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Rostov-on-Don in the 21-st Century
Rostov-on-Don is an administrative, cultural and industrial centre of a rich territory in the South of Russia – the Rostov Region. It is the capital of the Southern Federal District of the Russian Federation. It is one of the largest cities in the C.I.S. Its population exceeds 1 million.
Rostov-on-Don is situated on the right and left banks of the river Don. Rostov stands on the border line between Europe and Asia and one can move from one continent to the other simply crossing the bridge over the Don (for example, going to Bataysk).
When you enter the city from the side of the river Don you can see a high building which is decorated with the inscription «Rostov-on-Don» and two orders on its top. Rostov was awarded with the order of Lenin in 1970 for a great success in the development of numerous branches of economy and industry and especially of the agricultural machine-building. In February 1982 it got another order – The Order of the Patriotic War – for courage displayed by the citizens during the war years as well as cultural and economic achievements during the post-war period.
Rostov was founded on the 15-th of December, 1749 and at first it was meant to be a fortress. It was named after the metropolitan Dmitry Rostovsky and its functions were to defend the Southern borders of Russia against the numerous enemies. Rostov grew rapidly thanks to its advantageous geographical position. Being the largest fortress in the South of Russia the town has always played a significant role in its policy and economy. Apart from being a major port, where the vessels of Russian, Armenian, Greek, Italian and Turkish merchants arrived, it was an important strategic point.
After the construction of the Volga-Don Shipping Canal in 1952 Rostov became a port of five seas: the Black Sea, the Azov Sea, the Caspian Sea, the White Sea and the Baltic Sea. Modern river-to-sea-going vessels and imposingly looking ships make regular voyages from Rostov to the central part of Russia and to many Mediterranean ports.
Rostov is a large railway junction. Hundreds of trains run through Rostov to connect the heart of the country with the other parts of it. Rostov is called «The Gates to the Caucasus». The modern airport enables the passengers to reach almost all the cities of Russia, the C.I.S. and a number of foreign countries in the shortest period of time.
Many branches of industry are developed in Rostov: agricultural machine-building, food-processing, vessel- and helicopter-building, etc. Dozens of other factories and plants produce pianos and other musical instruments, foot-wear, refrigerators, wine and strong drinks, furniture, clocks and many other goods. The main branches of agriculture are vegetable- and wheat-growing, wine-cultivating, cattle-breedingand fishing. The Don horses are famous all over the world. The Rostov Region is rich in different vegetables and fruit. Its landscapes, sunny weather in summer, sand shores, sightseeings and picturesque nature attract touristsfrom all over the world.
The city has rich cultural traditions. The names of dozens of well-known figures of art, literature and science are connected with our city: they either lived or worked in Rostov or nearby: the writers A. Chekhov, A. Fadeev, A. Kalinin, M. Sholokhov, V. Zakrutkin, the architect E. Vuchetich, the scientists A. Solzhenitsin and Y. Zhdanov,the actress V. Maretskaya, the composers Zaslavsky, K. Nazaretov and many, many others. Here Moussorgsky gave his concerts and Maxim Gorky, being a youth, worked as a docker. A great Russian actor Mikhail Schepkin performed in the thеatre and a celebrated explorer of the Arctic Seas Georgy Sedov dreamt about his expeditions. Rostov remembers its glorious sons: the doctors N. Bogoraz and S. Feodorov, the Armenian writer and enlightener M. Nalbandyan, the artist Sarayan, etc.
There are about thirty higher educational establishments, both state and commercial. The most prominent among them are the South Federal University, comprising the Teachers’ Training Institute, The Medical Institute, Academy of Architecture and other establishments, the Rostov State Transport University, The Don State Technical University, The Economy University, the Conservatoire named after Rakhmaninov and some other. They confirm Bachelor and Master Degrees to their graduates. Children can get secondary and professional education in various schools, colleges and gymnasiums which constantly enrich their curriculum with new subjects, technologies and progressive methods of education.
There are many libraries in Rostov. The South-Russian Public Library is the richest and largest in the North Caucasus. There are 4 theatres in the city: The Drama Theatre named after Maxim Gorky, the Musical Theatre, the Youth Theatre and the Puppet Theatre. Besides there is the Philharmonic Society, the Jazz Centre named after Kim Nazaretov, many music schools and art studios. The Rostovites are proud of their Art Gallery and the Museum of Arts which are not very big but their collections are really impressive and include some genuine works by such masters of Russian painting as Repin, Surikov, Perov, Levitan, Aivazovsky as well as of modern Rostov artists. In Rostov there are also 9 museums, 7 stadia, a Palace of Sports, a circus, a zoo and many beautiful parks. The Rostov Regional Local Lore Museum gives its visitors a good idea of Rostov and its surroundings – their history, culture, nature and the traditions and life of the Cossacks.
Today Rostov-on-Don is the site of the North Caucasian Science Centre. There are many research institutes and bureaus in our city which play an important role in the development of science due to its numerous talented scientists and international contacts.
The modern Rostov is a significant commercial centre as well: there are dozens of commercial banks, hundreds of joint stock companies, joint ventures and thousands of commercial shops in Rostov. Lately the central streets of the city have become especially beautiful and bright thanks to the attractive shop-windows and illumination.
Rostov has various and productive ties with the foreign countries. Many Rostovites study or work in the U.S.A., Great Britain, China, Belgium, Cyprus and other countries. Rostov has twin-cities relations with Glasgow (Great Britain), Dortmund (Germany), Leman (France), Pleven (Bulgaria), Antalya (Turkey) and some other cities. Almost every month a delegation from one of them visits Rostov in order to promote economic and cultural relations.
All the visitors to Rostov mark its charm and special hospitality of the Rostovites who really love and take care of their city. We all hope that it will go on growing and become cleaner, greener and even more beautiful and prosperous.