre

Historically, the city was home to fourteen factories in 1919.[22] Chișinău is the financial and business capital of Moldova. Its GDP comprises about 60% of the national economy[51] 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 Cineplex Loteanu, the new malls MallDova, Port Mall and best-known retailers, such as N1, Linella, Kaufland, 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. Jumbo, an older mall in the Botanica district, and Sun City, in the centre, 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 centre. Another, the modern Aventura Park, is located farther from the centre. The Chișinău State 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.[52]

Demographics edit

City of Chișinău
YearPop.±% p.a.
1812[53] 7,000—    
1818[53] 10,966+7.77%
1835[53] 34,079+6.90%
1847[53] 43,965+2.15%
1851 58,849+7.56%
1865 94,047+3.41%
YearPop.±% p.a.
1897(c)[54] 108,483+0.45%
1912 121,000+0.73%
1930(c)[54] 114,896−0.29%
1950 134,000+0.77%
1963 253,500+5.03%
1980 519,200+4.31%
YearPop.±% p.a.
1991 676,700+2.44%
2004(c)[55] 589,446−1.06%
2014(c)[3] 532,513−1.01%
2017(e)[56] 685,900+8.80%
2019(e)[4] 639,000−3.48%
c-census; e-estimate
 
Chișinău population pyramid in 2021
Municipality of Chișinău
YearPop.±% p.a.
1959(c) 258,910—    
1970(c) 415,956+4.40%
1979(c) 589,140+3.94%
1989(c) 770,948+2.73%
YearPop.±% p.a.
2004(c) 712,218−0.53%
2014(c) 662,836−0.72%
2017(e) 820,500+7.37%
2019(e) 779,300−2.54%
c-census; e-estimate; Source:[4][57]

According to the results of the 2014 Moldovan census, conducted in May 2014, 532,513 inhabitants live within the Chișinău city limits. This represents a 9.7% drop in the number of residents compared to the results of the 2004 census.

Natural statistics (2015):[58]

Population by sector:

Sector Population (2004 cen.)[58] Population (2019 est.)[4]
Botanica 156,633 170,600
Buiucani 107,744 110,100
Centru 90,494 96,200
Ciocana 101,834 115,900
Râșcani 132,740 146,200

Ethnic composition edit

Population of Chișinău according to ethnic group (Censuses 1930–2014)
Ethnic
group
19301 19412 19593 19704 19895 20046 20147
Number % Number % Number % Number % Number % Number % Number %
Moldovans * 48,456 42.17 43,024 81.24 69,722 32.38 137,942 37.90 366,468 51.26 481,626 68.94 304,860 67.18
Romanians * 331 0.15 513 0.14 31,984 4.58 65,605 14.46
Russians 19,631 17.09 5,915 11.17 69,600 32.22 110,449 30.35 181,002 25.32 99,149 14.19 42,174 9.29
Ukrainians 563 0.49 1,745 3.29 25,930 12.00 51,103 14.04 98,190 13.73 58,945 8.44 26,991 5.95
Bulgarians 541 0.47 183 0.35 1,811 0.84 3,855 1.06 9,224 1.29 8,868 1.27 4,850 1.07
Gagauz 17 0.03 1,476 0.68 2,666 0.73 6,155 0.86 6,446 0.92 3,108 0.68
Others 45,705 39.78 2,078 3.92 45,626 21.12 54,688 15.03 47,525 6.65 11,605 1.66 6,210 1.37
Total 114,896 52,962 216,005 363,940 714,928 712,218 469,402
* Since the independence of Moldova, there is an ongoing controversy over whether Moldovans and Romanians are the same ethnic group.
** These percentages are for the 469,402 reviewed citizens in the 2014 census that answered the ethnicity question. An additional estimated 193,434 inhabitants of the Municipality of Chișinău weren't reviewed.
1Source:[1]. 2Source:[2] Archived 1 November 2018 at the Wayback Machine. 3Source:[3]. 4Source:[4]. 5Source:[5]. 6Source:[6]. 7Source:[7].

Languages edit

Languages usually spoken in Chișinău (Censuses 1989–2014)
First
language
19891 20042 20143
Number % Number % Number %
Romanian* 258,910 37.06 197,101 43.78
Moldovan* 117,527 17.34 199,547 28.56 133,027 29.55
Russian 482,436 71.20 234,037 33.50 115,434 25.64
Other languages 77,627 11.46 6,106 0.87 4,635 1.03
Total 714,928 712,218 469,402
* The Moldovan language represents the glottonym (dialect) given to the Romanian language in the Republic of Moldova.
1Sursă:[8][failed verification]. 2Sursă:[9]. 3Sursă:[10].

Religion edit

Chișinău is the seat of the Moldovan Orthodox Church, as well as of the Metropolis of Bessarabia. The city has multiple churches and synagogues.[22]

Cityscape edit

Panorama of Chișinău at night

Architecture edit

Soviet-style apartment buildings in Chișinău
Romashka Tower, the tallest building in Moldova

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. Much of the city is made from limestone quarried from Cricova, leaving a famous wine cellar there.

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 Unión Fenosa headquarters. However, the old Soviet-style clusters of living blocks are still an extensive feature of the cityscape.

