Chisinau - my hometown

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I think that every person on this planet should love his country. That’s why we call it homeland. But for me, and another big part of people, the real home is the town that gave us birth. My hometown is Chisinau that is situated in the center of the Republic of Moldova. I still live in it and I love it because it keeps fascinating me everyday with new people, places and picturesque views.

According to some historians, the name comes from the old Romanian word chişla ("spring" - source of water, the word is not used anymore, it was replaced by cişmea, which has the same meaning) and nouă ("new"), because it was built around a small spring.

The city is located on the river Bac, a tributary of the Nistru and is divided into six administrative districts. Chisinau has an area of 120 km2 and its whole municipality has 635 km2.

But first of all I want to introduce you in its amazing history. Founded in 1436 as a monastery town, the city was part of the Moldavian Principality, which, starting with the 16th century fell under the suzerainty of the Ottoman Empire. At the beginning of the 19th century it was a small village of 7,000 inhabitants. In 1812 it was occupied by Russia, who made it the centre of Bassarabia. Its population had grown very fast attending 125,787 inhabitants by 1900.

In the late 19th century, especially due to growing anti-semitic sentiment in Russia and Poland and better economic conditions, many Jews chose to settle in Chisinau, so in the year 1900 43% of the population of Chisinau was Jewish. Due to World War II this number has decreased greatly. In 1940 the city has been seized by the Russians.

From that day on the city has developed considerably. For the past few years it has become a member of some very important organisations: The Assotiation of French Speaking Cities, The Assembly of European Regions, The Conference of the South-East European Capitals and others that are not less important.

Chisinau is the most economically-developed and industrialised city in Moldova. It is a major industrial and services centre; its main industries include consumer and electrical goods, building materials, machinery, plastics, rubber, and textiles. The main service fields are banking and shopping/commerce. Some leading companies in the banking industry are VictoriaBank, Agroindbank and ECB (EuroCreditBank). Chisinau's economy is mainly centred on industry and services, with services particularly growing in importance in the last ten years.

There are three bus terminals, an international airport that can handle a number of 400 passenger per hour (Chisinau International Airport) that has been renewed not long ago, and an international railway terminal. In addition, there is a private taxi and minibus system.

The city is home to eleven universities (some of the most important are: A.S.E.M., U.L.I.M. and U.S.M.) and to the Academy of Sciences of Moldova that collaborates with other Scientific Organisations from Romania, Ukraine, Russia, etc.

Chisinau is home to Moldova's largest recording labels, and is often the residence of Moldovan, and more recently Ukraine, musicians. The city's music scene is quite eclectic. Many Moldovan rock bands of the 1970s and 1980s continue to be popular, particularly with the middle-aged, while since the 1990s there has been growth in the boy band and hip hop genres.

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