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Image:Coa Galati RO.gif Image:Galati in Romania.png
County Galaţi County
Status County capital
Mayor Dumitru Nicolae, Social Democratic Party, since 2000
Area 241.5 km²
Population (2002) 298,861
Density 123 inh/km²
Geographical coordinates 45°25′24″N, 28°2′33″E
Web site

Galaţi (/ga'laʦʲ/) is a city in eastern Romania, the capital city of Galaţi County on the banks of the Danube, very close to Brăila. In 2002, according to the official Romanian census, the city had a population of 298,861 people, making it Romania's 7th largest city.


[edit] Name

The name of the city appears to have derived from Cuman galat, which was borrowed from Arabic qal'at (fortress). There have been other etymologies suggested, such as Serbian galac, but the galat root also appears in nearby toponyms, some of which show clearly a Cuman origin, for example Gălăţui Lake, which has the typical Cuman -ui suffix for "water". A derivation from Galatia (Gaul), suggesting a Celtic origin, is possible, but unlikely.

[edit] History

The first mention of the city dates from 1445. In 1789, during the Russo-Turkish War, Galaţi was burnt down by the forces of Russian general Mikhail Kamensky.

A peasant revolt occurred in and around the city in 1907, being crushed with asistance from the Romanian Army.

[edit] Tourist sights

Galaţi has a fine 17th century Eastern Orthodox cathedral - St. George (Sfântu Gheorghe), and another particularly striking fortified church (that of St. Mary - Sf. Precista) on the banks of the Danube (legend has it that a tunnel was dug from the church and under the river). Other features of the city include a sculpture park, a botanical garden, several museums, a television tower opened to the public and offering full view of the city, the newly-restored Galaţi Opera House, and a promenade of several kilometres along the banks of the Danube (huge sculptures are placed on either side of the road).

[edit] Education

Galaţi has an university, the Universitatea Dunărea de Jos (Lower Danube University), founded in 1948 and given university status in 1974, and a teacher-training college as well as a host of other educational and cultural institutions. Among these, the Vasile Alecsandri and Mihail Kogălniceanu National Colleges—rank as the first pre-university level educational institutions in Galaţi and the country.

[edit] Economy

The city has the largest iron and steel plant in Romania the Mittal Steel Galaţi, state-owned until 2001. It is still commonly referred to under the old name Sidex. Also, the country's largest shipyard is found here, profiting from the good access Galaţi has to the Black Sea through the Danube and the short distance between its facilities and the Mittal Plant.

[edit] Sister cities

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