Galich, Russia

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Galich, Галич is a Russian town of 21500 inhabitants (1992), situated on the southern bank of the Galich Lake, in the Kostroma Oblast. It is also a minor railroad node of the Trans-Siberian railway.

The town was first chronicled in 1234 as Grad Mersky (i.e., the Town of the Merya). It gradually developed into one of the greatest salt-mining centres of Eastern Europe, eclipsing the Southern town of Halych, from which it takes its name. In the 13th century, the town was ruled by a younger brother of Alexander Nevsky and remained in his line until 1363, when the Muscovites seized the principality and ousted the ruling family to Novgorod.

The 15th and 16th centuries are justly considered the golden age of Galich. At that time the town controlled most of the Russian trade in salt and furs. The local princes pressed their claimed to the Muscovite crown, and three of them actually took possession of the Kremlin in the course of the Great Feudal War.

The early medieval earthen ramparts were further fortified in the early 15th and 16th centuries and have since been known as Shemyaka Hills. The Poles burnt it to the ground in 1612, Peter the Great had a wooden kremlin demolished, and the town further declined with the transfer of Russian foreign trade from Arkhangelsk to St Petersburg.

Historic monuments of Galich include various buildings from the imperial period of Russian history. Particularly noteworthy is the Paisiev Monastery, founded in the early 14th century and featuring a 16th-century 5-domed cathedral and a 3-domed church from 1642.ru:Галич (Костромская область)

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