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Rostov-on-Don. Overview.
Monday, 01 August 2011

the_cathedral_ob_vasily_blajeny.jpgRostov-on-Don is port of five seas, industrial, scientific and cultural centre of the south of the country, an important railway junction.

The City was founded in 1749 on the right hilly bank of the river Don, in 65 kilometres from its emptying in Azov sea. First, there were only the custom house, but then in 1760 to protect southern borders began the building of the fortress, which got a name of Rostov and Yaroslav metropolitan-Dmitri.

Later the name was transforming: Dmitri Rosrovski’s fortress, Rostov fortress, just Rostov, and finally it was called Rostov-on-Don in order to distinguish it from ancient city Rostov the Great that is situated under Yaroslavl. Due to its good geographical position on the crossroads of the land and water roads, the development of Rostov economics grew rapidly. The commercial port that was organized near its walls accepted Russian, Greek, Italian, Turkish, Persian and Armenian trade’s people.


Demyan Bedni and Valentin Kataev in their poetic improvisation had noticed:

There are no simple conclusion.

Whatever you would do

But you should know for sure:

I’ll honestly tell you

More life than there are in Rostov

Can't ever find you

When the city was hundred years old, 15 thousand people lived there, and when the XX century came it has counted about 110 thousand people. Base of the Rostov economics was trade, it was called merchant’s city, but by the beginning of the XX century Rostov had more than 100 establishments including such large as Major Workshops of the Vladicaucasus Railroad, plant “Aksai”, shipbuilding and two tobacco factories. It is important that every third factory belonged to the foreign capital.

After the revolution, Rostov was developing together with the whole country. By the end of the 30-ies it was one of the largest cities of Soviet Union in population and in the level of economic development.

  In heroic chronicles of the Great Patriotic War Rostov was known as the city where The Red Army turned from the retreat to the attack. When fascists were there, they shot and exhausted thousands of people, near 50 thousands people were turned into slaves. The central districts of the city were laid in ruins, buildings of the theaters, schools, hospitals, clubs, institutes were burned. Out of 270 factories survived only 6.

Rostov-on-Don is one of the largest cities of Russian Federation with population over one million people. Area of the city is 354 sq. km., the distance from Moscow- 1226 km. It is political, economical and cultural centre of the Southern region of Russia.

Situated on the right bank of the river Don, in 65 km from its emptying in Azov sea, Rostov-on-Don is situated in the centre of the South Russia thoroughfares, which provide the outlets to the three seas: Black, Azov and Caspian, direct contacts with the whole European part of CIS, Transcaucasia, the Middle East and Mediterranean. Until 1917 it was by right considered a city-merchant, being the third in Russia in terms of the size of the external economic commercial commodity circulation.

  There are international airport in Rostov. The city is provided with the connection with other cities and settlements of the country, and also with many countries: Poland, Hungary, Czechia, Slovakia, Germany, England, Bulgaria, Spain and Syria. About 500 flights a year are made on international lines. Every year about 19,7 thousands of tons are transported by air.

Culture of Don has not only glorious past but also a bright present.

All types of arts are offered in the city. 372 establishments, enterprises and organizations of culture of different technical-lawful forms are working in Rostov.

In the city there are about 543 monuments of architecture, 57- of archeology, 18- of monumental art of federal and local significance. United fund of museum collections forms 208 thousand units of issue.

In this field work more than 2 thousand specialists and creative workers. Among them there are members of creative unions, pedagogues, librarians, actors, museum, park, club workers, masters of national trades.

Celebration of the Day of Victory, The Day of the city and other city holidays became a good tradition.

  People come to Rostov in search of experience. An experience of management. People are interested in service centre of servicing individual builders, inventory maps of urban lands, system of placing municipal orders on competitive base, mechanism of forming fund of social support for the population, tactics of developing transport stops, constructive character of the interrelation of administration and duma, regulations of the city etc...

 voroshilovsky_bridge.jpg  A Brief History of Rostov-on-Don 

(from "More than Moscow" edited by Peter W. Brown)

By Russian standards, Rostov is a relatively young city. It was founded first as a customs house on the high, west bank of the Don River in 1749. Short thereafter a fort was erected and named for the Russian saint Dmitri Rostovsky. Later “-on-Don” was added to distinguish this city from the smaller, Golden Ring city of Rostov the Great in the Yaroslav region. However, prior to this Russian “founding”, various groups have traveled to and settled at the mouth of the Don River. An ancient Greek colony existed here during the 3rd BC and lasted over 700 years. Genoese merchants established a trading settlement here. Later the Turks built a fortress and still later the site was an Armenian settlement. All this was prior to Peter I’s “founding” of the city.

Rostov developed rapidly in the 19th century, and became the leading center of trade and transport in the south of Russia. Rostov is linked by waterways to five seas. Rostov has, at various times, earned nicknames such as “The Chicago of Russia” because of its rapid economic growth, “The Liverpool of Russia” because of its extensive port activities and “The Third Russian Metropolis,” after Moscow and St. Petersburg.

Rostov is, perhaps one of the most culturally diverse cities in Russia. More than 20 different nationalities live and work in Rostov, which is known for its atmosphere of atmosphere of cultural tolerance and friendship.

Rostov was a strong White Army center during the October Revolution and ensuing civil war. Rostov was one of the last cities taken by the Red Army, and many White Army Cossacks were killed in the ensuing purges.

During World War II, Rostov was taken twice by German forces, and more of the city was destroyed. The city subsequently rebuilt itself and reestablished its position as the leading city for trade and business in the South of Russia.

During the Soviet era Rostov was never close to foreigners, and in fact has a long and successful history of foreign relations. Additionally, the entrepreneurial spirit which founded and developed in the city was not crushed by the Soviets, but rather sharpened. For this reason, the city of Rostov is known all over Russia for its spirit of free enterprise.

Rostov is also home to the Don Cossacks, who have lived on and worked the fertile black earth of the Don steppe for hundreds of years. The past five years have seen a resurgence of Cossack traditions and identity. Also from Rostov are the Nobel Laureates Mikhail Sholokhov whose novel “Quiet flows the Don” is still a local favorite and Alexander Solzhenitsyn, who studied mathematics at Rostov State University. Anton Chekhov was raised and educated in nearby Tagonrog, where several museums commemorate this favourite son.

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