Also known as Kishinev, city (1996 est. pop. 735,229), capital of the Republic of Moldova, on the Byk River, a tributary of the Dnestr.
Founded in 1466 as a monastery town, Chisinau was taken in the 16th cenury. by the Turks and in 1812 by the Russians, who made it the centre of Bessarabia.
Romania held the city from 1918 to 1940, when it was seized by the USSR.
The Jewish population, which formerly constituted about 40% of the total, was largely exterminated in World War II.
Chisinau's educational and cultural facilities include a university (1945) and the Academy of Sciences of Moldova.
Major industries include food and tobacco processing, the assembly of consumer and electrical goods, and the manufacture of building materials, machinery, plastics, rubber, and textiles.