Currently, the ancient city of Galich is located in the Kostroma region. For the first time in documents, he was mentioned in 1237, during the Mongol invasion of Russia. The Laurentian Chronicle noted that the conquerors, moving along the Russian land, "captured everything along the Volza, even up to Galich Mersky." In the chronicles this city was called "Merya", since it was founded on the territory of the residence of the Finno-Ugric tribe Merya. There was another city in Russia, Galich, located on the Dniester River.
Until 1246, Galich Mersky was part of the Vladimir-Suzdal principality, then Prince Yaroslav Vsevolodovich wrote it off in his will to his middle son Konstantin. So Galich became the center of an independent principality, which existed for over a hundred years. In 1363 Galich was annexed to Moscow.
True, in 1389 he again, for a short time, gained independence, the son of Dmitry Donskoy, Yuri, became the ruler of the principality, who established the second dynasty of Galich princes. In 1450, the ruler of Galich, Dmitry Shemyaka, lost in an internecine struggle to Prince Vasily II of Moscow the Dark. After that, the city finally became part of the possessions of Moscow, becoming the center of the Galich district.
Galich suffered terrible destruction during the Troubles at the beginning of the 17th century. The inhabitants of the city, together with the Kostroma militias, had to defend it from the Polish invaders. Later, Galich's army became part of the people's militia under the leadership of Minin and Pozharsky, and participated in the liberation of Moscow in 1612. Galich had to be rebuilt, a third of its houses were destroyed, and the population was reduced by six times.
During the reign of Peter the Great, Galich was annexed to the Arkhangelsk province. And in 1797, during the reign of Emperor Paul the First, Galich became a district town in the Kostroma province. at that time Galich was a large trading city, in terms of turnover in its province it was second only to Kostroma. Galich tanners were famous throughout Russia, and suede, which was produced by local craftsmen, was the best in the whole country. In the middle of the 19th century, the city's population reached 6, 000 people.
The importance of Galich as a craft and trade city began to decline at the end of the 19th century, when it found itself on the sidelines of the railways. The local population by that time was mainly engaged in horticulture, supplying their famous cucumbers to the surrounding markets. The railway line to Galich was built only in 1905, and a year later regular service began.
One of the initiators of the construction of the railway in Galich was Ivan Dmitrievich Sytin, the largest book publisher of pre-revolutionary Russia. As a child, Ivan Sytin, together with his family, lived for some time in Galich, and then was given a job by his uncle, who had his own shop at the Nizhny Novgorod fair. Soon Sytin was sent to Moscow to work in a bookstore. A few years later, the young entrepreneur decided to start an independent publishing activity.
Before the revolution, carpenters who came to work in Moscow from the Kostroma province were called "jackdaws". This nickname was given for a reason: the best craftsmen were natives of the district town of Galich. The northern Kostroma land did not indulge in good harvests, therefore, local peasants had to engage in small-scale trades in order to feed their families.
The city stands on the shores of Lake Galich, the largest in the Kostroma region. This lake has long fed the townspeople with fish. In addition, among the locals, legends are widespread that at the bottom of the lake there are secret underground passages in which treasures are hidden. Currently, the lake has become very shallow, which threatens the entire ecosystem of this reservoir.
One of the attractions of Galich is a hill called Balchug. It is believed that its name comes from the word "balchuk", which means "fish market". It was at the foot of the hill that Rybnaya Sloboda was located, where there was a lively trade in fish caught in the local lake. At the top of Balchug, archaeologists have discovered ancient settlements.
Currently Galich is the center of the Galich Municipal District. The population of the city itself is about 17, 000 people. The city is officially included in the number of Russian settlements with the status of "historical". In 2009, in the series "Ancient Cities of Russia", a 10-ruble coin dedicated to Galich was issued. The mintage of this coin is 5, 000, 000 copies.
The name of the city of Galich is fraught with many mysteries. There is no consensus on this matter. But it is assumed that the name has Celtic roots and means "salt". The assumption is not without grounds, since the Kostroma land was one of the centers of salt production in Russia. In the Kostroma region there is also the city of Soligalich, whose well-being in the 17th century was based precisely on the extraction and sale of salt.