Rostov-on-Don is the administrative centre of Rostov region and the Southern Federal District with the population of more than 1 million people. The city is situated on the South-East of the East-European plain on the bank of the river Don, 46 km from its fall into the Azov Sea. Rostov-on-Don is known as the gateway to the Black Sea. Total area of the city is 348.5 sq. km. It is located 1076 kilometers from Moscow.
Rostov-on-Don was founded in 1779 when according to the Decree of the Empress Elisabeth a customs house was established in the mouth of the Temernik river. Later the customs house was protected by a military fortress named after Saint Dimitry of Rostov, founded in 1761. Favourable geographic position prompted economic development of Rostov-on-Don. 100 years later the population of the city was about 15 thousand people, and by the XX century it was over
110 thousand people. Trade was the basis of the Rostov-on-Don economy, that’s why it was called “a merchant city”. In the early XX century there were more than 100 enterprises in Rostov, third of them attracted foreign capital. Until 1917 Rostov-on-Don was the third city in Russia in terms of external turnover. In late 1930s the city was one of 10 largest cities in the Soviet Union in terms of population and economic development.
During World War II, Rostov was the city were the Red Army turned from defense to attack. Rostov-on-Don was the strategic target in fascist plans. Goebbels called it the “gates to the Caucasus”. But here in November 1941 Wehrmacht for the first time lost a great battle. During the period of occupation the fascists killed and martyred tens of thousands of civilians, about 50 thousand people were enslaved. The centre of the city with theatres, universities, schools and hospitals was turned into ruins. Out of 270 plants and factories only six survived. It was due to the hard work of the citizens, that the Don capital was reconstructed and became even more beautiful.
In 1970 by the Decree of the USSR Supreme Committee Rostov-on-Don was bestowed the Order of Lenin, in 1982 – the Order of The Patriotic War of the 1st Class. Two years ago the city received the title “The City of the Military Honour”. Today Rostov-on-Don is one of the largest cities in Russia. It is an economic, cultural and scientific centre of the South of Russia and an important transportation hub.
Rostov on Don also hosts headquarters of North-Caucasian Military District, Administration of North Caucasian Railways.
The population of the Rostov agglomerate is about 2 million people. It is a large consumer market that attracts significant scientific, educational, industrial, finance and investment regional capacities.
City’s economic potential was repeatedly recognized in national competition “Golden Ruble”, organized by “The National Corporation of Economical Development” under auspices of the President of the Russian Federation. According to business magazine “RBC” survey, Rostov was nominated as one of Russia’s 10 most business-friendly cities.
City authorities regard personal help for the low-income families and the handicapped as the priority in social policy. This can be meals, textbooks, subsidies and various social payments. Since 2002 social protection authorities has been subsidizing housing utility bills for low-income families.
Veterans who live in the city (more than 20 thousand people) receive personal help. Additionally there was built a special complex for the veterans and invalids of WWII with a large number of medical services and other facilities.
There are 220 objects of culture and arts, cultural organizations and societies in the region.
Such outstanding writers as A. Solzhenitsyn, M. Nalbandyan, M. Shaginyan, V. Panova, A. Phadeev, famous artists M. Grekov, M. Sariyan and V. Sheblanov, composers and musicians A. Artamonov and K. Nazaretov, actors U. Zavadskiy and V. Marezkaya lived and worked in Rostov-on-Don. Famous Russian ballet dancer O. Spesivceva, 20th century brilliant singer I. Uryeva and the USSR honoured actor R. Plyatt were born in Rostov on Don.
The city is also a large educational and scientific centre. It takes 3d place by the number of universities (after Moscow and St. Petersburg). There are 50 higher educational establishments with 120 000 students.
Rostov on Don hosts four theatres, four museums, Don State Public Library, the largest on the South of Russia, circus, Rostov Region Philharmonic Society, Rostov Conservatory named after S. Rakhmaninov, Rostov State University of Culture and Arts (branch of St. Petersburg State University of Culture and Arts), College of Culture, College of Arts and art show-rooms.
One of the largest zoos in Europe has been opened for 80 years
in Rostov-on-Don. There are 5 thousand species, including 400 species of rare animals, birds and reptiles; more than 100 of them are listed in the Red Book. Rostov State University Botanic Garden with total area of 161 hectares is one of the largest gardens in Russia.
Rostov-on-Don is one of the largest jazz centres in Russia with one of the best jazz schools. Kim Nazaretov was the first jazz professor in the country who founded his jazz band at the Rostov Conservatory in the early 1980s. Rostov on Don hosts many international jazz and art festivals such as “Don Spring”, “Minifest”, “Russian Comedy”.
Main tourist attractions
There are more than 800 objects of social heritage, including 470 monuments, 55 archeology sights and about 106 monuments of military honor
in Rostov-on-Don. Many monuments are situated in historical centre of Rostov. Rostov on Don Duma is located in a beautiful building constructed under project of A. Pomerantsev, academician of architecture. This model of another architectural masterpiece Rostov Drama Theatre named after Maxim Gorkiy is kept in the British Museum.
There are monuments devoted to the great fellow countrymen who made the remarkable contribution into the development of Rostov on Don such as M. Gorky, M. Sholokhov, M. Sariyan, G. Sedov.
Down the city streets one can come across many sculptures as “a walking citizen”, “a merchant” and “a flower girl» admired by the citizens and tourists alike.
The opening of the monument devoted to the metropolitan Dimitry of Rostov became the symbol of spiritual renaissance of Rostov on Don. In 2007 the monument to the Empress Elizabeth I and Pokrovsky temple were constructed in the Kirovsky square.