Rostov on Don is the capital of Rostov region and the administrative center of the North Caucasus region in Russia. You can also meet such variants of translation as Rostov-na-Donu or Rostov-on-Don, but most people call it simply Rostov despite possible confusion with a town Rostov which is a center of Yaroslavl region.
1749 saw an official foundation of a city. A Temernik custom house on bank of a Don turned into a fortress, and when in a couple decades a large settlement evolved, it was decided to call it Rostov-na-Donu. The point is there was the older town of Rostov which is a part of Yaroslavl region and commonly known as Rostov the Great (Rostov Velikiy).
In 1834 a new port was built, and soon becoming a center of trade between the European Russia and the Caucasus area, the city earned a name ‘Gateway to the Caucasus’.. Merchants from Russia, Armenia, Greece, Italy, Turkey came there to sell their goods and bring local products to their countries. Gradually what used to be a small settlement became a grain-exporting center in Russian Empire.
But besides being a trade center, Rostov-na-Donu also was a strategic point; in the XVIII century its fortress was the largest in the Southern Russia.
Rostov, with its factories and plants producing furniture, helicopters, footwear and clothing, champagne, tobacco and other goods, is one of the leading industrial centers.
A name ‘Gateway to the Caucasus’ that was given long ago remains actual. A favourable location on a point of connection of southwestern Russia with northern regions provides a rapid development of tourism to Rostov.
The construction of the Volga-Don navigation canal made it even easier to travel to Rostov. It became a unique five-sea port where ships from the Black Sea, the Sea of Azov, the Baltic, White and Caspian Seas arrive, and river-to-sea-going motor vessels carry numerous tourists from Rostov to many ports on Mediterranean Sea.
Definitely Rostov on Don is not a place to be missed by curious tourists and passionate travelers! The city has four theatres, a philharmonic hall, a Sports Palace and many museums. Travel to Rostov region is popular among those tourists who appreciate Russian literature since it’s the native land of the world-famous writers Anton Chekhov and Mikhail Sholokhov, therefore travel agencies offer special Rostov tours for them.
During a Rostov tour you must definitely visit at least two museums, the Rostov Museum of Fine Arts and a fine Local Lore Museum. The first offers temporary and constant exhibitions, including genuine works by Russian artists Repin, Surikov, Perov and Levitan, and the second presents a rich history of Rostov region.
Getting tired, a tourist can take rest in parks and gardens: October Park, Student Park, First of May Park, Pioneer Park, University Park, Gorky Park... Visit to the botanical garden is always included to tours to Rostov, because its wide selection of plants from East, South and Central Asia, South Europe, the Caucasus and the Crimea is absolutely worth seeing.