Galati county is blessed with a mild climate and is rich in natural
resources. Proof of its being a congenial haven is provided by the
finds of archaeological diggings attesting to the existence of human
settlements dating back to the Paleolithic. Located on the European
trade routes, the settlement at Mile 80 on the Danube is millennial-old.
The Geto-Dacian stronghold that had been raised in the hearth where
the Siret flows into the Danube was turned by the Romans into a military
castrum and a civilian settlement. It was the hub that radiated the
Roman civilization farther into Moldavia and the northern Black Sea
regions. For centuries, the area was crossed up and down by the Greek
and Roman trade routes. The consolidation of the statal authority
in Moldavia in the 15th century blossomed the port-town of Galati
into an important economic and trading centre Romania s
only free harbour for many centuries.
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Situated in the east-central part of the country, at the mouth of
the Danube, the Siret and the Prut, Galati county extends over a 4,466
sq km. area or 1.9% of Romanias surface. There are four urban
settlements two big cities, Galati and Tecuci, and two towns,
Beresti and Targu Bujor, and fifty-six communes with one hundred and
eighty villages. A touch area of the Covurlui tableland to the North
(50% of county area), the Tecuci and the Covurlui plains (34%), the
Lower Siret and the Prut meadows (16%) to the South, the county has
a coherent physical and geographical configuration.
On January 1, 1996, the population size was 643,000 persons or 2.8%
of the countrys total population (9th county in terms of population
size): 50.1% male and 49.9% female; 60.4% urban and 39.6% rural population.
As regards population density, Galati county 145 inhabitans/sq
km. comes third at all-country level. Its seat
Galati is the countrys 5th largest town (329,300 inhabitants)
and the biggest port situated on the ma-ritime Danube; it is 80 miles
off the Black Sea shore and about 250 km. far from Bucharest, Romanias
capital city, Iasi, Ploiesti, Buzau, Constanta, Chisinau (Republic
of Moldavia) and Odessa (Ukraine). Galati county is part of the South-East
Development Region (also including Vrancea, Buzau, Braila, Constanta
and Tulcea counties), of the Lower Danube EuroRegion (along with the
southern districts of the Republic of Moldavia and the Ukrainean western
districts), and of Galati-Giurgiulesti-Reni Free Economic Zone.
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industrial output as indicator, Galati county is Romanias 4th
biggest industrial centre. Structurally, the picture of major economic
branches looks like this:
industry and constructions 43%;
agriculture, silviculture, forest exploitation
The output structure per industrial sectors is
shown here below.
Galati metallurgy supplies 55.6% of Romanias steel production,
55% as regards rolled products, and 90.4% cold-rolled sheets and strips.
Over 50% of the metallurgical products are exported.
Shipbuilding, a traditional industry here, supplies river- and sea-going
ships of up to 65,000 dwt. (containerships, bulk carriers, ore carriers,
tug boats and oil tankers) as well as off-shore drilling rigs. Galati
is one of the countrys biggest connection which is linked to
the major European transport corridors; it is a link for the Rhine-Main-Danube
Canal going from the North Sea to the Black Sea; it is a railway junction
capable to provide for transfer from the European rail-gauge standards
to the larger rail gauge of CIS countries; the network of national
and county roads crosses far-and-wide the county. The port-town
of Galati on the banks of the Danube has four harbours (one for passenger
transport and three for cargo) with wharves along about 6.5 km.-long
distance that can accommodate ships of up 30,000 dwt. (max. 7.3 m.
draught). Overall, the harbours can handle 9,328,857 t. of goods and
commodities carried by ship (1997 figure).
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