Rostov-on-Don, Russia

According to, Rostov-on-Don is located in the southern part of Russia on the right bank of the Don River, 60 km from its confluence with the Sea of Azov. This is one of the largest cities in the country, an important transport hub located at the intersection of the main land and water routes.

The founding date of Rostov-on-Don is December 15, 1749, when, by decree of Empress Elizaveta Petrovna, Temernitskaya customs was founded on this site. In 1760, to protect the southern borders of Russia where the construction of the fort began. On April 6, 1761, by decree of Catherine II, the fortress was given the name of the enlightener and sage, the first saint of the post-Petrine time in Russia, Dmitry Rostov. It had a numerous garrison, was armed with 238 guns and occupied 3.5 km in circumference. At the end of the 18th century, the fortress served as a base for the attack on Azov., and later became a major trading center, which had its own port, where merchants from different countries flocked. In 1779, by order of Catherine II, the lands adjacent to the fortress of Dmitry Rostov were given for the resettlement of Crimean Armenians. Soon, a whole Armenian city of Nor-Nakhichevan arose here, where more than 12 thousand Armenians lived. In 1807, by decree of Alexander I, the fortress, which had lost its military significance, and its environs received the status of a county town, which became known as Rostov. Later, in order not to confuse it with Rostov, which was located near Yaroslavl, the city was called Rostov-on-Don.

The main street of the city is Bolshaya Sadovaya. Together with the embankment of the Don River, Bolshaya Sadovaya is the hallmark of the city. Along it are a variety of shops, office buildings and major attractions. Rostov Cathedral of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin rises in the very center of the city. It was built between 1860 and 1885 by architect Konstantin Ton. The cathedral is a reduced copy of the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow. In 1878, a four-tiered bell tower was erected next to the cathedral, which was rebuilt in 1999. The Cathedral of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary is a majestic white-stone church crowned with golden domes. Inside, it is decorated with murals on biblical and gospel themes. This is the main temple of the Rostov diocese. Opposite it stands a monument to St. Dmitry of Rostov (the patron saint of the city), which was erected for the 250th anniversary of Rostov-on-Don.

Once upon a time, the majestic Alexander Nevsky Cathedral towered on the New Market Square of Rostov-on-Don. The temple was built between 1891 and 1907. This monumental architectural structure in its shape and size resembled the Moscow Cathedral of Christ the Savior. The temple was built with the money of Rostov merchants after the failed attempts on the life of Alexander II on April 4, 1866 and May 25, 1867 to commemorate the deliverance of the emperor. The cathedral was decorated according to the sketches of the Vasnetsov brothers and contained three iconostasis: in the name of Alexander Nevsky and Saints Panteleimon and Peter. Unfortunately, the temple was destroyed in the 20-30s of the 20th century. Nowadays, a picturesque park has spread on the site of the temple, where there is only a memorial sign with a reduced copy of the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral that once existed.

In Rostov-on-Don since the time of Catherine II and her decree on the resettlement of the Crimean Armenians in the Rostov lands, Armenians have been living. Today, the Armenian population is about 100 thousand people. For them, Rostov-on-Don has become their homeland; there are Armenian churches and schools here. The church of the Armenian monastery of Surb-Khach was built in the style of Russian classicism in 1786-1792. The name of the church is translated from Armenian as “holy cross”. Here, from 1790 to 1796, a printing house functioned, which became the first in the southern part of Russia.. A prominent Armenian public figure Harutyun Alamdaryan, a publicist and poet, a colleague of Herzen and Chernyshevsky Mikael Nalbandyan, as well as a classic of Armenian literature Rafael Patkanyan are buried near the walls of the Surb Khach Monastery. Today Surb Khach is a historical and memorial complex. In 2007, this architectural monument of federal significance was transferred to the use of the Armenian Apostolic Church. Before that, the Museum of Russian-Armenian Friendship was located here., which is a branch of the Rostov Regional Museum of Local Lore. In connection with the decision to restore the church, the museum’s expositions were taken out and are now housed in the Rostov Regional Museum of Local Lore. The Museum of Russian-Armenian Friendship tells about the history of relations between the two peoples, about the history of the settlement of Armenians on the Don land, household items of the 18th century, Armenian books of the 18th century and authentic materials about the life and work of Rafael Patkanyan are stored here. Interesting Armenian Church of St. Karapet. It was built in 1875. Its external appearance consists of the forms inherent in basilicas and cross-domed churches. The facades of the temple are decorated in Armenian traditions with stone carving motifs; it is crowned with a dodecahedral drum with a tent. The interior of the church is decorated with frescoes of the 19th century, which are placed in frames, and frescoes of a later time, the iconostasis of the church is made of walnut wood in the Ani style (one of the styles of Armenian architecture). Near the church of St. Karapet there is a cemetery where famous Armenian figures are buried.

Rostov-on-Don, Russia

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