Rostov-on-Don or Rostov-na-Donu is the largest city in the south of Russia, the capital of the Rostov region and the Southern Federal District. It is a major administrative, cultural, scientific, educational, and industrial center and a major transport hub of southern Russia.
Informally, Rostov-on-Don is called the “Gate of the Caucasus” and the southern capital of Russia.
Several matches of FIFA World Cup 2018 will be held in Rostov-on-Don.
The population of Rostov-on-Don is about 1,115,000 (2015), the area - 436 sq. km.
The phone code - +7 863, the postal codes - 344000-344999.
The region near the mouth of the Don River played an important commercial and cultural role since ancient times. Such settlements as Tanais (a Greek colony), Tana (a Genoese fort), Azak (a Turkish fortress) were situated in the region.
The official date of foundation of Rostov-on-Don is considered to be December 15, 1749, when the Empress Elizaveta Petrovna signed a decree establishing Temernitskaya customs. The Don River connected the northern and southern regions of the Russian Empire. Temernitskiy port became the only Russian port in the south of the country providing trade with the countries of the Black, Aegean, and Mediterranean seas.
In 1760-1761, for the protection of the lower reaches of the Don from the raids of the Turks and Crimean Tatars, construction of a fortress began. The garrison of the fortress consisted of more than four thousand people. The fortress was given the name of Metropolitan of Rostov and Yaroslavl Demetrius (1652-1709). Subsequently, the name was transformed: the fortress of Dimitri Rostov, Rostovskaya fortress, simply Rostov, and finally, to distinguish from the ancient town of Rostov the Great located near Yaroslavl, Rostov-on-Don.
More Historical Facts…
The fortress played a significant role during the Russian-Turkish wars of the second half of the 18th century. By the end of the 18th century, the fortress lost its strategic importance. The population of Rostov-on-Don was 119,476 people in 1897.
In 1918-1920, during the Civil War, Rostov-on-Don played an important role as one of the centers of the White (anti-Bolshevik) movement. It was captured several times by the White Army and Red Army.
In 1926, “Rostselmash”, the giant of the Soviet agricultural machinery, was founded. Rostov-on-Don became the capital of the region in 1928. The previous capital of the region was Novocherkassk (the capital of the Cossacks).
November 29, 1935, the largest in the country drama theater named after Gorky was opened. The auditorium of the theater has 2,200 seats, the building is known for its unique architecture (the form of a tractor).
The city was heavily damaged during the Second World War. The German army captured Rostov-on-Don twice (in 1941 and 1942). February 14, 1943, after the victory at Stalingrad, during the general retreat of the German army on the Eastern Front, Rostov-on-Don was liberated by the Soviet army.
In 1987, Rostov-on-Don became one of the cities of the Soviet Union with a population of over one million people. After the collapse of the USSR, Rostov-on-Don became the 10th largest city of the country in terms of population. In the 1990s, despite the economic crisis, Rostov-on-Don continued to develop. Today, the city is a major center of business activity.
Rostov-on-Don street view
The City Day is celebrated on the third Sunday of September.
Rostov-on-Don stands on the banks of the Don River, about 46 km east of the Azov Sea and 1,070 km south of Moscow. The climate is temperate continental. The average temperature in January is minus 3 degrees Celsius, in July - plus 23.4 degrees Celsius.
Rostov-on-Don has a specific unique outlook because of its rich historical and cultural heritage. There are about 1,000 objects of cultural heritage in the city, including 482 architectural monuments (16 monuments of history and culture of federal importance), 70 archaeological monuments, 8 large memorial complexes, 106 monuments, and about 400 memorial plaques.
It is a major transport hub of the southern part of European Russia: several highways of federal and regional importance, the railway “St. Petersburg - Rostov-on-Don - Caucasus”, a navigable waterway from the center of Russia to the Black Sea. Also, there is an international airport in the city (regular flights to Moscow and St. Petersburg).
Rostov-on-Don is a large educational and scientific center of Russia. Southern Federal University is one of the largest universities in the country (about 56 thousand students).
Also, the city is one of the largest jazz centers of the country. It has become a tradition to hold the following art festivals: “Donskaya vesna” (“Don spring”), “Mini-fest”, “Russian comedy” and international jazz festivals.
