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Chisinau

Trip Planner Europe  /  Moldova  /  Chisinau District  /  Chisinau
(3.8/5 based on 2,000+ reviews for top 20 attractions)
Things to do: parks, sightseeing, museums
Chișinău, also known as Kishinev, is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Moldova. It 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 municipality of Chișinău is home to 492,894 residents.Chișinău is the most economically prosperous locality in Moldova and its largest transportation hub.Etymology and namesThe 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. 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.
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