On behalf of the Rostov-on-Don City Administration with the support "The International Music Center 'IMC-Harmony', welcome to Rostov-on-Don!
Video - Welcome to Rostov-On-Don, Russia

Rostov-on-Don is deemed to have been founded in December 1749, when construction began on the Temernitskaya Customs House in the lower reaches of the Don, on the left bank of the River Temernik. Soon after, a berth, a storehouse, a quarantine house and garrison barracks were added to the customs house. A port was built later, and for a while it would be the only Russian port in the south, handling all trade with the countries around the Black, Aegean and Mediterranean Seas. September 23, 1761, Elizabeth I decreed for a new fortress to be built here, which would be christened St. Dimitry of Rostov Fortress, and would define the location of the future historic centre of Rostov-on-Don.

The St. Dimitry of Rostov Fortress had lost its military value by the beginning of the nineteenth century as the Russian frontier was now far removed from those parts. In August 1807, the fortress was designated as uyezd town – the administrative centre of a county – and a few government institutions were moved there from Taganrog. Rostov changed its name a few times. First it was shortened to Rostov Fortress, then just Rostov, and finally expanded to Rostov-on-Don so as to avoid confusion with another Rostov up north.

The Rostov Fortress was demolished in 1835. The ramparts were leveled, and the moats filled, giving the town a nearly two-fold surplus of land. Rostov-on-Don began to expand quickly, getting paved streets, the telegraph, a water supply system as well as other amenities. In fact, Rostov-on-Don received the telephone before Moscow did. Rostov’s railway station, built in 1875, was the biggest in Russia at the time, and Rostov became the key transport hub on the Vladikavkaz railway. Rostov started using electric lighting at the end of the nineteenth century, and trams started running in the city in the early 1900s.

Russia’s first automatic telephone switchboard for 6,000 numbers was installed in Rostov-on-Don in 1929. This was the first public switchboard: the very first such facility was built in Moscow in the early 1920s, but served only the leaders of the Soviet state, and was not available to the public.

Today the thriving city of Rostov-on-Don (Russian spelling Rostov-na-Donu) and its 1 million inhabitants is the capital and administrative center of Rostov oblast of Russia. The city is also the capital of South Federal District of the Russian Federation from 2000. It is standing on the banks of the Don River about 46 km from the Azov Sea. Rostov-on-Don is a major railway and highway junction of Southern Russia. There is also an international airport in the city. In addition to the COupe Mondiale World Accordion Championships, several matches of FIFA World Cup 2018 will be held in Rostov-on-Don.

The city offers many attractions, including:

  • Don River Lookout, Beregovaya ulitsa. Often referred to as "The Enbankment", visitors and locals alike will enjoy a stroll along the riverside. More than a picturesque view, the Embankment is lined with several restaurants, statues, lighted fountains, and a few shops; It is the center of nightlife in Rostov. Several steamboats are docked along the bank, and tickets for hour-long excursions can be purchased at the ticket booths on location for about 200 rubles.
  • An Obelisk at Teatralnaya square, Teatralnaya ploshad. Affectionally dubbed "Stella", by locals, the obelisk appears as a winged tower, across the street from Maxim Gorky Drama Theatre. As one approaches the obelisk, inscriptions honoring the arts, science, agriculture, military, and education can be seen at the base. On the south side of the obelisk, the golden lady (Stella) hovers between the wings.
  • Pushkin Street. Visitors may enjoy a stroll down this highly ornate, landscaped boulevard, lined with thousands of trees, restaurants, food kiosks, flowers, benches, statues, and memorials. A favorite sight near the eastern end of the boulevard are the wrought-iron globes, depicting scenes from Pushkin's most popular works. Pushkin Street leads into both the City Park (Park Gorkovo) and October Revolution Park, where visitors will see more meticulously cultivated garden beds and other diversions such as amusement parks and souvenir kiosks.
  • Underground Tile Work, While perhaps not the most impressive sight, tile mosaics (depicting scenes of Soviet life, found on the walls of underground street crossings ("perekhody"), make for a momentary distraction. Though mosaics are found under several street crossings on Bolshaya Sadovaya Street, the most beautiful and well-maintained mosaics are under the intersection of Boshaya Sadovaya and Buddyonoskiy Prospect. Note: Appreciate the tile work as you walk; do not stop and stare, or you will block other pedestrians.
  • Public Parks: Many statues and monuments not listed here can be found in almost every public park and major street of Rostov.
  • Rostov State Opera and Ballet, (134 Bolshaya Sadovaya Street), Rostov has a nice Musical Theatre,which is not located far from the Maxim Gorky Drama Theatre. Most operas are sung in an original language. Ballets are exquisitely choreographed and are invariably accompanied by extravagant sets. Refreshments are almost always sold in the lobby during intermission (for an inflated price). Most Rostov locals will dress formally (but practically) while attending a ballet or opera. $10-$40 / 400-1500 rubles.
  • Rostov-on-Don ZooPark This zoo is well worth a visit, especially if one is accompanied by children. As one of the largest in Russia, the ZooPark is home to a staggering variety of animals, including giraffes, camels, polar bears, falcons, reptiles, fish, and simians. Entrance costs only 80 rubles for adults and 40 rubles for children. To get there, take the #6 Bus from the Central Rinok and exit at the stop "ZooPark".
  • Shopping at the Central Rinok, "Rinok" might be translated at "bazaar" or "farmer's market". This massive outdoor-and-indoor assortment of tiny shops and booths can be both exciting and intimidating for Westerners, who are unaccustomed to either haggling/ bargaining or being yelled at by shopkeepers. Shopping at a Rinok is one of the most memorable experiences that Russia has to offer for an adventurous North American, so don't be put off by the different feel of things. The majority of the Rinok is devoted to food and clothing, but you can buy anything here. Yes, anything (though it might take a while to find). Even if one does not speak the language, shopping at the Rinok is far preferable to shopping at the nearby, overpriced, department stores. Just let the money do the talking. The Rinok is located downtown, on Stanislavskovo Street, just four blocks south of the central intersection of Bolshaya Sadovaya Street and Buddyonovskiy Prospect.
  • Maxim Gorky Academic Drama Theatre. (1 Teatralnaya Ploshad), [5] Despite the name, this theatre is a venue not only for dramatic plays, but also comedies and concerts. The theatre is located on the eastern end of Bolshaya Sadovaya Street, directly across the street from the monument known as "Stella". Even throughout the summer months (when other theatres may be closed), Maxim Gorky Theatre still operates. Prices will vary depending on the show, but tickets are generally inexpensive when compared to other large theatres.
  • Stroll Through October Revolution Park, More than just a wooded area, this park is filled with things to do: amusement park rides, ping-pong tables, and a petting zoo, just to name a few.
  • Stroll Through the City Park (45 Bolshaya Sadovaya Street), Sometimes called "Park Gorkovo", this park is filled with beautiful flower beds, a full amusement park, restaurants, and souvenir kiosks.

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