Culture and education edit

Education edit

The city is home to 9 public and 8 private universities, the Academy of Sciences of Moldova, a number of institutions offering high school and 1–2 years of college education. Among them are Moldova State University, the Academy of Economic Studies of Moldova, Alexandru cel Bun Military Academy, Nicolae Testemițanu State University of Medicine and Pharmacy, and Ion Creangă State Pedagogical University.

On 5 September 2022, the country's first Christian university Universitatea Moldo-Americană opened its doors, supported by the Scandinavian broadcaster Visjon Norge and several donors in Norway, and run in cooperation with the American Southeastern University in Florida, United States.[35]

In Chișinău there are several museums. The three national museums are the National Museum of Ethnography and Natural History, the National Museum of Fine Arts, and the National Museum of History of Moldova. The National Museum of Ethnography and Natural History was founded in October 1889 by baron Alexandru Stuart, moved to its current location in 1905, and is the oldest museum in Moldova.[59] It houses more than 135,000 exhibit pieces, among them a life-sized reconstruction of the skeleton of a dinothere, discovered in the Rezine region in 1966.[60] It also includes exhibits on natural history, natural sciences, archaeology, paleontology, geology, and ethnography.[61] The building was designed by the architect Vladimir Tsyganko in a distinctive Moorish architectural style with a signature frontal façade consisting of a triangular pediment supported by two Doric columns.[62][63]

The National Library of Moldova is also located in Chișinău.[64]

Events and festivals edit

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 autumn harvest and recognises the country's long history of winemaking, which dates back to at least 3,000 BCE.[65][66] Moldova has been called the wine capital of Europe and its yearly festival is a major cultural and tourist event, and every year the streets are filled with people enjoying food, wine, dance, and music taking over the streets.[9][67] Moldova's most-awarded sommelier Mihai Druta has described Moldovan wine as being about "small producers and family wineries making premium wine. And nothing costs more than 100 Euro a bottle."[67] The Daily Express in 2019 described the city as "Europe's latest hotspot" in which journalist Maisha Frost praised "its wines, monumental wineries and their epic tasting sessions."[68] She described the city's Carpe Diem wine bar as "the flagship for a flourishing new breed of craft-style makers."

In popular culture edit

The city is the main setting of the 2016 Netflix film Spectral, which takes place in the near future during the fictional Moldovan War.

Media edit

The majority of Moldova's media industry is based in Chișinău. There are almost 30 FM-radio stations and 10 TV-channels broadcasting in Chișinău. 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.[69]

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 criticised by the Independent Journalism Center as showing 'bias' towards the authorities.[70]

Other TV channels based in Chișinău are Pro TV Chișinău, PRIME, Jurnal TV, Publika TV, CTC, DTV, Euro TV, TV8, etc. 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, Radio Europa Libera, Kiss FM Chișinău, Pro FM Chișinău, Radio 21, Fresh FM, Radio Nova, Russkoye Radio, Hit FM Moldova, and many others.

The biggest broadcasters are SunTV, StarNet (IPTV), Moldtelecom (IPTV), Satellit and Zebra TV. In 2007 SunTV and Zebra launched digital TV cable networks.

Politics edit

 
Presidential Palace in Chișinău

Elections edit

Transport edit

 
Chișinău Railway Station, exterior
 
Trolleybus on the street

Airport edit

Chișinău International Airport offers connections to major destinations in Europe and Asia.

FlyOne and HiSky airlines have their headquarters, and Wizz-Air has its hub on the grounds of Chișinău International Airport.[71]

Road edit

The most popular form of internal transport in Moldova is generally the bus.[citation needed] 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, Odesa (Ukraine), Iași and Bucharest (Romania).

Rail edit

The second most popular form of domestic transportation within Moldova is via railways. The total length of the network managed by Moldovan Railway (as of 2009) is 1,232 kilometres (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, Kyiv, Minsk, Odesa, 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.[citation needed]

Public transport edit

Trolleybuses edit

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 05:00 and 03:00. There are 320 units daily operating in Chișinău. However the requirements are as minimum as 600 units.[clarification needed] A trolleybus ticket costs 6 lei (ca. $0.31). It is the cheapest method of transport within Chișinău municipality.

Buses edit

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 115 buses operating within Chișinău.[72]

Minibuses edit

In Chișinău and its suburbs, privately operated minibuses known as "rutieras" generally follow the major bus and trolleybus routes and appear more frequently.[73]

As of October 2017, there are 1,100 units of minibuses operating within Chișinău. Minibuses services are priced the same as buses – 3 lei for a ticket (ca. $0.18).[74]

Traffic edit

The city traffic becomes more congested as each year passes. Nowadays there are about 300,000 cars in the city plus 100,000 transit transports coming to the city each day.[citation needed] The number of personal transports is expected to reach 550,000 (without transit) by 2025.[citation needed]

Sport edit

 
Zimbru Stadium

There are three professional football clubs in Chișinău: Zimbru and Dacia Buiucani of the Moldovan Super Liga (first level), Real Succes and Victoria Bardar the Liga 1 (second level). Of the larger public multi-use 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. There are discussions to build a new Olympic stadium with capacity of circa 25,000 seats, that would meet all international requirements. Since 2011 CS Femina-Sport Chișinău has organised women's competitions in seven sports.

Notable people edit

Natives edit

Residents edit

Twin towns – sister cities edit

Chișinău is twinned with:[75]

Notes and references edit

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Further reading edit

External links edit