Photos of Chișinău, the Moldovan capital, Moldova

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Chișinău, the capital of Moldova

Chișinău is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Moldova, in the centre of the country, its main industrial and commercial centre. The city of Chișinău, during Soviet days mainly known by its Russian name Kishinev, has close to half a million inhabitants.

Chișinău City Hall
 
Arcul de Triumf, Chișinău
 
Arcul de Triumf, Chișinău
 
Nativity Cathedral, Chișinău
 
Nativity Cathedral, Chișinău
 
In Nativity Cathedral, Chișinău
 
National Museum of History of Moldova
 
Figurine, National Museum of History
 
Ciuflea Monastery, Chișinău
 
Hotel Chișinău
 
Memorial of Stalinist repression
 
Chişinău railway station
 
Chişinău flea market
 
Chişinău vegetable market
 
Chişinău fruit market
 
Chişinău meat market
 
Chişinău vegetable market
 
MiG-21, Chișinău Military Museum
 
Schoolchildren doing performance
 
Valea Morilor Park, Chișinău
 
Transfiguration Church, Chișinău
 
Presidential Palace, Chișinău
 
Protesters, Chișinău
 
Protest speeches, Chișinău
 
Protesters camped in Chișinău
 
National Theatre, Chișinău
 
Pedestrian crossing, Chișinău
 
Handicraft market, Chișinău
 
Stephen the Great Monument
 
Fountain, Stephen the Great Park
 
Palace of the Republic, Chișinău
 
Archeology and Ethnography Museum
 
Moldovan costumes, Museum
 
Heroes-Komsomol monument, Chișinău
 
Heroes-Komsomol monument, Chișinău
 
Andy's Pizza, Chișinău
 

Chișinău was founded in 1436 as a monastery village in the Principality of Moldavia; it was built around a small spring, that may be the source of its name: "chișla" means "spring" or "water source" in old Romanian and "nouă" means "new". When after the Russo-Turkish War of 1806–1812 eastern Moldavia was ceded to the Russian Empire, Chișinău became the capital of the newly annexed region of Bessarabia. During the Russian period the city received its boulevards, its Cathedral of Christ's Nativity and Triumphal Arch to commemorate the victory of the Russian Empire over the Ottoman Empire in the Russo-Turkish War of 1828–1829.

During the Romanian period between the two World Wars the Stephen the Great Monument was built to replace the monument to Alexander II of Russia, that was destroyed in 1918 and the city was developed and large renovation works were carried out. However, during the Second World War Chișinău was almost completely destroyed: first by a huge earthquake on 10 November 1940 and then by Nazi bombardments and Soviet destruction battalions. It was captured by Axis forces on 17 July 1941, and suffered terribly from Nazi extermination policies: about 10,000 Jews were murdered here. The city was taken by the Red Army on 24 August 1944. During subsequent Soviet days, the drab apartment blocks and Stalinist style palaces were built; on 4 March 1977 another big earthquake shook the city, causing several deaths.

Since independence the city has seen demonstrations against corruption, culminating in the "Revolta de la Chișinău" (the Chișinău revolt) starting on 7 April 2009 in which rioters attacked the parliament building and presidential office, breaking windows, setting furniture on fire and stealing property; six years later the Presidential Palace was still closed off with a large corrugated iron fence. And when in 2014 it was revealed there had been theft at three banks of funds worth about 1 billion U.S. dollars by means of fraudulent loans to business entities in which oligarchs and maybe even the government seemed implicated, massive public protests followed, with protesters camping in front of the Parliament building displaying slogans denouncing the massive corruption.