Galaţi or Galatz (both: gälätsˈ) [key], city (1990 pop. 326,139), E Romania, on the lower Danube. It is a regional administrative and economic center and a major inland port, home of the Romanian Danube flotilla. Grain and timber are the chief exports. The city is also an important rail junction and has a large iron and steel plant and the nation's largest shipyard. Of medieval origin, Galaţi became an international trading center in the 18th cent. and was a free port from 1834 to 1883. It was the seat (1856–1939) of the European Danube Navigation Commission. In 1944, German troops devastated the town and killed more than half the population. Galaţi is the see of an Orthodox bishop and is a cultural center. An agricultural college and a technical institute are in the city. The 17th-century Cathedral of St. George contains the tomb of Ivan Mazeppa.
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