Kishinev is the capital city and industrial and commercial center of Moldova. It is also the largest city of Moldova and is located in the center of the country, on the river Bic. Economically, the city is the most prosperous in Moldova and is one of the main industrial centers and transportation hubs of the region. As the most important city in Moldova, Kishinev has a broad range of educational facilities. Additionally, the city has among the highest proportion of green spaces of any major city in Europe.
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 town of 7,000 inhabitants. In 1812 it came under Russian imperial administration, which made it the capital of the newly annexed gubernia of Bessarabia. Its population had grown to 92,000 by 1862 and to 125,787 by 1900. Following the Russian October Revolution the country declared independence from the fallen empire, before joining the Kingdom of Romania. The period of the most significant development of the city was from 1971, when the Council of Ministers of the Soviet Union has adopted a decision "On the measures for further development of the city of Kishinev", which secured more than one billion rubles of investments from the state budget, until 1991, when Moldova gained independence, after a series of Moldovan nationalistic riots against Russian-speaking population.