Bălţi

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Bălți
Municipality of Bălţi (in red) in Moldova
Coordinates: 47°46′N 27°55′E / 47.767°N 27.917°E / 47.767; 27.917Coordinates: 47°46′N 27°55′E / 47.767°N 27.917°E / 47.767; 27.917
Country Flag of Moldova.svg Moldova
Municipality Bălți
Communes Sadovoe, Elizaveta
Founded 1421
City rights 1818
Government
 • Type Municipal Council
 • Mayor Vasile Panciuc, since 2011
Area
 • City 78.00 km2 (30.12 sq mi)
 • Urban 41.43 km2 (16.00 sq mi)
Elevation 59 m (194 ft)
Population (2011)
 • City 144,000
 • Density 1,909.9/km2 (4,947/sq mi)
 • Metro 148,900
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
 • Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)
Postal code MD-3100
Area code(s) +373 231 X-XX-XX
Licence plate BL XX 000

Bălţi is the third-largest city in the country of Moldova. It is the major city in the northern part of the country. During the Russian Empire (1812-1917), and later the Soviet era (1940-1990) the name was also spelled Beltsy, from its form in Russian. The city is 135 km north of the capital Chişinău, on the small river Răut, a branch of the Dniester (Nistru). It is located on a hilly landscape that, in the Middle Ages, was covered with forest. This forest has since been almost entirely cut down.