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Brăila and Galați, the Gifts of Danube​




They are two cities situated at ~20 km one of another on Danube.


History
Brăila belonged to Wallachia before being incorporated into the Ottoman empire between 1540-1829. Before 1540 and between 1829-1859 it was Wallachia's main port.

Galați belonged to Moldavia and after this principality lost its other ports to Ottomans, Galați remained its main port.

In 19th century both cities became free ports and as a result have known a fast development. In 19th century and first half of 20th century they had an cosmopolitan society, Romanians, Jews, Greeks and other ethnicities living together armoniously.



Economy
Today, Galați is one of Romania's main industrial centers, its steel plant being the largest industrial plant in Romania. Its port is the largest on Danube (of any country) and its shipyard is first or second in Romania.

Brăila is a rather poor city, the artificial industrialization during communist period having now a backlash.



Tourism
Unfortunately, Galați historical part has been almost completely destroyed during WW2 bombings. Brăila on the other hand preserved a relatively large historical core, but in very advanced decay.

Nevertheless, the natural settings of both cities (especially Brăila) are enchanting, Danube being large here, ~1 km and its banks are wild, covered by floodplain forests. Upstream Brăila are several islands that are protected inside the Small Pond of Brăila Natural Park, Romania's second wetland area after the Danube Delta.
 

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