Galaţi is a city in Moldavia, eastern Romania, the capital city of Galaţi County on the banks of the Danube, very close to Brăila forming with it the Cantemir metropolitan area. In 2002, according to the official Romanian census, the city had a population of 298,861 people, making it Romania's 7th largest city.
The name of the city appears to have derived from Cuman galat, which was borrowed from the Arabic qal'at (fortress). Also other etymologies were suggested, such as the Serbian galac; however the galat root appears in several 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. The other closest toponym in the region is the Galicia with the small city of Halych which is locally associated with a jackdaw (Kawka, Halka). Other similar places are Galich, Russia and Galatia in Turkey.
The history of the Ukrainian and Moldavian ethnicity is title intertwined until the XIV century. Influence of both cultures on one another can trace far into early Middle Ages. In the XII century the city was the main trade center of the Principality of Bârlad, the history of which has left almost no trace. At that time the city was a dependency of the Kingdom of Galicia–Volhynia and was known there as Little Halych. The first mention of the city under its current name dates back from 1445 after the fall of Golden Horde. In 1789, during the Russo-Turkish War, Galaţi was burnt down by the Russian forces led by general Mikhail Kamensky.