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Chişinău is the capital and largest municipality of Moldova

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Orasul ChisinauChişinău (Romanian pronunciation:  [kiʃiˈnəw]; or Kishinev (before 1991), Russian: Кишинёв, Kishinyov), is the capital and largest municipality of Moldova. It is also its main industrial and commercial centre and is located in the middle of the country, on the river Bîc. The population of the city is 592,900 (2007) which grows to 911,400 in the entire metropolitan area. The Chişinău aglomeration has about 1.3 million people in 4.500 km2

Chişinău is the most economically prosperous locality in Moldova, and its largest transportation hub. As the most economically and socially important municipality in Moldova, the city has a broad range of educational facilities.

According to one version, the name comes from the archaic Romanian word chişla (meaning «spring», «source of water») and nouă («new»), because it was built around a small spring. Nowadays, the spring is located at the corner of Pushkin and Albişoara streets.

An alternative version, by Stefan Ciobanu, Romanian historian and academician, holds it, that the name was formed the same way as the name of Chişineu (alternative spelling: Chişinău) in Western Romania, near the border with Hungary. Its Hungarian name is Kisjenő, from which the Romanian name originates.[2] Kisjenő in turn comes from kis «small» + the «Jenő» tribe, one of the seven Hungarian tribes that entered the Carpathian Basin in 896 and gave the name of 21 settlements.

Chişinău is also known in Russian as Кишинёв (Kishinyov). It is written Kişinöv in the Latin Gagauz alphabet. It was also written as «Кишинэу» in the Moldovan Cyrillic alphabet in Soviet times. 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 Chişinău was part of the Russian Empire (e.g. Kishinev pogrom). Therefore, it remains a common English name in some historical contexts. Otherwise, however, the Romanian-based «Chişinău» has been steadily gaining wider currency, especially in written language.

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