Eiffel Tower in Rostov-on-Don
Flower beds and the monument to Soviet soldiers of the Second World War in Rostov-on-Don
The monument to a merchant-peddler in Rostov-on-Don
Rostov-on-Don places of interest
The historic center of Rostov-on-Don is especially rich in architectural monuments. Bolshaya Sadovaya Street, the main street of the city, is one of the oldest and most beautiful streets of Rostov-on-Don. The building of the City Duma (the architect A.N.Pomerantsev) is worth mentioning (Bolshaya Sadovaya Street, 47).
The building of the Rostov Academic Drama Theater named after Gorky, constructed in the form of a tractor, is the masterpiece of constructivism. The model of the theater is kept in the British Museum in London, the UK.
Rostov Zoo, founded in 1927, is located in the heart of the city. The zoo has the most complete collection of apes in Russia. Also, here you see the Amur tiger, leopard, polar bear. It is one of the largest zoos in Russia covering an area of about 98 hectares.
The botanical garden of Southern Federal University, covering an area of about 160 hectares, is one of the largest in Russia.
More places of interest…
One can see a lot of sculptures on the streets of Rostov-on-Don: a walking “Citizen”, a “Merchant” offering his goods, a pretty “Flower-girl” with a basket of first violets and a lot of other small sculptures.
The monuments to the city’s patron (St. Dimitry) and the Rostovsky Metropolitan can be found on Sobornaya Square. In 2007, Church of the Intercession was constructed on its historic site in Kirovsky Park and the monument to the Empress Yelizaveta Petrovna, the founder of Rostov-on-Don, was erected.
The left bank of the Don River (also known as Levberdon) is the favorite vacation spot of the locals. Here you can find sandy beaches, numerous recreation centers, cafes and restaurants, as well as the Green Island on the Don and Kumzhenskaya Grove.
Rostov riverfront, named after the Russian naval commander Fyodor Ushakov, is one of the most famous sights of the city.
You should also pay attention to the unique mosaic you can find in the underground passages of Rostov-on-Don.
Sholokhov monument in Rostov-on-Don
The House of the Mayor Zvorykin on Pushkinskaya Street in Rostov-on-Don
Cathedral of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Rostov-on-Don
- Rostov Regional Museum of Local History has the following permanent exhibitions: “Archaeology from the Stone Age till the Iron Age”, “The History of the Don Cossacks”, “The peoples of the Don”, “The Museum of the Southern Provincial Town”, “The provincial towns of the South of Russia: Taganrog, Azov, Shakhty, Novocherkassk, Krasny Sulin”, “The evolution of the Don nature.” In the “Golden room” of the museum you can see a rich collection of golden decorations made by ancient nomadic peoples (Bolshaya Sadovaya Street, 79);
- Rostov Regional Museum of Fine Arts is located in the historic center, on Pushkinskaya Street, one of the most beautiful streets of the city. “Russian icon painting of the 16th-19th centuries”, “Russian painting of the 17th - the beginning of the 20th centuries”, “Russian painting of the 20th century”, “Western European paintings of the 17th-19th centuries” (Chekhova Avenue, 60);
- The Museum of Modern Art on Dmitrovskaya (Shaumyana Street, 51);
- The Center for Contemporary Art “Tobacco Factory” (Krasnoarmeyskaya Street, 170);
- Rostov Museum of Railway Equipment. The exhibition area is located at Gnilovskaya station, near Portovaya Street;
- The Museum of Russian-Armenian Friendship (Svobody Square, 14/2);
- The Museum of the History of Brewing in Southern Russia (Dovatora Street, 146a);
- Rostov Museum of Cosmonautics (Stachki Avenue, 231/2).
Rostov-on-Don theaters and other cultural institutions
- Rostov Academic Drama Theater named after Gorky (Teatralnaya Square, 1);
- Rostov State Puppet Theater (Universitetsky Lane, 46);
- Rostov Academic Youth Theater (Svobody Square, 3);
- Rostov State Musical Theater (Bolshaya Sadovaya Street, 134);
- Rostov Regional Philharmonic (Bolshaya Sadovaya Street, 170);
- Circus (Budyonnovskiy Avenue, 45).